Are you worried about water leaks? You should be. 10% of homes water leaks that waste 90 gallons each day. That’s 90 gallons that may be leaching into your basement, slowly eroding your foundation. Fortunately, you can prevent these dangers easily.
When you’re ready to discover the 5 simple steps to waterproofing a basement, read on.
Waterproofing a Basement Starts With Waterproof the Walls
If you find water in your basement, there’s a good chance you have a leak in your foundation. Moisture seeps in through cracks in your concrete or brick walls from the outside. It results in gradual water damage to the floor as well as ever-expanding cracks in the walls. The best way to start waterproofing your basement is to examine your walls for cracks. Approach your project during a sunny spell, so the ground outside is dry. It’ll decrease the chances that water leaks inside while you work.
Then clean the surface of the foundation. You can use warm, soapy water and a nylon or wire brush. You won’t need to push hard, just be thorough. Then apply hydraulic cement to the entire foundation. Be certain to fill the areas with the cracks. You may need to go over them more than once after the cement dries. It sets and hardens quickly. Though most hydraulic cement advertises that it’s safe to apply even during water’s seepage, we recommend you wait to apply it on a dry day. Be cautious. After you mix the hydraulic cement, it starts to set within 10 to 15 minutes. Once that happens, you won’t be waterproofing basement walls with that mess. You’ll have to throw it out and mix a fresh batch.
Repair Damage to the Water Pipes
Leaky pipes are the other main cause of water damage in basements. Identify your problem pipes, starting with the ones inside your house. Follow water and sewage pipes from your bathroom and kitchen down to your basement. Use a flashlight and dry towel to check for condensation along the joints. Run water through the pipes for 5 minutes before you begin. Next, check under and around your water heater. They often spring small leaks before they completely give out. Make sure to purchase a water pump as part of your contingency plan for unexpected water seepage in your basement. Basements are underground. If they fill with water, it’s mighty difficult to get rid of the water without a specialized pump.
Also, check the pipes outside your homes, such as hose and irrigation pipes. If they crack in cold weather, they’ll continue to leak, pooling against your foundation. Look for mud or puddles on your lawn that shouldn’t be there. If you find those areas, you’ll need to dig them up to expose the pipes underneath. You can use traditional tools, such as spades and shovels. You can also use more modern approaches such as hydro excavation nozzles that do the digging for you. Once the pipe is exposed, seal it and test it. Then it’s time to bury it back up again.
Create a Slopping Foundation Around the Basement
A slopping foundation is one that slopes away from your home rather than inclining towards it. It’s far and away the best way to keep water from leaking into your basement space and improve your exterior basement waterproofing. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t realize the importance of such a foundation until after their house is built. Yes, it should be part of your original blueprint. But if you bought your home from someone else or you just plain forgot, don’t fret. You can include it in your next renovation or remodeling project.
Check for Clogged Drains
Another source of water that may force its way into your basement comes from backups in your drainage system. Fortunately, clogged drains usually leave signs. Water backs up in the drains and overflows, leaving puddles, water trickles, and other obvious indications. You should check your water drainage system at least twice a year, once in spring and again in fall. You want to make sure it’s running well when winter hits. You also want to make sure that winter didn’t clog your system come spring. Gutters are notorious for getting clogged. Clean your gutters regularly. They fill with not only leaves but also muck and other detritus of all kinds. Check your gutters for leaks. Ensure that you point them away from the house. Make certain the water drains downhill away from the house after it leaves the gutter.
Condensation on pipes may be a point of concern, especially if your basement is finished or has wood floors. The condensation builds up on cold water pipes that are cooler than the ambient air around them. That’s especially true of humid basements that don’t receive direct sunlight. To avoid this problem, wrap your cold-water pipes with foam insulation. It’s one of the least expensive basement waterproofing materials on the market. It’s also easy to install. You can find it at any home hardware store. If you live in a cold climate, wrapping your pipes has the added benefit of keeping your pipes from freezing.
Although waterproofing a basement isn’t simple, it’s a necessary task if you want to avoid monumental repair damages in the future. The cost of materials is marginal, but the cost of labor can be pricey. If you want to minimize the expense, make it a DIY summer project. If you found this information useful, spring over to our exceptional library full of first-rate handyman resources. So long and good luck!