Dampproofing is a way of protecting your basement walls and floor from soaking up water. It is made out of liquid asphalt that is painted over the outside walls while the house is being built. It is not to be confused with water proofing, which will seal off your home from all water. Many people don't realize why their basements are leaking months after their new home was built.
- Dampproofing helps slow water penetration, but does not prevent it.
- Dampproofing is often substituted by builders for waterproofing because the alternative is much more expensive.
- After the asphalt dries it becomes brittle and can dissolve in water
- Dampproofing does not bridge cracks in the foundation, allowing easy entry for water.
Although waterproofing is more expensive, it is well known to pay itself off in the end. Dampproofing wasn't used on the entire foundation of homes until the 1950's, so if your home is older than that it is very likely you will need to buy a dehumidifier to keep your basement dry.
Choosing Between Dampproofing and Waterproofing
Even though dampproofing may not be particularly good for foundation walls, it still has its purposes. Some buildings only require a material that will be able to temporarily keep the water out. View your own construction plans to determine whether dampproofing will work for your project.