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Waterproofing Your Basement
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement
Are you caught between a comfortable basement and a wet spot?
Sometimes the only thing stopping homeowners from a basement remodel
are the problems associated with built up moisture. Waterproofing
your basement can be done without wasted time and effort if you
attack the problems in the right ways.
Generally, the main moisture issues in basements are related to
leaks and seepage coming through your basements walls and floors and
also condensation. There are several causes which may or not include
poor workmanship, shifting foundation, cracks in the walls and
floors, and built up water pressure from the outside. Rest assured,
there are ways to solve these issues.
It is very common for basement walls and floors to let moisture in
through cracks and holes. Before you can begin waterproofing, you
must first fill these cracks and holes. Small hairline cracks can
usually be filled with a waterproofing paint or sealer. However,
larger cracks will need to be repaired before you begin to
waterproof. You can usually mix a mortar of cement and sand to patch
If you come to find out that the water seeping through your wall is
a result of outside pressure, you may have a larger problem on your
hands. This usually requires you to cut out a dovetail of the entire
cracked portion and then repair.
After patches and repairs have been made, you can begin to
waterproof the wall and floors. You want to make sure that the walls
and floors have been swept and vacuumed, removing all dust and dirt.
Also, you will need to remove any paint from walls for most
waterproofing mixes will not adhere to such surfaces. Next, apply a
fine spray to moisten the walls. You want the walls to be damp but
not covered with water.
Once you have prepared the damaged area, you can apply your
waterproofing mix. Follow the instruction manual with all mixes.
Generally you will need to add water. Start off by applying the
mixture from top to bottom. Focus mainly on the problem areas. Once
the mixture has settled and dried, apply a layer of water and let
that soak in over night. Repeat these steps for a second coat.
Additional ways to control seepage include readjusting gutters,
re-grading the ground around your home, and replacing walkways and
patios. If this doesn't solve your problem, you may need to invest
in a sump pump and drain system. If you come to find out that your
moisture problem is a result of condensation, you can usually limit
this problem by opening windows during hot summer days to let in