Some of the hardest home improvements to see can have the biggest impact on your home’s safety and durability, and basement waterproofing is a perfect example. Basements are highly susceptible to water damage because they are built below grade. Whether you are finding some mildew and wet walls in your basement, a few water puddles after rains, or outright flooding, waterproofing can be a great way to protect your home from the elements.
Why Is Waterproofing Your Basement Important?
Some homeowners ignore flooding in their basement in the hopes that it will be a one-time incident, but failing to act on any amount of flooding in your basement can be a big mistake. If your basement has flooded once, this means it is very likely to flood again when it is faced with the same conditions.
Unfortunately, water in the basement does not only pose a threat to any valuable possessions you are storing there. It can eventually cause problems for the home’s foundation, and it can harbor mold and mildew that lead to respiratory problems for your family.
In addition, waterproofing a basement increases the value of your home. A wet basement can decrease the value of a home by 10% or more, and waterproofing it can give buyers peace of mind that their investment will be protected.
Things To Not Do When Waterproofing Your Basement
Waterproofing a basement is best left to the professionals who possess the experience and knowledge needed to carry out the job safely and effectively.
Nevertheless, many homeowners attempt to carry out some of this work on their own in an effort to save money. This can end up being even more expensive in the long run if professionals need to be called in to correct mistakes. Here is a look at some of the common errors that people make when attempting a basement waterproofing DIY.
Don’t Make Wall Repairs With Standing Water in Basement
You should not attempt to make any wall repairs while there is standing water in your basement. Be sure to remove all the water from the floor before attempting to repair a crack, as working in a flooding basement raises the risk of electrical shock or electrocution.
If you are going to carry out this work yourself, turn the power off to the basement and use a utility pump with extension cords going to an upstairs outlet to remove the water. The pump can discharge water to your yard’s surface using a garden hose. Once the basement is completely free of water, you may proceed with fixing cracks and waterproofing your basement walls.
Don’t Just Focus On The Walls
While the walls of the basement are rightfully a major focus of waterproofing efforts, you should not forget to address window well leaks. Window wells can cause basement wall leaks when they do not have a proper drainage system, as water can pool around the bottom of the window and seep inside.
Don’t Apply Sealer Over Painted Walls Or Efflorescence
If your basement walls are painted, you will need to remove the paint before you apply sealer, as it only adheres to bare masonry. Some basement walls may have several coats of paint, in which case it may be necessary to call in blasting contractors to remove it.
You will also need to remove any white deposits that have formed on the surface of your concrete walls from moisture, which is known as efflorescence. This can be done using muriatic acid.
Don’t Just Waterproof From The Exterior
Waterproofing from the outside using approaches such as installing a new drainage system makes a lot of sense, but it is also important to address the interior. Sealing the interior of the basement can help prevent future water damage caused by flooding or leaks.
An internal French drainage system or sump pump can be used for long-term protection, while sealing up any cracks found on the floors, wall and ceiling can offer some degree of protection from water getting inside. Vapor barriers can also be installed along the walls of the basement to seal out moisture.
Don’t Count On Just One Solution
Waterproofing with a sealant is an excellent method of protecting your basement from water damage, but using multiple solutions provides even better protection. Installing a drainage channel under the basement floor can help keep your walls dry and ensure that any residual water that does make its way through old basement walls is directed to a drain channel and pumped away from the basement.
In addition, using some form of ventilation can help address the moisture in the air that is often seen in our hot and humid summers. This can help discourage the growth of mold and keep your air conditioner use down.
Talk With The Basement Waterproofing Pros
The best way to get a reliably dry basement is by trusting the job to experts in the field. If you would like to learn more about the many basement waterproofing options that are available, get in touch with the basement waterproofing pros at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration LLC for answers to all your questions.