What Is Done to Waterproof a Basement
Expert Opinion on What Is Done to Waterproof a Basement
A wet or leaky basement is a major concern that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.
Are you wanting to redesign your basement space to use as part of a finished living space in your home?
Regardless of whether you are using the area to remodel or turn it into a place for extra storage, you will need to make sure it is free of water damage, and prevent future water from seeping in.
Repairing water damage, removing toxic mould or mildew, and cleaning up damage is costly and time consuming but will be worth the effort once you are able to enjoy the newly improved and dry area below your home. If at all possible, it’s better to prevent it by waterproofing your basement from the start.
The first question you will need to discover the answer to is, “What is causing the moisture that is showing up in your basement”?
Basements by nature are susceptible to collecting water in one way or another. Whether it’s from a full fledged leak, improper draining, or from ground water in the soil seeping in through the floors and walls. In order to get to the root of the problem and fix the issue, you must first discover where the water is seeping in or threatening to leak through to the inside. Some of the most common basement water issues stem from an improper slope on the ground near the foundation, improper drainage systems, poorly installed or malfunctioning gutters, condensation causing wet spots and mould, cracks in the walls or floors, or hydrostatic pressure occuring from water pressure building up around the outside of the walls.
Your first step in completing the waterproofing project well is to find out which issues are specific to your basement water problems.
When moisture is getting into the inside of the basement, it is usually because of something happening on the outside of the home. However, do-it-yourself exterior waterproofing can get tricky, costly, and time consuming. This is especially true if it wasn’t done properly during the building of the home immediately after the foundation was laid.
Exterior waterproofing a foundation will require a great deal of work. You will first need to excavate the surrounding soil. Once excavated, a sealant consisting ideally of one of the best basement waterproofing products available, will need to be applied to the outside of the walls. A drainage system will also need to be repaired or installed for best results.
Waterproofing basement walls from inside, or interior waterproofing, can be done at any time, during or after construction.
Waterproofing using the interior method can even be done as part of a waterproofing basement DIY project fairly quickly. If you catch a leak at the first sign of a crack, your job will take a lot less time and require a lot less interior basement waterproofing systems and sealing products.
Sealing the interior of the basement uses sealants that are usually in liquid form that is sprayed, brushed, or rolled onto the walls and floors. After the sealant has been applied, an interior drainage system will benefit your attempt to keep your basement dry.
Interior drainage options come in a few different forms, but all will direct water away from the walls to keep the inside living space dry. Also, consider adding a dehumidifier or a dehumidifier product to reduce moisture inside.
Waterproof for Seal the Water Out
The main idea of any waterproofing method or product is to seal out the water while also directing it away from the basement. It may sound like common sense, but sealing water out of a foundation that has already been built and in use for years can become tedious and tricky with many obstacles to work around. Sealing water out is generally done in two main ways to form a barrier, or membrane.
The two many ways to keep water out is by using an emulsion or liquid polymer membrane to create a tight seal. When is it best to use the emulsion, and when should you opt for the liquid? Which one is best for you and your basement sealing needs?
Waterproof With Emulsion
Emulsion, or sometimes called bituminous, waterproofing membranes are the oldest method to keep a space dry. These membranes are petroleum based and use asphalt, or an asphaltic waterproofing agent. The membrane using a bituminous method is applied in an emulsion form. It is extremely resistant to any moisture potentially seeping through, but it often requires reinforcing agents such as fiberglass webbing to ensure its strength.
Sometimes, it will benefit you a great deal to hire a professional to get this work done. One common product is a rubberized asphalt, which is challenging and often difficult to apply properly with a roller or a trowel needed.
Waterproof With a Liquid Foundation
One of the easiest ways to form a waterproofing membrane on the inside is with a liquid membrane. Compared to an emulsion barrier, liquid is much easier to apply, and it ends up with a smoother finish. Liquid membrane finishes are also a lot more cost effective. They cover out-of-the-way, hard to reach crevices, so you can seal off every nook and cranny.
Another membrane method is elastometric products and are recommended for basements that already have water damage. They are very durable and use urethane or polyurethane as the base. Once applied, this type of waterproofing is long-lasting, making it very cost effective and more affordable over the long run even though it costs more upfront. Easily apply with a paintbrush.
Waterproof for life
Whatever waterproofing basement product or method you decide on, make sure it will be long lasting. The last thing you will want to do is redo all of the time-consuming work all over again a year or so later. Select the best basement waterproofing products for exterior or interior jobs.
Depending on the extent of your water damage or water prevention needs, you may be able to turn it into a DIY project. The most important thing to consider is to make sure it’s done right.