Choosing the Best Foundation Waterproofing Solution

We believe that if you have to waterproof your foundation, you only want to do it once. Excavating your foundation, waterproofing, restoring drainage, and re-landscaping your property is an expensive and disruptive process so you don't want to have to do it again. Most foundation experts offer you guarantees on their work but you really don't want them to have to come back and repeat the process if there is a problem. We believe that BlueSkin and Platon are essential parts of a waterproofing system that is going to work and continue working for years to come.

Waterproofing vs Damp-proofing

If you shop around to foundation waterproofing companies you’ll find that very few install the Blueskin membrane as part of their waterproofing process. Most rely on only the Platon membrane to shed water from the foundation. The difference between the two membranes is important. The Platon membrane is designed to shed water that comes in contact with the wall and lead it down to the weeping tile where it can be carried away from the foundation. The BlueSkin membrane serves the same purpose but with an additional benefit. Because the BlueSkin membrane adheres to the foundation, water can not move up from the bottom or in from the sides. On sites that have large amounts of water this is particularly important as the BlueSkin can actually hold out water against hydrostatic pressure. When applied properly, it provides a complete rubberized, waterproof skirt around your foundation that is truly impenetrable.

Blueskin is stretchable so if, in the future, cracks form in your foundation due to shifting or settling, the Blueskin will stretch with the crack so that the waterproofing remains intact.

Most other foundation waterproofing products are actually just damp-proofing and not waterproofing. Damp-proofing will help to shed water but won’t stand up to larger amounts of water. Concrete is porous, so exposure to large amounts of water will result in some of that water making it through your foundation wall as water or water vapour.  By installing BlueSkin as well as Platon, you get the definitive solution for waterproofing your foundation.

Why use Platon membrane and Blueskin

The Platon membrane is a tough, waterproof, double dimpled, high-density polyethylene plastic membrane. It provides a layer of water shedding on top of the Blueskin but most importantly, it also provides a layer of physical protection to the Blueskin. This ensures that the Blueskin is not damaged during the backfilling process or any other digging around the foundation that might happen  in the future.

The Platon is attached to the foundation wall at the top but is not rigidly attached all over the wall. As a result, if the foundation shifts, cracks or settles, the Platon can continue to provide it’s water shedding abilities. Platon will continue to function with cracks up to a 1/4 inch gap. This capability, combined with similar capabilities of the Blueskin membrane, gives you confidence in your foundation’s ability to keep water out of your basement.

Other solutions you may hear aboutDiagram of preffered foundation waterproofing solution

From our experience, there are many reputable companies doing foundation damp-proofing, waterproofing and repair. However, the solutions proposed by some are out of date and ineffective. Make sure that the solution you choose is modern and effective and will solve your problem in the long-term.

Form many decades, a common solution for foundation damp-proofing was to roll tar on the foundation. While this practice provided some benefit, its benefit is limited to damp-proofing (not water proofing) and it typically diminishes over time. Tar dries out so its ability to maintain its integrity is limited. If a crack occurs in the foundation wall, the crack will also carry through the dry tar leaving no protection against keeping water out of your basement.

More modern solutions have included other roll-on membranes that are supposed to maintain their flexibility over longer periods of time than tar. However, the ability of roll-on membranes to span cracks is limited. Solutions like Blueskin and Platon membranes can span small cracks so that your water protection remains intact even with small cracks in the foundation.

Another solution you may hear about is done completely from the inside. This involves cutting a small trench around the perimeter of your basement floor and installing a drain system that leads to a sump pump. The trench is then covered up and the basement can be refinished. This solution may sound a little half-baked, but in some cases may be the best solution. If your foundation is intact and not the source of leakage, the floor drain stops the water table from rising to floor level thereby eliminating the problem with water getting into your basement. This solution only makes sense if you have an unfinished basement.The cost of this solution is often much less than full excavation and may offer just as effective a solution depending on the source of moisture in your basement.

Finally, we believe that Blueskin and Platon are the best solutions available in the industry but there are other similar products which are modern technology and may provide comparable levels of protection. Make sure that the solution you choose is a modern technology that will provide you with the long-term protection you require.

About warranties and guarantees

Most damp-proofing/water-proofing companies provide a warranty or guarantee on their work. Make sure that you receive a copy of the warranty or guarantee to review BEFORE you sign  the contract. While many contractors may tell you that they guarantee a dry basement, the details of their warranty can be quite different and not all-encompassing.

BLUESKIN is a registered trademark of Bakor Inc. (http://www.bakor.com/)
Platon Membrane is manufactured by Armtec Canada (http://www.systemplaton.com/)