Most Canadian poured concrete basements have at least some hairline cracks with the exception of those installed on pile footings.
The system that has been traditionally used to seal the cracks is simply a sprayed-on coat of tar. Even the term “damp-proofing,” used to describe this procedure, leaves homeowners wondering if their new home basement is actually “waterproof.”
A leaking or damp basement can ruin furniture, appliances and other items stored in the basement. Repairing a leaking basement can be expensive. The problem is virtually eliminated with a system known as Delta MS, that employs “air gap technology.”
Delta MS is a dimpled, high-density polyethylene, which resembles rows of small, thimble-shaped dimples.
The product is installed on the outside of the basement from grade level down to and over the footings. The dimples provide an “air gap” of about three-eights of an inch on the outside of the concrete, which allows water to flow freely right down to the drain tile.
There is no hydrostatic water pressure build-up on the outside of the concrete wall. Even if the wall cracks, there is only a slim chance that water would find its way through a crack.
Delta MS protects the basement wall from moist ground soils that eventually bead down traditional tar damp-proofing, allowing moisture to penetrate the concrete by capillary action. This moisture penetration causes a damp, musty, mouldy, unhealthy and uncomfortable basement.
Moisture trapped in a concrete wall can bubble and effectively destroy any damp-proofing that the tar had.
The Delta MS system allows the concrete to “breathe” and virtually eliminates condensation on the inside surface of the concrete wall.
Also, the air gap system creates a thermal break between the concrete and the soil, just like a double-pane window creates a thermal break between outside and inside air. The trapped air next to the basement acts as an insulator rather than a “conductor” of cold from frozen soil in winter. If condensation does form in the air gap, it will be on the Delta MS, not on the concrete wall, since the Delta MS is in contact with cold soil.
This system reduces condensation on a concrete wall, especially behind the insulation of a finished basement. In cold climates, the condensation freezes and when it warms up in the spring, the condensation melts and water runs out under the baseboard, leaving you thinking that you have a cracked concrete wall.
Delta MS is mechanically fastened to the basement wall, allowing for independent movement of soil and the foundation, and thus it is unaffected by freeze-thaw cycles. In fact, even if the membrane sheets are damaged or punctured, water quickly takes the easier route and migrates down and away.
This product is available in most areas of Canada.