I'm building a new house and the contractor tells me he has use Thoroseal on the basement area but it looks like it has just been parged with portland cement parging to me. How can I tell the difference?
Neither one is a good waterproofing for a basement. If you want a dry basement you should use a waterproof membrane applied to the outside of the wall before backfilling. Several good waterproofing systems are Miradrain, Bituthane, or hot-applied multi-layered asphalt and felt. Any of these can be applied over parging or Thoroseal but must be used on the exterior side of the wall. Anything applied to the inside of the wall is a temporary fix at best.
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