Basements, by default, are underground and therefore prone to moisture. A home’s foundation is poured concrete, which is porous and can crack over time. As the ground surrounding the basement becomes saturated with water, it can lead to the walls feeling wet to the touch and the air in the basement feeling dank and moist. Left unchecked and without proper mitigation, this can lead to the growth of mold and mildew as well as structural damage.
To prevent this from occurring, waterproofing your basement is considered the best long-term solution to protecting your home from potentially irreversible structural damage. Here’s how you can get started today.
- Aluminum Foil
- Caulking Gun
- Waterproof Coating
- Hydraulic Cement
- Door & Window Sealant
Locate the Leak
Normally, finding the crack is pretty simple, but if you are not sure or if the entire wall is wet, dry a spot, then tape a piece of aluminum foil to it. After checking back about an hour later, if the foil is still dry, then that means that the leak is either located somewhere else or the result of condensation.
Clean the Area
Before applying the cement, it is important to clean the area of any residue, paint, or mold. If mold or mildew is present, it can be removed with a brush and a solution of water and bleach. Old paint can be removed with a wire brush if needed. Allow the area to dry completely before moving to the next step.
Mix and Apply the Hydraulic Cement
Once mixed, the cement will dry within 3-5 minutes. Apply to the crack with a trowel and smooth it out before it sets.
Seal Windows and Doors with Sealant
Remove any old sealant and using the caulking gun, run a line of door & window sealant along the seams of the doors, windows, and window wells.
Apply Waterproof Coating
The majority of waterproof coatings that are currently available are for use on both basement walls and floors. Once all holes and cracks have been sealed, apply the waterproof coating to all basement surfaces. Some require more than one coat to qualify for the manufacturer’s warranty, so be sure to check before applying.