How to Waterproof a Basement: Complete Guide

How to Waterproof a Basement: Complete Guide

Originally posted on February 17, 2020 @ 2:47 pm

How to Waterproof a Basement: Complete Guide

Description: Discover the best methods to waterproof basements. The signs of basements needing waterproofing, interior and exterior remedies, precautionary measures, design flaws, and much more are discussed!

Basements are great when it comes to adding more space to a house. They provide a secure area that can be used for a range of purposes. Many utilize basements for various needs such as storage, leisure, parking, and even work. Many homeowners often face the challenge of reducing or eliminating the harmful effects water has on their basements.

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It does not matter if you are planning to build a home with a basement or already have a one with water causing the structure of serious trouble. The process involved in waterproofing a basement can be both expensive and confusing. However, opting not to go ahead with it can result in serious and costly damages to the structure.

The best time to waterproof is when a building or structure is being built. However, that does not mean you should lose hope in your soggy basement. Various measure exists to protect your home from the harmful effects of water. The results and cost of these measures vary from one to another.

The earlier you waterproof it, the better it is for the durability of the entire structure as well as the quality of living it offers. Furthermore, the earlier you complete the damp proofing basement process, the less damage water will cause, resulting in saving a considerable amount of money you will need to spend later by not attending to waterproofing earlier.

Signs of a Soggy Basement

Many signs of you needing a basement conversion can be detected easily. If your basement has a musty smell, standing water, mold, high humidity levels than usual, cold temperature, cracks on the floor, and walls that bulge inward are common signs that are troubled with water that can be easily detected.

If you have noticed such signs or if you for some other reason suspect that your basement needs waterproofing, a range of simple tests can second those suspicions.

One way of finding out if your basement requires waterproofing is by taping a foil sheet or plastic wrap to one of its walls. Leave it for a few days and check for signs of condensation on any of the sides of it. If you notice condensation on the exterior side, you will need to fix exterior issues that usually require the help of a professional contractor.

Condensation on the interior side of the tape indicates interior seepage. Ways to fix this problem depends on the amount of moisture on the walls of your basement. The solution may come in the form of installing a drainage system or the purchase of a dehumidifier.

Clogged gutters, poor drainage surrounding the basement, wrong exterior slope, and pressure caused by bodies of water sitting around the structure of the basement usually cause these issues.

How to Waterproof a Basement From the Interior

How to Waterproof a Basement: Complete Guide

You should consider interior remedies if there is minimal leakage or if exterior excavation is not an option. Smaller cracks that simply look damp or seep slowly can be fixed with an electric caulk gun and interior sealant. When it comes to wide cracks or if you had already tried and failed with interior sealants, it is high time that you considered an interior floor drainage system.

It involves shallow excavation around the inside perimeter of the floor of the basement. The trench is filled with perforated drain tile and pea gravel with a sump pit to allow the collection of water. Furthermore, water leaking from the walls are directed downward using plastic panels. This measure can be costly if you hire a contractor, but most individuals can do it themselves without much trouble.

Best Way to Waterproof Basement From the Exterior

If you are building a new home, you should always consider waterproofing from the exterior. It does involve excavating the soil surrounding the foundation with the help of a contractor.

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Drain tiles are installed on all sides of the exterior of the foundation. A sump pit will also be installed to facilitate the collection of water where a sump pump will remove the water that gathers there. The foundation walls also need to be repaired, patched, and sealed. Larger cracks need to be patched and later sprayed with a sealant.

When it comes to existing homes that have basements with water problems, exterior remedies need to be explored if interior waterproofing remedies fail. It can be costly as you will need to consult a professional to safely waterproof it without causing any damage to it or the entire structure of the building. You will also need to obtain a permit from the local building authorities for the contract to start the work.

It is essential to time exterior waterproofing work during a dry season since any rain will delay work while incurring additional costs. Exterior waterproofing of a basement can cost you a lot of money. However, the house will be more durable with a model basement that will help you sleep at night for years to come.

Precautionary Waterproofing Basement Ideas

You may be building a house without expensive exterior basement tanking, or you may already have a basement that isn’t showing any signs of trouble, but there are many ways that you can prolong a basement’s good health from water. One such method is to direct rainwater away from your house with the installation of gutters and downspouts.

Ideally, your yard should slope away from your foundation at a minimum gradient of two percent. If your yard does not meet this slope, you can remedy it by introducing topsoil around the foundation. Water and basements don’t do well together. You should always keep an eye out for any water that builds up around its foundation and walls and find ways to minimize such build-ups of water.

Materials to Avoid During Waterproofing a Basement

It does not matter if your waterproof basement flooring and wall remedies are carried out on the interior or exterior; you need to pay attention to the materials that you use so that your efforts are successful. Tar is a material that you should avoid as it tends to become brittle and crack over time.

If you are working on waterproofing your basement walls, plastic should be avoided. Moisture can permeate through plastic, making it unsuitable for waterproofing basement walls. When it comes to refilling any excavations, you need to pay attention to the materials being used. Make sure that you avoid Limestone as it absorbs water that can result in your basement requiring more waterproofing in the future.

Proper Designing of a Basement

Most troubles associated with this can be linked to the designing phase of a home or a building. One must keep in mind the costs associated with waterproofing a basement from the design phase to reduce the risks of a basement being in troubled waters in the future.

Make sure that you check the soil on your property and encourage proper drainage around the foundations of your house. Furthermore, it is crucial to consider various basement ideas of successful projects while paying close attention to smaller factors such as basement lighting when you are designing your house.

In Summary

Various factors contribute to troubled basements due to water and moisture. Therefore, it is essential to consider waterproofing a basement when building a home. It is the least costly time to ensure that you have a dry and durable space that can be utilized for decades while maintaining the structural integrity and proper living conditions of your house.

Simple measures such as maintaining a proper downward slope around your foundation and checking the type of soil you have surrounding the basement. You use for refilling excavations can save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Many basements end up needing waterproofing remedies down the road due to the lack of maintenance and negligence. As we discussed in this article, signs of a basement having trouble with water can be easily detected in most cases. If you act fast and take remedial measures, you will still be able to waterproof without incurring huge costs.

Furthermore, precautionary measures we discussed in this article can save you a lot of money and trouble down the road. Therefore it is important to seriously think about the durability of your cozy basement way before signs of the need for waterproofing becomes evident.

Finally, waterproofing a basement isn’t a project that you should postpone. The longer you wait, the more expensive it will be. Therefore, if you feel that your basement needs waterproofing or if it will better off with it, you should do it.

Did this article help you figure out the best way to waterproof your basement? What are your experiences with waterproofing? Make sure that you share your opinions and experiences by commenting below.



Our Author

Archie Adams has a love for home improvement that began when he purchased his home that needed a lot of work. He is passionate about sharing his experiences and knowledge gathered over various projects to help readers find solutions for their home improvement headaches.