How To Effectively Waterproof Your Basement

Construction & Contractors Articles

If you're having issues with a wet or damp basement, you need to tackle it as soon as possible. If not, you're looking at the possibility of water damage and mold growth that can spread to the rest of your home. Fortunately, waterproofing your basement isn't a difficult task as long as you know what to do. Whether you're approaching the task from inside or outside the home, here's what you need to know about doing it right.

Locating the Source of Moisture

If you've noticed moisture dripping down your walls or collecting on the floor, the very first step is to figure out if the water is coming from the inside or the outside. In other words, is your basement actually leaking or is there a problem with humidity?

Testing this is relatively easy. Take a piece of aluminum foil and tape it to your interior basement wall. Leave it in place for at least a day and note which side the moisture's on. If there's water on the outside of the foil (facing you), more than likely you just need to place a dehumidifier in your basement. But if the moisture is on the back of the foil, then the water is coming from the soil, and you'll need to waterproof your basement on the interior or the exterior.  

Interior Waterproofing

1. Concrete waterproof coatings. These coatings are extremely thick, making them just like concrete once they dry. They can be used on both concrete and masonry, and they leave a nice-looking finish, especially if you give the brush a swirl as you coat. The only caveat here is they can't be used on painted walls.

2. Densifiers. These are silicate-based sealers, also ideal for walls that lack a coat of paint or other type of sealant. Once applied, it immediately begins to soak into the concrete, and the sealer reacts with substances within the concrete or brick. The end result is a surface that's harder than before and impenetrable to water. Densifiers won't flake away or peel off, and you can paint over them if you wish.

3. Waterproof paint. If you're looking to knock out two birds with one stone, consider waterproofing and painting at the same time. This kind of paint is much sturdier than regular interior paint, and it provides varying degrees of water resistance, depending on your needs. It can be used on concrete, masonry, wood, and even water tanks. It comes in multiple colors to suit your stylistic preferences, and if you have any left over, you can use it in your bathrooms to help prevent moisture-damaged walls.

4. Drainage system. If necessary, you may want to have a drainage system put into the floors of your basement. From there, you can hang plastic sheeting on the walls. Any water that seeps through will drip down the back of the plastic and into to the drainage system, with the collected water removed by a sump pump.

5. Patch. No matter which interior waterproofing option you go with, it's vital to patch any cracks and holes in the walls with either a polyurethane caulk or epoxy filler.  

Exterior Waterproofing

There are numerous ways to prevent water from leaking into your basement from the outside. Start with your gutters and see how well they work. Then watch what happens during a heavy rain. Is water collecting along the foundation, or do you have enough of a slope that rainwater flows away from your home?

Depending on your observations, you may get by with extending your gutters and downspouts. But if the sloping is bad, consider having a landscaper re-grade your lawn to redirect water away from the property. There are also other tricks, like digging a dry creek in the yard and filling it with river rock. When it rains, the water collects in the "creek" and flows around the home instead of into it.

As a last resort, you may need to excavate the soil around the foundation, then have the exterior of your basement waterproofed via coatings, panels, and drainage systems that direct water away from the property through gravity or a sump pump. 

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15 May 2017

Exploring Contractor's Hand Tools

Welcome to my site, my name is Hugo Ciela. I'd like to talk to you about hand tools used by contractors of all kinds. Although air and power tools frequently make jobs easier, and sometimes even more enjoyable, hand tools have not lost their place in this industry. Many jobs cannot be completed without a hand tool or two due to their versatility and precision. Contractors of all types, ranging from roofers to foundation specialists, keep a plethora of hand tools in their worksite kit. I will discuss the types of hand tools you might see in those kits. I will also explore all of the different ways they can be used. Please stick around to learn more information about contractor's hand tools.