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Blog Home Maintenance Waterproofing Your Basement
Waterproofing Your Basement
Home Maintenance
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Basements are prime locations for water damage due to the fact that they tend to be surrounded by soil. Soil will release water once it has been saturated, and this water enter your basement if the space is not waterproof. Even basements with solid concrete walls are not safe, as moisture can make its way through.

dog-in-rubber-bootsProblems associated with wet basements include:

  • Paint damage and peeling
  • Mold contamination (include toxic varieties)
  • Building rot
  • Collapse of the foundation
  • Increased chance of termite damage
Many home inspectors will play close attention to the condition of the basement due to the fact that moisture problems are common. Home buyers will be made aware of any problems once the home inspection has been completed. Those who already own their home will need to consider either preventative measures or repairs should problems already exist.

Preventing Water Damage In Your Basement

One of the best preventative measures or solutions is to make sure that water is directed away from the home. Problems may start in a place you did not even consider - the roof. Dirty or improperly installed gutters will allow water runoff to occur right next to the foundation. Most downspouts allow water to exit too close to the home. This can be changed by extending the downspout so that water exits a minimum of six feet from the home. The surface where water exits should be graded so that water continues to move away from the foundation and not towards it.
 
The lawn itself could also cause problems. Should it be sloped where water comes towards the home, this will need to be corrected. Swales, or shallow ditches, can be dug around the home to allow water to collect and be transported elsewhere. Low spots will need to be evened out so that standing water does not accumulate and than make its way towards the foundation.

Sealing a Basement

Cracks or holes in basement walls could be the result of water pressure build up. They can also be the result of poor installation or normal house settling. Regardless of why they appear, they will need to be repaired in order to keep water out.
 
To stop water from entering through cracks, do the following:
  • Examine the entire basement, skipping no areas. Look at every inch and mark problem spots so that they can easily be re-located and repaired
  • Cover and fill hairline cracks with a combination of epoxy and latex cement. This combination is waterproof and will not allow water to come in through the crack
  • Fill larger cracks using mortar that consists of a mixture of cement (one part), fine sand (two parts), and a small amount of water. The mixture should be relatively stiff
  • Once all cracks or holes have been repaired, apply a coat of waterproof sealant to all wall spaces. Sealant actually penetrates the walls and creates a barrier several inches within the wall
Should you not be comfortable waterproofing your basement on your own, there are companies that offer this service. The fear of basement moisture and mold growth may cause some to have this work performed when it is not needed. A home inspection can be used to determine if a problem or potential problems exists prior to paying for such services.

Areas Served: We serve the areas listed above as well as many others. If you do not see your city, please contact us. We will be proud to serve your city.
Darin Redding
Written on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 00:00 by Darin Redding

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Last Updated on Sunday, 11 August 2013 13:43
 

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