Here in rainy Portland and Vancouver, a watertight house is a top priority for homeowners. But many people in the area have questions about how exactly waterproofing works. Others don’t realize waterproofing can be applied to a variety of surfaces and areas of the home, like decks, basements, and foundations.

Whatever questions you might have about waterproofing, this post can help. Scroll through to find answers to the most common waterproofing questions. Have a question that’s not listed below? Give us a call at (503) 245-3313.


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How does waterproofing work?

Waterproofing provides protection to surfaces or objects, keeping them from deteriorating or other issues caused by water. This protection comes in the form of sealers, membranes, or specialized coatings.

It sounds simple, but for those who love taking a DIY approach, know that the waterproofing process is labor intensive and requires a wide range of expensive equipment and waterproofing materials. It also requires the right technique to ensure the result is not only a waterproof surface, but that it looks good too.

Keep in mind that for best results, any existing water intrusion issues need to be addressed before beginning the waterproofing process. Simply covering it up will not be enough.


What areas of my home should be waterproofed?

There are 5 important areas of every Portland and Vancouver home that need to be sealed off from water intrusion:

  1. Basements
  2. Crawl spaces
  3. Decks and patios
  4. Flat roofs and metal roofs
  5. Foundations


How long does waterproofing last?

When done by a professional using quality materials and methods, waterproofing is highly effective and long lasting. In fact, some of our waterproofing options are so durable they can last a decade!

How long your waterproofing lasts depends on what was waterproofed and where it’s located. For example, a flat or metal roof and deck or patio has to withstand the elements 24/7.
We recommend having your waterproofed surface examined by a professional every 2-4 years to ensure it’s standing up to time and the elements.


Does my deck need to be waterproofed?

Many people are under the false assumption that since their deck was built to endure the outdoors, they don’t need any extra waterproofing. Not so.

Decks have direct contact with the outdoor elements and need to be resealed and waterproofed on a regular basis.

For wooden decks, test whether or not it’s due for waterproofing by pouring a few drops of water directly on the wood (or just observing it while it’s raining). If the water beads up into droplets, your deck is likely protected from the elements. If it soaks into the wood, it’s time to call a waterproofer.

For other deck and patio surfaces, keep an eye out for chips and cracks, which are often a sign that you need to repair and reseal the surface.

There are a variety of waterproofing options for your deck, based on your needs and tastes:

  • Ceramic or stone over a waterproof base — Highly durable way to protect your deck or patio that requires no ongoing maintenance.
  • Heat-welded PVC — A great choice for floating wood decks or green roofs that does not require long-term maintenance.
  • Acrylic base with cosmetic finish — A cost-effective balcony, deck, and patio waterproofing solution that comes in many finishes and textures.
  • Basic urethane waterproof coating — Good for concrete decks or patios and less expensive up-front, but does requires a new coating every 5-10 years.


Can waterproofing help with foundational cracks?

Absolutely. Foundation cracks can happen for a variety of reasons, including moisture. If conditions around your foundation are wet, cracks can form.

Waterproofing processes are used to help seal off cracks and strengthen your foundation. However, we always recommend doing preemptive maintenance by sealing and waterproofing your foundation before cracks form.

Read our blog post on the 4 things Portland homeowners need to know about foundation cracks.


How do you waterproof a basement?

Sealing a deck or roof with a waterproof coating is one thing, but how do you seal off an entire room? Every waterproofing company has their own approach, but at Rock Solid Waterproofing, our commitment to fixing the underlying cause of the problem (not just sealing off surface issues) helps sets us apart from the rest.

Here’s how we waterproof a basement:

  1. Thoroughly inspect your basement to find leaks or other problem spots.
  2. Remove drywall, studs, and trim as needed. We also remove a 12″ wide concrete strip along the exterior perimeter walls.
  3. Excavate and slope a trench to your sump basin.
  4. Install a sump basin, pump, and discharge line and a 3” perforated drain pipe in the trench.
  5. Cover the pipe with 1” of washed drain rock, which maximizes water flow and install a dimpled drainage mat over the rock.
  6. Replace the floor of your basement with a waterproof concrete.
  7. Replace studs, drywall and trim.


How much does waterproofing cost?

The cost of waterproofing depends on the…

  • Type of surface
  • Size of surface
  • Type of material used

The best way to know for sure how much your particular project will cost is to get a free estimate. A waterproofing professional will come out to your home, examine the area, and provide you with a quote.

At Rock Solid Waterproofing, we’re proud to offer financing options for waterproofing projects. Protecting your home from the elements is important. Our financing plans help ensure your home is safe and waterproof.


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Get started with waterproofing in Portland

Rock Solid Waterproofing is the preferred waterproofing company in Portland and Vancouver.

For over 10 years, we’ve been developing creative, durable solutions to the age-old problem of water penetration. We offer a variety of effective waterproofing treatments for decks, patios, basements, foundations, flat roofs, and more.

When you’re facing a water intrusion issue, we hope Rock Solid will be your first call. We’re here to help in a timely manner, providing honest and quality craftsmanship and getting the watertight results you need.

Have more questions? We have answers! Give us a call at (360) 887-0421 or contact us online.