Handy tips on how to waterproof a basement

Are you always hit by a musty odor every time you get into the basement? You are not alone. Most homes sit on a useful yet unexploited space: the basement. A damp basement is not only a great inconvenience but also a giant breeding ground for all kinds of harmful fungi and molds. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not know what to do about their leaky or damp basements. Here is how to waterproof your basement:

Stop water from entering your basement

Before you run to get a jackhammer to break up the basement slab, you need to stop moisture from getting into the basement in the first place. First, check if the ground next to the house is sloping away from the building. Ideally, the ground should slope away by about 6 inches for the first 10 feet.

Normally, backfilled dirt around the foundation settle down lower compared to the surrounding soil which causes the ground to sink and slope towards the building. If necessary, heap up more dirt against the foundation to create a slope against the foundation.

Get rid of plants that are close to the foundation

Rotting roots can allow surface water to get into your foundation. To preempt this problem, get rid of plants that are too close to the foundation. In addition, consider planting flowers, shrubs and other plants not less than 12 inches away from the foundation and make sure they are on a slope directing water away from the building.

Interior waterproofing

Apart from preventing water from getting into the foundation, there are many techniques you can to use prevent water from getting into the basement from the inside. Here are some of the top interior techniques on how to waterproof a basement:

Silicate-based concrete sealers

These are ideal for walls that are not sealed or painted. Sealers embed into brick or concrete, forming a waterproof surface.

Plastic panels and sheets

These only work effectively when combined with interior drainage systems. Rather than stop moisture from getting through the wall, they stop water from destroying things stored in the basement.

Concrete waterproofing coating

These cement-like coatings stick permanently to walls and concrete when they are dry. They are easy to apply since all you need is a heavy brush with natural fibers.

Waterproofing paint

It looks similar to the ordinary wall paint, however, when using it, you need to apply it much more thickly compared to regular paint. It is ideal for homeowners who prefer DIY approaches and can be applied over painted surfaces. Sani-Tred is a basement waterproofing paint that has been used by over 100,000 customers.

Exterior waterproofing

If you are seeking for the most effective technique of how to waterproof a basement, consider using the exterior waterproofing approach. However, this method of getting rid of moisture in the basement does not come cheap.

Exterior waterproofing involves digging around the building until you get to the foundation. Once there, you install a waterproof coating with drainage panels. These panels enable the water to flow to an exterior drain at the bottom of the foundation. From there, the water is conducted by gravity or by a sump pump away from the foundation into another area of the property.

The SANI-TRED System is an easy to use permanent solution for basement waterproofing

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