by Matt McGill, Customer Response Team
There are many important construction practices to consider when purchasing a new home. New home purchasers have access to so much information and so many home improvement shows that it is hard to understand what are the right methods to build a home in the City of Calgary? One that should not be overlooked is how the builder chooses to protect the basement from water penetration.
Damp-proofing has been used in single family construction for decades and still passes the Alberta Building Code. Most builders consider the practice of damp-proofing a basement to be outdated. Damp-proofing is the application of an asphalt based product on the perimeter of the foundation walls prior to backfill. Damp-proofing can fail if the conditions are not perfect. Conditions such as cracks in the foundation, small and not uncommon holes left from the construction of the wall, ground settlement resulting in pooling, a large and sudden amount of water will find its way into the home from one of these ways. That covers how water gets into a basement. Now let’s review why. Water will find its way into one of those failures because of hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure caused by the weight of the adjacent ground pushing on the foundation walls. Once water finds its way down the outside of the foundation wall it is hydrostatic pressure that pushes the water to the path of least resistance. It’s very easy for water to move into a small hole or crack when the other choice is to move between the ground and foundation.
Typically if the outside grading is maintained and repaired whenever settlement occurs, failure can be prevented. However, a home with damp-proofing is left without a fail-safe in case of sudden settlement. If you drive through some of the older communities in Calgary you will notice how many homes have negative grade. Most do because grading was not maintained. The chances of water going into the basement are very high as most people do not maintain their grading.
DELTA MS WRAP
Cedarglen Homes chooses to use a product like Delta MS for waterproofing instead of the traditional method of damp-proofing. What is Delta MS Wrap? It is a plastic membrane that is installed on the outside of the foundation wall. The foundation wrap has a dimpled pattern to create an air gap on the foundation wall. Very simply, Delta MS removes hydrostatic pressure from the equation of basement penetration. Now, if water finds its way down by the foundation level, it flows freely to the storm drain. The water never has a chance to go into a crack or little holes. Water resulting from settlement still flows on the outside of the membrane and very rarely results in water penetration.
Settlement around the foundation should always be maintained for as long as you live in your home but now if settlement unknowingly occurs the home has a failsafe with the Delta MS. Preventing unwanted damage from the home and personal property.
Have a good weekend!