Should I consider using waterproof concrete for my foundation?
I have been looking carefully at my options for waterproofing the basement foundation of my future house in Vermont. I expect that the foundation will experience periods of hydrostatic pressure, so I am looking for the best waterproofing system with reasonable costs (e.g. up to $4000). I will, of course, install footing drains and a free draining layer on the outside of the foundation, and until recently I was planning to use a professionally applied elastomeric spray-on waterproofing product. However, I just heard about Waterproof Concrete and it seems like the integral permeability-reducing admixtures (PRAs) could be better approach than a surface barrier treatment. I discovered that the two best PRAs for concrete exposed to hydrostatic pressure (PRAHs) are hydrophobic chemicals, like those made by Hycrete, and microcrystalline products such as those made by Kryton. I don’t know yet whether any PRAH will be available for me to use, but before I make the effort to find out, I have lots of questions about waterproof concrete. Are PRAHs really as good as the companies make them sound? Is one type of PRAH better than the other? What are their costs – relevant to each other and to surface barrier treatments? Have they proven themselves in the field, especially over longer periods of 20+ years? Are they better than surface barriers – in the short term or the long term? Can you safely omit a surface barrier treatment when using a PRAH, like the companies claim, thus offsetting the cost of the PRAH?
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