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How to Waterproof a Basement

Tips on How to Waterproof a Basement to Lock the Moisture Out

The activity to waterproof a basement is to stop water from entering the basement and includes removing the basement water and preventing it from reentering. Read on..
DecorDezine Staff
Last Updated: Sep 26, 2018
An important task that has to be completed before the rainy season starts, is to make the basement water-resistant, as accumulation of water is a common problem found in many households.
This process employs different techniques to stop water from entering the basement. Some of these include sealing the leaks, closing the cracks, repairing holes, packing floor joints, etc.
Waterproofing the basement is a task of utmost importance in any household and especially in regions where there is a possibility of the water table rising. A rise in the water table leads to an increase in the hydrostatic pressure, thereby allowing water to enter through the cracks present in the foundation walls.
The cracks develop due to the constant contraction and expansion of the wall joints of footings (shallow foundations). Along with the mentioned problems, decay, mold, and other problems are also caused. Spalling is the process of deterioration of masonry surfaces due to high levels of humidity and moisture.
To avoid damp basements, installing gutters, drainage pipes, spouts, and metal window wells, etc., are good options. Cleaning the debris surrounding these channels is also necessary in order to prevent clogging.
Waterproofing a Basement
Interior Water Drainage
Basement Interior Water Drainage
It is the technique by which the negative effects of basement water are mitigated, and is implemented in the form of interior drainage systems. Most of these systems are patented by the Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA).
The main function of these systems is to drain the underground water along the foundation footers. The water is channeled through PVC pipes or a French drain. The sump pump system then removes the water from the basement.
Exterior Waterproofing
Basement Foundation Waterproofing
As compared to interior drainage, where the water already present in the basement is removed, in exterior waterproofing, the water is prevented from entering the foundation walls of the basement. This technique stops the process of molding or wicking.
Earlier, the process was not as effective and was all about damp-proofing the basement. Asphalt-based products were used as materials. Nowadays, polymer products such as Tremco's Paraseal membrane are used for the same. Polymer products last longer than the asphalt ones, and prevent water seepage much more effectively than tar-based products.
Besides the mentioned solutions, simple measures such as keeping the basement window open to reduce moisture, installing an exhaust fan, painting the walls with water-resistant paint and sealants are a few other simple measures.
The increase in moisture is often marked with the presence of radon gas. To detect this gas, one can use an activated charcoal canister. Following the aforementioned techniques and procedures will definitely help in basement waterproofing.