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What Is the Proper Way to Waterproof a Basement? (Expert Tips)

Although water damage can occur in any portion of the house, basements are particularly vulnerable due to their location below ground. Even if the builders take precautions during construction to keep the basement watertight, water can eventually seep into the basement and walls, producing cracks.

Basement waterproofing is the technique of preventing moisture from entering the basement. It can be done on the exterior, interior, or both sides of the house to provide more thorough protection.

Waterproofing a basement helps reinforce the foundation while lowering energy costs, safeguarding the building’s structural integrity, and minimizing mold-related health problems. The source of moisture will determine the best method for waterproofing your basement. Waterproofing your basement is best left to waterproofing professionals, who will guarantee the job is done correctly. The steps for waterproofing a basement are outlined here. This information is presented by our experts who are specialized in basement waterproofing in Fort Wayne, IN.

The Procedure of Waterproofing a Basement in Steps

  • Determine the Water Source

Identifying the water source creating the problem is the first step in waterproofing your basement. Because concrete is porous, wet streaks are frequently visible to show where water is entering. You may look for these telltale streaks at the corners of windows, around any cracks, around pipes, and between mortar joints to see where water is getting in.

However, if a wall’s whole surface is damp, a more thorough analysis is required. A basic condensation test may be performed by drying one portion of the wall with a towel. Then, using duct tape, secure a one-square-foot sheet of aluminum foil to the wall.

Remove the foil after 24 hours and feel how it feels on the back. If it’s damp, water is seeping from someplace else in the basement. Installing a vent fan inside the bathroom that sends steam outdoors is a simple solution.

  • Use the Right Cement to Fill Cracks

Cracks near the bottom of basement walls are relatively uncommon. When foundations are poured, the footing is poured first, followed by the walls, which are poured after the footing has hardened. This can result in a cold joint, a weak region in the foundation between the wall and the footing, where fractures can form when the foundation changes and settles. The issue may be exacerbated by lateral pressure from the surrounding soil.

Filling these gaps with the right sort of hydraulic cement is required to seal them. This cement expands after being squeezed into gaps, pushing it further into fissures and forming a waterproof bond. Because this form of cement expands and sets quickly, professional assistance is recommended.

  • Remove Factors That Could Be Causing Flooding

In most circumstances, moist basement walls may be easily repaired. Water can leak into the basement from plants near the house’s foundation, such as flower beds and shrubs that require watering. Digging up and moving these landscaping items may be enough to solve the problem.

It will not harm to check the guttering and downspouts to ensure water flows away from home rather than toward it. In addition, you should make sure that your yard slopes away from the foundation by at least two degrees.

  • Don’t Forget to Include Interior Draining Solutions.

To keep basement walls dry, internal drainage systems may be required. A drainage canal, for example, can be built beneath the basement floor. This drain is a significant undertaking, but it leaves the home with new drywalls and sends any remaining water from the old basement walls to the drain channel, pumped away from the house.

What to Avoid During Basement Waterproofing.

When completing basement waterproofing, stay away from the following: 

  • Avoid the use of tar. Tar will ultimately become incredibly brittle and break.
  • Plastic should not be used to waterproof your basement walls. The plastic-like substance will peel away, allowing moisture to enter.
  • Backfilling with limestone should be avoided. Limestone reduces drainage capacity and has the potential to block all drainage infrastructure. Instead, use gravel.

Is It Preferable to Waterproof the Basement From the Inside or the Outside?

These basement waterproofing solutions have merits and downsides depending on your budget and structural considerations, but they will all preserve your house from additional unnecessary degradation. While more costly, exterior waterproofing gives the best effective water protection. Interior waterproofing is less expensive and easier to maintain over time.  

Can I Waterproof My Basement Without Digging?

Yes! Many homeowners prefer to conduct the alternatives instead of outside waterproofing because of the high expense, time-consuming excavation, and potential loss of beautiful landscaping.

The following are some non-dig basement waterproofing options:

  • Non-structural cracks are treated by crack injection. An expanding polyurethane is injected into ports in this procedure to fill the fracture.
  • Interior Drain tiles, also known as drainage pipes, interior drain tiles direct water away from your property via a sump pump.
  • Crawl Space Encapsulation entails the installation of a heavy-duty moisture barrier on the basement floor, which is often utilized for partial basements (not full height).

 Verdict 

Waterproofing your basement is very important because the basement contributes to the structural integrity of the building. Both methods can get the job done when left to a professional, whether done from inside or outside.

According to HomeAdvisor, the cost of waterproofing a basement ranges from $2,257  to $7,289.

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