What Is the Best Way to Waterproof My Basement?

Light grey and spacious basement area with staircase.

Did you know that basements are likely to have problems with mold and mildew because they are some of the dampest rooms in the house? Moisture can seep through cracks, and there is high humidity due to appliances.

If you have a basement, odds are good that you want to keep water out of it. What is the best way to keep moisture out of a basement?

Luckily, there are several different measures you can take to keep your basement dry. Keep reading to learn how to waterproof your basement.

Seal Cracks

The first step you should take to prevent moisture from entering your basement is sealing holes and cracks. The most common way for water to enter basements is through cracks.

To seal cracks, you can buy a high-quality sealant. Most of the sealants come with warranties, so if the sealant doesn’t work, you won’t have to worry.

You also can have a professional do it to make sure it is done right. You can have a professional help waterproof your basement here.

Monitor Humidity Levels

The quality of air in your home is especially important if you have people with asthma, respiratory problems, and allergies. In most houses, crawl space humidity is often 50% or higher before crawl space encapsulation. After the encapsulation is done, the range drops down to 20% or lower.

Most people worry about moisture coming in from outside, but you also need to consider the humidity levels inside your basement. To control the humidity inside your basement, you should get a dehumidifier.

To prevent mold from growing in your basement, try to keep the humidity level between 30-50%.

Waterproof Your Basement Floor

Natural groundwater can cause cracks and bowing in your foundation walls, and if not addressed, serious damage to your property. Additionally, moisture often leads to bacteria and mold growth, posing serious health threats to you and your family. Basement waterproofing is one of the most important improvements you can make to your property.

If your basement only has a few cracks that need to be sealed, then you can seal them individually. If water is leaking into your basement in several areas, you should consider using a waterproof sealant for the entire floor.

Waterproofing your basement floor is essential to prevent water from entering your home. It also helps keep humidity levels down within the basement.

In addition, it’s a must to seal the basement drywall installed on the concrete floor using a water- or oil-based sealer. You can use a sealer to create a barrier between the concrete surface and water, which can prevent moisture from seeping into the pores and cracks of your concrete flooring.

While interior waterproofing is an important part of waterproofing your basement, keep in mind that you aren’t fixing the water issue. Even if water isn’t seeping into your home, it still will collect in the foundation and damage the house.

Waterproofing the basement floor is a great way to keep water out of the basement, but you also need to fix the problem that is causing the leakage.

Address Leakage Problems

It’s crucial to resolve the underlying problem of leakage in your basement aside from applying a sealer. An ongoing problem such as a wet basement can pose risks to your health, safety, and your property’s value. Moreover, it causes nasty smells, mold growth, and weakened structures.

Installing a permanent, below-the-surface drain pipe that’s capable of moving away large amounts of gutter runoff farther from your property is advisable. You can hire a waterproofing or landscaping contractor to create a sloping trench for proper pipe installation.

If you notice water dribbling into your basement encircling the plumbing pipes, plug the holes from the wet soil or surface runoff using polyurethane caulk or hydraulic cement. However, this remedy is ineffective for dealing with floor leaks due to a groundwater problem. 

Other ways to resolve leakage basement problems include reshaping your landscape, repairing footing drains, installing a curtain drain, and pumping the water out by creating an interior drain system.

Clean Your Gutters

While interior waterproofing methods help keep your basement dry, waterproofing your basement from the outside is the best way to waterproof your basement. To waterproof from the outside, you should start by cleaning your gutters.

The main purpose of gutters is to collect rainwater and direct it away from your home. If your gutters are full of leaves and debris, the water will not be able to drain.

Create an Exterior Drainage System

Creating a drainage system on the outside of your home is the best method of waterproofing your basement. While this is normally done while building the home, older homes may need a new drainage system.

A good drainage system will direct water away from the foundation of the home. This involves checking the slope of the ground near your foundation, the type of soil used, and plants growing near your foundation.

Are You Ready to Waterproof Your Basement?

Waterproofing is essential to keep the inside of your basement dry and free of mold. If you are having problems with water seeping into your basement, try out these different waterproofing methods!

Did you enjoy reading this article on how to waterproof your basement? If so, be sure to check out our other articles in the water management category for more tips!

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