Best 4 Steps to Basement Waterproofing in 2022

Air that feels a bit damp in a cool basement may be a fairly minor issue. If there’s dampness in the basement because water is actually seeping through the walls, however, then you’ll need basement waterproofing to prevent long-term damage.

4 Steps to Basement Waterproofing

1. Assess and Document

The first thing to do is to look around and get an idea of the extent of any problems. Keep a list of anything you find because some of the signs might only be occasional or seasonal, and you’re going to want to have a record when you look for advice.

Search for things like condensation on the walls, standing water, or stains indicating where water has been. Mold, and the risk that goes with it, is also important to recognize.

2. Ensure Effective Exterior Drainage

The critical part of any waterproofing solution is making sure that water is able to drain away from the exterior of the foundation. Water is heavy and exerts a lot of pressure against anything it can reach. When groundwater saturates the soil right up against your foundation there are several mechanisms by which it will work its way into your basement.

The only effective way to correct areas of inadequate drainage is to excavate to the base of the exterior foundation, removing the material that has been trapping groundwater against your house. The gap then needs to be filled in with stone in such a way that water is able to flow and is channeled away from the base of the house. Done properly, this removes the largest source of stress on your waterproofing.

3. Repair Interior Damage

Measures like fixing cracks and applying sealant are what most people think of when they contemplate waterproofing a basement. It is important that these things get done, but you need to remember that even if the cracks in your basement are where you find damp spots, they are not the actual source of the water. Repairing and sealing the interior only makes sense if the exterior drainage has been addressed.

It can be tempting to try to save money by using an off-the-shelf kit to fix any cracks yourself, but it’s a job that should be left to the professionals. Reliable Basement and Drain technicians have the training, and equipment like pressurized crack injection systems, to make repairs that are more than just cosmetic.

4. Monitoring and Maintenance

A professional waterproofing solution should come with a warranty for several years, but you should still monitor your basement for any signs of dampness. It’s always best to catch any issues as early as possible.

Downspouts and drains might need periodic cleaning to make sure that they aren’t getting blocked and spilling water. If you’ve been fixing up your house with the intention of selling it, be aware that you may need to disclose any unresolved issues to potential buyers.

Water accumulating in your basement will eventually cause problems, whether it’s the long-term health risks that come with mold, or the acute damage and expense of actual flooding. Waterproofing your basement is a worthwhile investment, but it can only be done properly by experienced professionals, and it has to start with the ground outside the foundation, where the water is coming from.

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