Repairing And Preventing A Wet Basement

3 November 2018
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Water in your basement, whether it's from a leak, a flood, or external source, can lead to extensive damage and expensive repairs if it isn't promptly dealt with. If you have water damage in your basement, not only is it important to fix the problem quickly but after repairs are made it preventative methods must be put in place to avoid the risk of future problems. Here are a few tips to repair the source of leaks and the different basement waterproofing options to prevent future problems.

Start at the Source

Before any type of basement waterproofing can be utilized, it is essential to start with the reason the basement is already wet. The first thing to do is repair any cracks in the basement walls and flooring.

Tie rod holes - It is common for foundation walls to be built with reinforced tie rods. The tie rods stick out of the foundation and are sealed on the outside; however, the seals sometimes wear down. Hydraulic cement can be used to repair these holes.

Soil saturation - The soil around the basement is typically sloped to prevent water seepage into the basement, but when the soil slope has shifted it saturates the soil which gradually seeps into the basement walls. The slope gradient must be recreated to prevent soil saturation.

Cracks in the concrete - Whether there are cracks in the walls, floor or in the seam where the floor meets the walls, a polyurethane solution will work well to fill in the crack and prevent further seepage.

Basement Waterproofing

Once the source of the leaks has been repaired, it is important to waterproof the basement walls and floor. There are a variety of options to choose from for keeping the basement dry, including:

Damp-proofing - This is a type of asphalt-based coating that is generally applied to the foundation when a home is being built. Damp-proofing is only intended to keep out soil moisture, but not water that enters your basement through cracks, holes, and gaps.

Basement waterproofing paint and primer - Basement waterproofing pain is a common DIY waterproofing choice. The majority of waterproofing paints are a thicker version of acrylic paint that is used to paint the walls of other rooms in your home. Applying waterproofing pain on the interior basement walls generally won't stop the water from seeping through porous concrete or cracks. 

Also, bubbles may eventually form under the paint, causing it to peel off the wall. This type of product is typically only a cosmetic fix and will not work at all if the source of the leak isn't addressed.

Exterior drainage systems - Exterior basement waterproofing involves digging down to the foundation footer to replace or install drainage pipes, known as a French drain system.  In some situations, a waterproof membrane is applied to the exterior of the foundation wall to prevent water seepage. Exterior waterproofing is sometimes more expensive than other methods due to the excavation that is required; however, this is the best resource for preventing water from getting into the basement.

Interior drainage systems - The most popular way to keep your basement dry is by capturing and removing the water with a sump pump system and a perimeter drain. This method involves the interior perimeter of the basement floor being jackhammered and a drainage pipe is installed, which routes the water coming into the basement to a sump pump that removes the water. Interior basement waterproofing is the least disruptive method, and it is generally less expensive than installing an exterior system.

A basement that is not properly waterproofed may lead to other problems inside of your home. Besides having a damp, musty, and moldy basement, a wet basement may lead to rotting wood and poor indoor air quality inside of your home. A dry basement can be used as a safe extra living space.

For more information, contact a company like Sohan and Sons.