As homeowners with a basement in your house, you must be aware of the nightmare of wet, humid, leaking, flooded, and moldy basement, particularly during the rainy and cold season.
When the water from the outside makes its way inside the basement through cracks or holes, it can damage your furniture as well as the stored items. Since every basement is susceptible to leakage and flooding, you should assess your basement and the surrounding places around your house to keep your basement in proper order.
When you know the risks that lead to flooded or leaking the basement, then you can take action to make sure that your basement remains dry and fresh even during cold and rainy seasons. The main two things you need to focus on a proper drainage system and good waterproofing of the basement.
There are many parts that constitute the whole system, and every basement requires different solutions; you should do your research before investing in waterproofing. In this way, you can ensure that you are making the right choice. Here are some dos and don’ts of basement waterproofing that you should know about.
Dos of basement waterproofing
1) Find out the source of water/leaks
Look for damp areas and streaks of water around the window corners, ground, cracks, pipes, and other areas where you suspect water can come in from the outside. Since concrete is porous, you can easily find streaks on the walls. If the whole wall is wet, then you should do a test.
Properly dry a part of the wall and attach a small aluminum foil to the wall; after a day, detach the foil and feel the inside of the foil; if it is wet, then water is coming from the outside. But if it is dry, then the source of this dampness is from the inside. So take measures accordingly so that it doesn’t keep making your basement feel damp and humid. Apply a layer of waterproof paint which is a type of sealant. It covers all the small areas and prevents them from seeping inside.
2) Make sure the gutters are maintained and clean.
Clogged gutters are a disaster. For instance, if your rain gutter gets clogged and then dumps all the water against your home’s foundation, then it can cause a problem for your basement. This is why it is important to maintain your gutters and keep them free from leaves, dirt, and debris so that water makes its way into the drainage system and not your house.
3) Use hydraulic cement to fill up the cracks
Cracks can also be found near the bottom of the walls in your basement. The construction procedure leaves weak spots in the foundation joints. The cracks can develop during the settling and shifting of the foundation. This can be prevented by using hydraulic cement, which is the cement that expands and sets easily and rapidly. So all the cracks and holes can be easily filled with it.
4) Take measures to ensure water stays away from the basement
You can also keep water away from the basement by keeping the foundation flower beds and bushes away. Also, it is best if your yard can be away from the foundation. Repair downspouts and drainage system so that water is directed away from the house. Waterproofing can also be applied to the outside of the basement wall, and an exterior drain system can also be made. So it is best to hire an affordable basement waterproofing company and consult with them.
Don’ts of basement waterproofing
1) Avoid DIY sealants
There are many options in the market when it comes to sealants and waterproofing methods. But not every option can be good for your basement because your basement problem is unique. It is important to consult with professionals to find the right solutions to the problem.
2) Never apply your sealant over painted walls
It is advisable that you remove the previous paint layer of your wall before applying the sealant that adheres well to the bare wall only.
3) Never ignore a crack or leak
The most ignorant thing you can do for your basement is to ignore the signs of leakage. Even if it is small, you should never ignore it, as it may turn into a bigger and serious problem. One place of common leaks is the window wells, where water is retained if a proper drainage system was not made outside. This water can then seep in. Apply a proper sealant around the wall and install a sloped window cover outside so that rainwater stays away. Basement waterproofing is a wise investment because it will save you from a lot of stress, time, and money spent in the long run.
4) Never ignore the importance of indoor drainage
A proper drainage system in your basement can ensure a dry and clean basement. You will require the help of a professional. Once you have a proper drainage system inside, your walls will be dry, and your basement will be free from moisture and dampness. All the water that seeps into the old walls will be directed away through the drainage channels.
5) Keep downspouts away from your house
The purpose of downspouts is to keep water away from the house, but if they shoot water against your house, then it can be problematic for your basement.
6) Never repair walls with water in your basement
Cracks can cause leakage of water inside your basement. But before you repair the leakage, you need to remove all the water and make your basement dry again. A flooded basement will not only not let you repair the crack easily; it might even increase your chances of getting an electric shock. So turn off the power and use pumps to remove the water. After the water is removed, you can easily inspect the cracks and fix the issues effectively and efficiently.
If you follow these dos and don’ts of waterproofing the basement, then you will be able to keep your basement dry and clean all year round. But if you are confused and overwhelmed by the problem of leaking, wet, moldy or flooded basement, then you can consult with a professional who can help you find the right solutions to your problems. Not all issues are the same, so it is always best to do your research and ask professionals. Professional companies can help you get the job done effectively. So get in touch with a professional in your area for basement waterproofing.