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Tuesday, May 2, 2023

The Ultimate Guide To Basement Waterproofing And Repair

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Looking after your basement can sometimes be a little tricky. Because it's below ground, it is susceptible to issues you don’t get on the first or second floors.

Water is the major problem, but there are others, like mold and poor air quality.

For this reason, basement waterproofing and repair are critical. They can prevent water from entering your basement and protect your home from costly and hazardous problems.

This post explains what causes basement water issues and what you can do to resolve them. Here’s everything you need to know.

What Causes Basement Water Issues?

Basement water issues can result from multiple causes, including your soil type, the location of your home, and weather patterns in your local area.

Over the years, engineers have defined different types of water issues based on the pressure they exert on your basement and their nature.

Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure exerted by water in the soil against your basement walls and floor. If the soil becomes saturated with water from snowmelt or heavy rain, it can physically push water through gaps in your foundations, causing it to leak into the walls where it usually stays. 

You can also get lateral pressure. This occurs when the soil around your basement expands and contracts with moisture and temperature. It can lead to cracked openings that let water in.

You can also have plumbing or window well leaks. These require a plumber or carpenter to come over and fix them and don’t usually require as much restorative work.

Lastly, some basements experience condensation because they are much cooler than the rest of the home. Water builds up on surfaces, encouraging the buildup of mold.

How Do You Know If You Have Basement Water Issues?

You can usually tell if you have basement water issues if:

  • There are stains on your walls
  • Mold starts to grow in patches
  • You can smell something musty when you walk into the room
  • The paint starts peeling in certain areas
  • You can see a white powdery substance on concrete blocks
  • There are cracks in the walls, floors, or ceiling

How Can You Fix A Damp Basement?

There are several methods for fixing a damp basement.

One option is interior drainage systems. These collect water from inside your basement and divert it to a sump pump that pumps it out of your home.

Usually, these come in the form of perforated pipes installed along the perimeter of your basement floor or under it. They attempt to extract the water via window wells or other points.

Another approach is to use exterior drainage systems that prevent water from reaching your foundation by diverting it away from your home. They’re usually a combination of French gutters, downspouts, swales, and dry wells.

You can also try applying an epoxy floor coating if you have water coming up through the ground.

Ideally, the entire basement should be surrounded by a waterproof membrane. This sheeting prevents water from passing through the soil into the walls under high pressure.

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