Home waterproofing systems are used to keep moisture out of houses. Even if the affected area isn't a living space, water has a way of moving from one area to another in a home, so prevention really is the best cure. Some systems are installed during home construction, some are installed after, but all have advantages and disadvantages.
The wide variety of waterproofing options provides significant advantages. Systems can be installed indoors or out, depending on the level of water damage or owner preference, allowing for a greater range of flexibility and affordability for homeowners. There are also do-it-yourself options available to homeowners who don't want to go to the expense of finding and hiring a contractor.
The greatest disadvantage to home waterproofing systems is cost as the labor charges for installation are typically expensive. Minor interior waterproofing repairs may cost only a few hundred dollars -- for concrete repair or fillers -- but external waterproofing systems cost several thousand dollars due to the need for specialized excavating equipment to reach and repair the foundation footings.
Some types of waterproofing systems, in particular, crack sealants and concrete sealants that are applied indoors, need to be reapplied at least once a year. Moreover, new cracks or leaks may form if the water intrusion is linked to a bigger problem, such as poor foundation footings or lack of proper drainage around the house, whether due to poor soil grading or inadequate rain guttering. If there is a more significant problem with a home's drainage, filling old and new cracks may become part of the regular home maintenance schedule. This constant system upkeep, coupled with cost, may be considered a disadvantage to some homeowners.
The biggest advantage to a home waterproofing system is that it increases the value of a house. Unwanted moisture can negatively impact personal health by creating an environment that allows mold to grow. Moreover, water damage can ruin the structural integrity of a home by undermining its foundations as it erodes concrete or stone walls and destroys items in the home as the moisture causes metal machinery to rust and wood to decay. An unhealthy atmosphere or weak foundations will definitely negatively impact a home's resale value. Additionally, home waterproofing systems can open up the basement area as a living space, increasing the utility of their home's square footage. This will also increase the value of the home on the market.
Kaite Mitchell began working as a full-time freelance writer in 2010. Previously, she had focused on business writing for her employers. Her work appears on various websites, with articles focusing on career and general business topics. Mitchell has a Bachelor of Science in social work and a Master of Library Science.