Your basement attracts water like a magnet attracts metals. It’s up to you to set your basement up for success, which means doing the necessary things to prevent water from taking up residence where it isn’t welcome. The good news is that you can do a lot of minor maintenance to help waterproof your basement and keep the water outside – where it belongs!
Basements naturally attract moisture because they are located beneath the ground where the water tables are. This moisture can wear down your home’s foundation, as well as things inside the basement and home.
While there are times when calling in a professional waterproofing company might be the best choice, there are some simple tips you can follow at home to help seal and waterproof your basement.
Take a look at these tips!
Helpful Hints for Reducing Moisture
Before you get started, there are a few things that you should know in order to have the best results with your basement waterproofing process. We’ve put together a few simple tips that include hints for reducing moisture in your basement.
First, when you are preparing to waterproof your basement, you need to be sure there is no standing water where you are working. If you’re filling holes and cracks, make them dry before you start.
You can set up a dehumidifier in your basement to help keep moisture and humidity down. This can be done at any time, but it will also be helpful when you are waterproofing the area.
The pipes that are in your basement can lead to moisture in the air. A good way to combat that is to simply insulate the pipes. You can also check your dryer venting to make sure air is not leaking there, as that also causes moisture.
Now, let’s look at the process to waterproof your basement!
How to Waterproof Your Basement
These steps for waterproofing are best when you know that water is coming through areas by windows, window wells, or doors, or moisture is coming through cracks or holes in the foundation.
Identify & Prepare the Space
It’s usually fairly obvious where extra water might be coming from. If you notice moisture around the windows or in a window well, that can be a sign of seepage there. If you know you have cracks or holes in the foundation, those areas are probably also letting water in.
You may have more than one area to waterproof, or you can even be proactive and just attack all of these spaces to be sure.
To prep the area, it needs to be clear of things like paint or any other type of coating or substance. Always be sure to follow proper safety recommendations when handling paint and substances.
Clear the surface, then clean it well and let it dry.
Fill in Holes and Cracks
Next, you need to fill the gaps. Places like holes and cracks bring in water, and you can’t just coat that crack in a sealant and call it good.
Start by filling holes, cracks, and seeping areas with some sort of caulking. You can use caulking of your choice, but you do want to make sure that you use something waterproof.
You might also elect to use plugging materials, masonry crack filler, or even drycrete or hydraulic cement. If you have a local waterproofing company, they might be able to recommend a specific product based on the holes and cracks that you need to fill.
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash
Finish with Waterproof Coating
Once you’ve got the holes, cracks, and window areas all filled in nicely with your materials, your last step is to add a waterproof coating to these areas.
A waterproof coating can be applied to the entire wall or even the floor. You don’t have to only place it on the areas that you are repairing. This is a great way to be proactive as well.
Of course, you can also just apply it to the problem areas that you are working on. It’s totally up to you. Be sure to follow the proper instructions for application of your waterproof coating in order to get the best results and prevent the coating from absorbing into the pores of the walls and floors.
Why is My Basement Even Wet?
Did you know that a wet basement actually should not be normal? It may be perceived as normal, but when a basement is properly prepared and treated, there shouldn’t be so much moisture and water.
That being said, your basement is located in a place that does attract moisture, which is why it is essential to take the steps to protect your basement and your home.
If you want to avoid water seeping around window spaces and doors or coming through holes and cracks in your foundation, basement waterproofing is essential. Another common issue is drainage that is ineffective or improperly installed.
Your basement is more susceptible to moisture, but you shouldn’t ignore the signs of moisture as it can produce negative side effects over time.
Know When to Use a Professional
If you’ve tried all of the DIY tips and you are still having problems, it might be time to bring in a professional waterproofing service to help.
Additionally, if you have water damage or mold, a restoration company might be needed.
There are exterior waterproofing options as well. These will require a professional and tend to be the most challenging and most expensive solution. There are a few things that you can do to help move water away from the basement on your home exterior as well.
In closing, basement waterproofing is something you should do to prevent excess moisture from taking over or even ruining your basement. While moisture will naturally be drawn to the space, using some of these simple tips really will work to your advantage in the end.