When it comes to utilizing a basement best, you have to keep the water out of the space. By following a series of thorough steps, you can take precautions to protect your home and belongings from water damage and basement leaks.
Steps to Waterproof Basements
Evaluate the house perimeter.
Make sure that the ground next to the foundation slopes away from the foundation. If necessary, add dirt right up against the foundation in order to create a two-inch per foot slope against the foundation. Also ensure that the top of the dirt is a minimum of six inches below the sill plate so there is no ground contact, which can cause rotting in the future. Make sure that the gutters are clean and all downspouts are discharging water at least five feet away from the foundation.
Look at plants and shrubs that are too close to the foundation.
Rotted roots can create a direct path for surface water to flow into the foundation. Keep all plants at least one foot away from the foundation and with a slight slope in order to direct water away from your foundation.
Waterproof walls with minor intermittent leaks.
A waterproof, not a water sealer, is the best product for this. It expands as it dries to become a part of the water.
Consider installing a sump.
This is a hole in the basement floor, which kicks on and draws water out of the sump and discharging it outside of the house. This water is pushed 10 or more feet from the foundation. Installing a sump pump requires skill and experience, so hiring a professional is important if you decide to take this precaution for your home and its foundation.
Install a French drain for serious water problems.
This type of drain uses continuous piping in order to run beneeat the floor of the basement and to drain water accordingly. This is similar to installing a sump, but uses more cutting and removing of the floor. This is an even more detailed solution to a water leakage problem.
Things to Know
Before you begin a serious basement remodeling project, be sure to evaluate your basement carefully especially during heavy rainstorms. Look for any signs of lime or salt deposits on concrete blocks. This must be removed entirely before any blocker is used. This is one of the most common reasons why the sealing will fail.
If you do decide to install a sump pump, be sure to refer to all local plumbing codes. Most installations require a one-way valve to stop water from coming up through the sump. Battery backup sump pumps are great for those that have a steady flow of water into them, but there is a backup power supply if the power goes out and/or the main pump breaks entirely.
Benefits of Having a Sump Pump in Your Home
They raise property value, prevent water damage to a home, reduce the number of foundation cracks and other problems by keeping the foundation dry and help to control humidity in the basement. A sump pump can also prevent mold, mildew and fungus as well as infestations by termites. They prevent peeling of paint and keep a basement feeling warmer and dryer throughout the year. They allow you to furnish your basement and give you a healthier home overall.
Types of Interior Waterproofing
- Silicate-based concrete sealers: Also known as densifiers, they are great for walls that haven’t been sealed or painted before (new construction). These sealers soak in and react with the ingredients found in the brick or concrete. This creates a hard, waterproof surface. They are penetrating products, which means they can’t peel or flake off. You can also paint over them.
- Concrete waterproofing coatings: These thick coatings are like cement, and once they are dry, adhere permanently. Apply the coating to a brush and swirl the brush to give the wall a finished look. Concrete waterproof coating can be applied to previously painted surfaces.
- Plastic sheets and panels: These are appropriate for waterproofing in interior basement drainage systems. While they don’t stop water from getting through a wall, they do stop it from ruining things found in the basement.
- Waterproofing paint: Apply this over painted surfaces or paint over it once it has cured completely. This is great for current issues in a basement and masking the aftermath of a leakage problem.
- Exterior waterproof paint: This can be costly as it involves excavating a house to the depth of the foundation walls. From there, a waterproof coating is dropped by drainage panels. These panels offer a free path for water to flow down to a French drain at the bottom of your home’s foundation. This is the best preventative measure for waterproofing basements as a whole.
Hire a professional home inspector to check your home thoroughly for leaks. By addressing drainage and basement leaks immediately, you can prevent large damage and repairs from needing to occur. These home inspectors are trained and experienced at seeing where water flow problems are occurring in a home and can offer suggestions of how to remedy them effectively.