Popham Construction




Since 1978, Popham has been waterproofing area homes and businesses. We understand that waterproofing methods can be confusing to those who are not in the industry. This information sheet provides descriptions to clarify the process of water control. “Waterproofing” is a general term used to represent various methods of controlling water that leaks into a basement.

Why does water leak into basements?

The most common cause of leakage results from basements built with concrete block or brick foundations. Both materials are semi-permeable. Although builders apply parging (water resistant coatings), air bubbles often occur, and the parging deteriorates over time. In our Tri-State area, concrete block foundations are most prevalent. Concrete blocks have hollow cores that allow water to drain down into the base of the foundation. As water accumulates, it enters the basement through the “cove” area, the seam where the floor and the wall meet.

Other conditions that cause water leakage in basements:

  • Drainage systems that are clogged, deteriorating, or are inadequate for heavy storms.
  • Soil composition problems and drought conditions.
  • Trees and shrubbery planted near the home’s foundation draw water from the soil through their deep root systems. This results in the soil around the foundation losing moisture and contracting. Often, following heavy rains, the soil that surrounds a home’s foundation begins to swell again. Repeated cycles of contracting and swelling lead to cracks in the foundation that allow water in.

Any of these conditions may cause walls to settle and crack. Hydrostatic pressure forces water through the cracks.

What is the solution to controlling water?

Popham’s Certified Waterproofing Specialists assess your individual situation to determine the best water control solution within your budget. Popham installs two types of interior under-floor water collection systems that connect to a submersible sump pump. These water collection systems are similar to installing a gutter under your floor to direct trapped water from the foundation into the sump pump well. The sump pump system is the lowest part of the water collection system, and when the well is full, the water is pumped outside.


This system controls water y installing round drain tile next to the footing, below the concrete slab floor. This system is often used with moisture barrier wall panels that direct water to the drain tile while keeping the basement free from mold and mildew. The drain also draws water from under the slab and directs this water to the sump pump, which expels the water outside. To install this system, Popham’s Certified Waterproofing Specialists remove a small section of the floor in the impacted areas, and dig a trench around the perimeter of the basement Clean rock is then installed around the tile to filter out sediment. The concrete floor is re-poured to original thickness, ensuring its structural integrity.


This heavy-duty engineered material is an alternative to the conventional rock and pipe drain tile system. To install this system, Popham’s Certified Waterproofing Specialists remove a small section of the floor in the impacted areas, and dig a trench around the perimeter of the basement. The Hydraway System is then inserted into the soil adjacent to the interior side of the footer. This system collects the trapped water and directs it to the sump pump system. The removed section of the concrete floor is re-poured to original thickness, which ensures its structural integrity.


In some cases, additional protection is recommended. This is achieved by installing Moisture Barrier Wall Panels, which are designed as a permanent solution to water seepage by covering and sealing interior foundation walls. The panels are installed below the concrete slab to a determined height on the foundation wall. If water would penetrate the foundation wall, it would be contained behind these panels and directed to the water collection system.

These panels are extremely durable and will not fade, chip, peel, rot, or splinter. The textured surface will not support mold, mildew, or other bacterial growth.

The combination of the panels along with the water protection system provide the best solution to water control – keeping the basement interior dry.


Sump pumps play an important and necessary role in the waterproofing process. The sump pump is placed beneath the basement slab floor at the lowest point of the drainage system so that all of the water captured in the perimeter drainage pipes flows toward the pump by means of gravity feed. Once the water reaches the sump pump and fills the sump pump “tank” (also referred to as a pit, well, or basin) to a specific level, it is then pumped outside through a discharge pipe that exits the basement above the sill of the foundation. The discharge pipe carries water a safe distance away from the foundation.

HORSEPOWER IS IMPORTANT – A sump pump must have sufficient horsepower for an occasional deluge of rain or even a plumbing failure like a backed-up sewer or a broken pipe. The average residential pump uses 1/3 or 1/2 horsepower, depending on factors including the depth of the basement, the size of the drainage area and the distance water must be pumped.


The pedestal pump’s motor is mounted above the tank, where it is more easily serviced, but is also more visible, and typically noisier


The submersible pump is entirely mounted inside the tank, and is specially sealed to prevent electrical short circuits. Screening on the bottom filters out debris before it can get into the mechanical parts. Submersible pumps tend to be quieter than pedestal ones, but are usually more expensive.


Our Tri-State area has a history of heavy storms with power outages. A battery-powered backup with an alarm is advisable to prevent a flooded basement. If you don’t use a battery back-up sump pump, be sure your home insurance policy specifically covers sump pump failures from storms and power outages since most do not.


Popham’s Certified Water Control specialists recommend a yearly maintenance check of all sump pump systems. However, homeowners should perform routine maintenance such as periodically checking for debris that could cause clogs. The sump pump owner’s manual offers routine maintenance information for each particular model.


Popham Construction Company, Inc. is a member of the National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair Contractors, Inc.

Popham Company, Inc., General Contractor, Evansville, IN
4414 Covert Avenue | Evansville, IN

Phone: 812.479.5850 | Fax: 812.473.0848
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