Around 98% of basements experience some sort of water damage, which shows that this problem is more common than we think.
Having a damp basement causes a range of issues, from jeopardizing your home’s foundation to creating a breeding ground for bacteria. But, if you’ve never been in this position before, it can feel overwhelming knowing where to start. Maybe that’s why you’re here; you’re struggling with waterproofing your basement and need a nudge in the right direction.
Sounds like you? Luckily, we’ve got the answers. Here’s our guide on basement waterproofing.
Benefits of Waterproofing the Basement
Before seeking waterproofing services, it’s important to consider the benefits.
A major benefit is that it will prevent mold and mildew from accumulating. It will also stop this problem from spreading to the rest of your property and putting your household’s health at risk. And when it’s waterproofed, you’re guaranteed a warmer home because no cold air can rise and seep into the upper floors.
Further, depending on your needs, you can transform your new space into another room. Whether you want a home office or another bedroom, you now have the freedom to expand your living space. A bonus is that these renovations will boost your home’s resale value, making it a win-win.
An underrated perk is that you get peace of mind. You don’t want to panic when a storm arrives and worry about water entering your home; instead, waterproof your basement and all negative feelings will disappear.
Causes of a Wet Basement
There are many causes of a wet basement to take into consideration. For instance, your home’s drainage system may be blocked or broken, so that the water can’t run away from your house.
Another reason is if the drains are clogged, there are structural cracks or the sump pump isn’t draining properly. If you’re not sure what your situation is, reach out to a waterproofing company and they’ll evaluate the space.
How to Waterproof Your Basement
You’ve noticed dampness, so now it’s time to protect your basement. Although this will vary depending on the cause, these are the basic actions to take. For instance:
Use a Dehumidifier
Before starting the home protection process, whip out a dehumidifier. This is essential if the basement is over 50% and you’re struggling with dampness. The beauty is that most dehumidifiers can pull a staggering 50 pints of water every day, which is a lifesaver for worried homeowners.
The best way to protect your basement is by digging around its perimeter.
Excavating the area is the most labor-intensive job, so you’ll either need to rent equipment or hire a reputable technician. During this process, you will remove soil and debris from the footings, so that the foundation is exposed.
When the tiles have been exposed, power washes the area to remove any remaining debris. Experts will check that the water filtration system is sound before moving in. Note, although this can be a DIY job, you must know what to look for.
Check for Cracks
Look around for any cracks or openings in the foundation. The size may vary, so spend time checking the entire surface area. If there are any issues, then you must invest in repairing the foundation to prevent future problems.
Apply a Sealant and Membrane
Regardless of whether you find any issues, apply a coat of sealant over the walls. Find a cement-based product because they’re easy to apply and known for its extensive lifespan. After enough time, the sealant will harden and close any pores that are letting the dampness in.
You must also install a waterproofing membrane. Homeowners can either spray or trowel this onto the foundation to seal it. As you search products, make sure that each one contains an elastomeric membrane because it’s renowned for its waterproofing properties.
Waterproof Floors and Walls
Once finished, replace bare floors with waterproof carpets as it’s a great way of preventing condensation. It’s also wise to use a mat between both for maximum effect. Then, cover bare walls with waterproof masonry paint to fill the cracks.
Install the Drain
Next, install a drainage mat with dimples, so that moisture can travel into the drain. Make sure that it’s the perfect size and depth for the foundation. Then, install the actual drain below the basement floor.
If you’re not sure where to get one, check out this link.
Apply Final Layers
Then, backfill the basement with gravel to complete the final step. Homeowners should choose an 18-inch grade for earth areas and four inches when cement is poured. But if you’re not confident doing this, ask a reputable company to guide you through the process.
Avoid Making Common Mistakes
Homeowners may make mistakes, especially if it’s their first time, so check out these common ones. A major one is using tar, but this will eventually crack and put your hard work to waste. Another problem is if you use plastic to waterproof basement walls because this material will eventually peel and let moisture in.
And when you’re backfilling, avoid using limestone as it may clog the draining system.
Our Tips on Basement Waterproofing
Hopefully, after reading this post, you’re now an expert on basement waterproofing.
There are many useful tips to consider, such as excavating the area and thoroughly checking for any cracks or openings. Homeowners should also apply a sealant and carefully apply the final layer for the best results. Good luck with the process!
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