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How Does B-Dry System Basement Waterproofing Work?

Herb Kirchhoff

B-Dry Systems Inc. was founded in 1958 by Joseph Bevilacqua Jr. of Louisville, KY, who developed a unique approach to waterproofing home basements from the inside. As of 2011, B-Dry offers its basement waterproofing services in 25 states through a network of 77 independent franchised dealers.

Cost varies by individual situation but estimates are free. The company provides a life-of-the-structure warranty against ground water intrusion. It claims to have waterproofed more than 250,000 basements.

Water Intrusion

Ground water enters basements in several ways. It can come through cracks in the walls and in mortar joints, through floor cracks, from bleeding or sweating of walls, and over or under foundation footings. B-Dry’s system relies on an interior perimeter drain and sump, plus a vapor barrier compound that stops seepage through basement walls. The theory is that the interior perimeter drain will relieve the external water pressure that forces water into the basement through pores and cracks.

Drain Installation

The B-Dry contractor starts by removing a foot of the concrete floor adjoining the walls inside the basement’s perimeter. The next step is digging a trench next to the foundation footing of sufficient depth to ensure a drainage pitch of ¼ inch per 10 feet of length once drain tile is laid. The trench is lined with fine clean gravel to act as bedding for the proprietary 4-inch perforated drain tile that’s set into the trench around the entire basement perimeter.

Sump & Pump

The drain tile drains into an 18-inch diameter, 30-inch-deep perforated tile sump, which will have a 1/3 horsepower submersible electric sump pump connected to the outside via 1 1/2-inch discharge pipe. The drain tile is covered with more fine gravel, then the new perimeter drain is covered with concrete. The concrete takes about a month to completely cure. The B-Dry system is installed entirely within the basement and doesn’t disturb French drains or other drainage systems existing on the outside of the foundation.

Wall Treatment

The B-Dry process treats basement wall seepage with a proprietary plastic sealer cement that’s pressed into the wall to close up cracks and form a rigid waterproof interior panel ready for studs and drywall. The wall treatment also seals below-grade window wells. B-Dry, through its franchised operators, promises to repair its system at no cost to the owner if water ever leaks in any area where the B-Dry system was installed. The warranty is transferable to new owners if the home is sold. The B-Dry warranty doesn’t cover failure of its system due to causes other than ground water intrusion, such as floods.