A dry and warm basement in your home can be an excellent storage, gym, playroom, or even a living room. However, due to its proximity to the soil and downspout drainage, water may pool around the outside perimeter and easily seep through holes, cracks, or mortars.
A basement flooding may damage your household items and the actual foundation of your home while also creating an unhealthy atmosphere for you and your loved ones. To prevent and combat such hurdles, waterproofing is an efficient and economical step to avert basement dampness. Here’s how to waterproof your basement.
What Is Required To Waterproof A Basement?
When it comes to basement areas and making sure that they are waterproof, hiring a professional is always the first option. However, if you want to save some money and choose to do it yourself, you need the following items:
- Waterproofing mix
- Stiff brush
- Wire brush
- A household solution
- Caulk gun
- Masonry caulk or hydraulic cement
The procedures to basement waterproofing include the following steps.
Check The Perimeter Of The House
Before remediating the trouble areas that are allowing water to seep into the home, address the problem at its source by preventing water from accumulating in the first place.
Damaged gutters are the main source of basement dampness. Therefore, replace or repair any rusted, leaking, or clogged gutters to avoid drainage problems and the pooling of water next to the foundation of the house. Gutter repair doesn’t have to be a large project. Many times, gutter drainage issues can be fixed by removing dirt and debris, applying a touch of caulk to existing leaks (before they grow into bigger ones), tightening the elbow connectors at the downspouts, or adding screws on the gutters to secure connections.
Windows and doors are also a very common source of humidity into basements. Basement windows, for example, often have “wells” which, if they are not properly dug, will not accomplish the goal of draining water away from the window. In this manner, water pools around the window and even if the window was properly installed, seals will eventually give way to moisture, especially when the liquid constatly pooling in a specific area.
Diverting Water Away From The Basement
Create a relatively small slope from the outside of your house foundation. You can rake and move dirt around the foundation edges to create the gradient. This ensures that the water runoff is directed away from the basement. You can also put gutter splash block pads or attach flexible extensions at the bottom of the downspouts to carry water at least five feet away from the foundation.
Remove Old Paint And Clean The Affected Area In The Basement
Many waterproof mixes will not stick properly to painted or dirty walls. You ought to remove any old paint by wire brushing, sanding, or sandblasting using a household solution to remove all remaining debris and dirt.
Repair Cracks And Holes
Use a caulk gun to smear masonry caulk or hydraulic cement into the holes or cracks until you cover them completely. If the hole is deeper than one inch, you should place a small piece of insulation in it to act as a foundation for the caulk. Then, using a putty knife, you can smooth out the top of the area.
Apply The Waterproofing Mix
Most waterproofing mixes are made of epoxy or latex. While many require you to add some water, make sure that you mix it as provided by the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, using a stiff brush, apply the mix on the wall in a circular motion to ensure that it adheres evenly. Feather the coating at the edges until you have covered the entire affected area.
Reapply The Coat
Allow the first coat of waterproofing mix to dry thoroughly and then apply a second layer, which should also be
even and complete.
Be Careful Where The Mix Is Applied
Most waterproofing mixes do not adhere well to wet surfaces. Remember to apply the waterproofing product only on fully dried surfaces. Moreover, when applying the waterproofing mix, start from the bottom of the wall, move towards the top, and then back to the bottom. Once you are done, consider repainting the area for appearance purposes.
Most commercially-available waterproofing mixes are likely to be relatively durable. However, it is wise to keep an eye on trouble spots you encountered while waterproofing your home. This practice lets you see the results of your work, while also giving you the opportunity to monitor the greater areas of concern in case they need more professional attention.
As a homeowner, you understand that seemingly any repair that “pops up” can evolve into a significant expense. However, waterproofing your home is probably one of those expenses that pays for itself many times over. A dry basement goes a long way not only in preventing the growth of fungus, mold, and mildew caused by dampness – all issues that would take a lot of time and money to remediate. Whether you do it yourself or if a professional contractor does it for you, waterproofing a basement is certain to add overall value to your home.