Lift, Lower, Seal, Tuck: Explaining The Options For Basement Waterproofing

Waterproofing a basement is a lot like keeping time from marching across your face. It uses the same terminology, and the same concepts—albeit not the same materials or procedures. If your old basement is leaking like a sieve, you may find that you need to give it a facelift using lift, lower, seal, and tuck procedures. Here are some closer explanations to how these terms apply to your basement and information on the procedures themselves.


A basement waterproofing contractor comes in, excavates your basement walls, looks for sagging and drooping areas, then uses braces to push the walls up from underneath the slab underground. Since sagging often contributes to cracks, lifting puts the walls and floor slab back where they belong. That, in turn, prevents the basement from leaking.


Basements that are barely basements because you have to duck to walk through them have a similar but opposite problem. Most of these basements were not constructed to support the weight of the house. Instead, they were meant to be cellars or water collectors only. As the old house was renovated or remodeled, water collection was no longer necessary, and few people used them to store canned goods in order to avoid pests. However, these basements still collect water because of the way they are built. Lowering the basement by lifting the house and creating a deeper basement with flatter floors and direct access to city sewer lines removes the wetness and dampness you now have.


Sealing your basement can occur outside, inside, or both. Waterproof sealants or black rubber coating frequently used to seal cracks in asphalt driveways is used to coat exterior walls. Clearer, less messy coatings are used to seal the walls from inside the basement. As long as there is no substantial damage to the foundation, sealants are an inexpensive option.


Tucking means that the foundation of your home is excavated and exposed for several feet all the way around. Braces help reposition and stabilize walls so that the whole of your basement is completely level. Any areas where basement walls are not level, there is likely an opening that creates the perfect place for water to enter. Bracing the walls via the tucking process stops the water from finding a way in. This is highly recommended if you notice that different parts of your home seem to be "up" or "down" and things roll different directions or doors do not close or stay closed.

For more information on basement waterproofing, contact a company like Sohan and Sons.