Flooding is caused by many different factors, including poor construction and wear and tear. According to the basement waterproofing contractors at HydroHelp911, wet basements are so prevalent that more than half of all homes in the US have had a flooded or wet basement. Most of those homes are susceptible to basement mold.
Water frequently permeates the foundation during heavy rains, snow melt, or in areas where the water level is high. If you come across dampness and a musty odor in your basement, regardless of how minor it is, you must address it quickly before severe damage to your home occurs. The damage can range from structural instability to mold and mildew growth.
Common short-term fixes, such as coating the inside of your basement wall or clearing gutters, will not solve wet basement problems. Instead, waterproofing is a series of interconnected projects that work together to keep your basement as dry as possible. Taking the necessary precautions will help to avoid nightmares and costly repairs. A good basement waterproofing process can prevent mold, mildew, and musty odors in the basement.
Basements are like the foundation of investments, and it is an excellent idea to protect them.
Ways to Protect & Waterproof Your Basement
FOUNDATION CRACK MAINTENANCE
Water can enter your basement through cracks in your foundation walls and flood it. The use of waterproofing paint or filling cracks with sealant is a typical basement waterproofing solution. Basement walls and floors can be sealed with sealers. They provide a quick but temporary waterproofing solution that is simple to apply.
Keep in mind that waterproofing paint and sealants will only protect your foundation wall from minor water intrusion and damage. According to HydroHelp911 basement waterproofing experts, if large amounts of water are flooding in through the wall, the paint will not be able to keep it out.
Gutters collect rainwater and channel it away via downspouts. Consider installing gutters if your home does not already have them. Gutters with good downspouts and downspout extensions are an excellent way to keep water away from the foundation’s edge and the basement. If you already have gutters, ensure they’re clean and not clogged with leaves and branches. The basement waterproofing team at HydroHelp911 recommends considering installing gutter guards to avert debris from clogging your gutters.
Downspouts, like gutters, should be installed appropriately. Downspouts collect and disperse water from gutters away from the house. If your downspouts are poorly placed, water will gather next to your home and permeate into the ground, eventually leaking into the cracks in your foundation. Check that downspouts are a minimum of 6 feet away from the house.
CONTROL CONDENSATION AND HUMIDITY
Condensation and humidity can cause a damp basement. Condensation occurs when cold water reacts with warm air. You can insulate your pipe with the help of foam insulation to prevent condensation from forming. You can also protect the basement walls to help prevent condensation. A dehumidifier can be used to reduce humidity levels.
INSTALL A SUMP PUMP
Installing a sump pump will almost certainly solve your flooding issue. A sump pump collects water in your basement and pumps it outside and away from your house. If you already have a sump pump in the basement, you must keep it in good working order to avoid blockages. Add water into the sump pit to test your sump pump. If the pump starts automatically, your sump pump is operational. As a precautionary measure, many prudent homeowners install a backup sump pump. This will keep the pump running even if there is a power outage or if the primary pump is overwhelmed by heavy rain.
Tips for Basement Waterproofing
1. Don't work on walls while there is still water in the basement.
During the rainy season, a crack in a basement wall can let an inch or two of water in, but before trying to repair the crack, make sure all the water has been removed from the floor. Working in a flooded basement increases the risk of electrocution or electrical shock. Turn off the basement’s power and then use a powerful pump to remove the water. The water will be discharged from the pump to the surface of your yard via a garden hose. When the basement is dry, inspect, repair, and waterproof the basement walls.
2. Use hydraulic cement to fill cracks.
Another common location for cracks is at the base of the basement walls. When a foundation is poured, the footing a broad flat bottom made of concrete and reinforced steel designed to support the walls is run first, followed by the walls after the bases harden. Although this is standard construction practice, it can result in a “cold joint,” the weakest point in the foundation between the wall and footing in which cracks can form due to foundation shifting and settling and lateral pressure from the soil.
3. Check for window well leaks.
Window wells are a frequent source of basement wall leaks because they retain water if a proper drainage system beneath the well was not installed when the house was built. Water can collect around the bottom of a basement window and then seep in. While installing a window well drainage system after the fact is challenging, consider excavating approximately two feet lower in the thriving area and filling the space with crushed rock to help rainwater disperse instead of collecting in the window well. Then, using a masonry-safe caulk, caulk around the window. Also, install a sloped window well cover as well.
4. To bare interior basement walls, use a masonry waterproofing product.
If your foil test revealed that water is soaking through your basement walls and leaving them wet, use high-quality waterproof paint to seal the interior of the walls. This type of sealant comes pre-mixed and applies similarly to a coat of paint. When the team at HydroHelp911 carries out the work of waterproofing basement walls, they brush or roll the paint on thick enough to fill all of the small surface holes, then enable it to dry entirely before applying a second coat. The sealant forms a watertight bond to prevent further moisture from penetrating when completely dry.
5. Do not apply sealer over painted walls or efflorescence.
If you or a previous owner painted the basement walls, you’d need to remove the paint before applying a sealer, which only adheres well to bare masonry. It’s common to find multiple coats of paint in older homes, which are best removed with a sandblaster by blasting contractors. It can also be removed by wire brushing, a time-consuming but inexpensive project.
Before applying sealant, it is also necessary to remove efflorescence.
WHAT STEPS NEED TO BE TAKEN TO KEEP WATER AWAY FROM THE BASEMENT?
Sometimes the solution to wet basement walls is straightforward. Remove foundation plantings, such as bushes and flowerbeds that require watering and thus allow water to seep into the basement. Inspect and, if necessary, repair guttering and downspouts to ensure that water is directed away from your home. It’s also good to slope your yard away from the foundation by at least 2%.
Consider installing an exterior drain tile system in addition to the steps outlined above. Excavating the soil around the outside of your basement is required to establish a perforated drain at the footing level.
A waterproof membrane is frequently installed on the outside of the basement wall. The system also necessitates installing a buried sump pump where water collects and is pumped to the surface. This is strictly a foundation contractor’s job, but it can significantly reduce basement water problems.
WHAT EXACTLY IS BASEMENT WATERPROOFING, AND WHY SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?
As the name implies, basement waterproofing is simply the process of waterproofing your basement. While basements are usually damp, a wet basement indicates more significant problems. Mold can grow and multiply in a wet basement or a basement that retains moisture. Black mold can spread quickly and endanger the structure of your home and the health of your family.
If you use the basement for storage, you risk getting the items stored there wet. Furthermore, if you have a leaky basement, the value of your property may suffer.
Waterproofing your basement protects the value and structure of your home, improves its functionality, keeps your stored items dry, and contributes to the health and wellness of your family members.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY BASEMENT IS LEAKING?
The most obvious signs of a leaking basement are a wet floor, moist spots, and water trickling down the walls. A leaky basement can also promote mold and mildew growth, emit a musty odor, and have cracks, peeling paint, and bubbles in the wallpaper. Efflorescence is a whitish powdery layer on the surface of block walls that indicates water intrusion. This is also one of the first signs that your basement’s exterior waterproofing fails.