Lower level living space is the new norm in new construction. Keeping that space warm and dry should be paramount to any new foundation. Unlike other builders, PEA does their foundations and footings a little bit different.
While keeping the foundation wall insulated is important, it is also extremely important to keep the basement or lower lever dry. To achieve this, we use a capillary break. A capillary break is a nonporous material that is placed between layers of material to stop capillary action. In other words, it stops foundations from absorbing water and transferring that moisture into the living space.
There are a few different ways that this can be done. A layer of rubberized asphalt can be spray applied to the top of the footing before the foundation walls are formed or a layer of “Ice & Water” can be applied to the top of the footing. We typically choose the latter for ease of installation and timing with the crews.
Utilizing a capillary break is extremely important if you want a dry basement. Without one, much like a sponge absorbs water when it is held in a puddle, the same thing happens when foundation walls are touching wet ground. With nothing in between, the foundation walls absorb moisture and transfer it into the house. It is anticipated that without a capillary break, capillary rise can contribute to 15 gallons of water a day to a home’s interior moisture load. That is a lot of moisture!
Moisture issues can lead to many problems with mold, mildew and unhealthy air quality. Controlling moisture should be a builder’s number one concern, and it all starts with a proper capillary break at the footing.
See future blogs for other ways of controlling moisture.