Drainage is important in any remodeling project. Whether it’s a kitchen being remodeled or a bath being remodeled, we trouble shoot any issues with a building. With all the recent rains people have been putting up with a perpetually wet basement and are fed up to the point of doing something about it, nobody wants water in the basement. During the remodeling process we usually find other issues and a big one is Waterproofing.
Waterproofing by itself is rarely effective, and waterproofing applied on the inside of a slab or foundation is never effective. Waterproofing applied to the outside has a better chance to succeed, for the pressure of the water pushes it into the wall, but anything applied inside will be pushed off by the pressure of the water. The only way to have a dry basement is to give the water someplace to go other than your basement. The walls and slabs must be drained. There is no other way.
The traditional drainage system is a French drain on the outside at the base of the wall. In an urban area such as ours, with zero lot line building, there is no way to install such a system. Many homes in the Bay Area don’t have any drainage system at all. The subterranean space was never intended to be living space and seasonal wetness was acceptable. With our modern lifestyles we often want to utilize these basement spaces.
And we need to design a system that makes them comfortable and dry.