Basements are the forgotten areas of our homes; they’re dark, dank, and usually left unfinished. And while they may not get used as much as they probably should, they still need to be protected. Basements tend to flood in the rainy season and can quickly become a swamp of water because often it is difficult for homeowners to waterproof their basements properly due to the number of outlets near window wells. Waterproofing your basement will not only protect it from water damage but will also increase the life of your home.
7 Methods of Waterproofing Your Basement
1. Install a Sump Pump
A sump pump is a device that pumps out excess water. It is a long-term solution to waterproofing your basement, which will help prevent water from reaching your basement in the first place by collecting it and pumping it out. These pumps work well for small areas of dampness in the basement or under a crawlspace. Water is collected (usually pumped), then directed to the outside of your home through a hose so that it can disperse throughout your yard.
2. Install a French Drain System
The main reason basements become damp and musty is due to the amount of water permeating through the ground. French drains are dug in sloping areas surrounding your home to redirect this water. It will help prevent any excess moisture from reaching your basement. You must search deep enough (about 10 inches) as you explore so the water does not fill up the trench. French drains are effective in spring or rainy seasons where dampness is a constant threat.
3. Install a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier is a device that removes excess moisture from the air. They can do this with a central air duct-based or portable unit. A central air duct-based unit will require the installation of an electrical junction box, but it works well in small basements or crawlspaces. Duct-based units must be installed near the moisture source, typically at a window or door that leaks water and allows for natural ventilation to take place where you could use a dehumidifier.
4. Install An Interior Drainage
Installing a drainage system in your basement requires a sump pump and minimal work. You may have seen this system installed by your neighbors when they renovated their basements, as it is pretty standard. The drainage system is set up on the basement floor and can be accessed from outside of your home, allowing easy clean-up. These drains are installed about one foot away from the foundation wall. You’ll need to find a location (usually under a window) where the drainage system will be installed and ensure it is waterproof and watertight.
5. Install Waterproofing Caulk on All Openings
Cracks and openings in the basement can be sealed with waterproofing caulk. It is recommended for holes in your foundation and windows, which can accumulate water between the panes. Using waterproofing sealing materials will allow you to extend the life of your home by protecting it from water damage. Because this method is cheap and easy, it’s a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts.
6. Exterior Drainage
When your basement floods, it’s usually high water table flooding. The water is pushed up through the ground and pours into your basement. When you have exterior drainage, you constantly pump water out so that it doesn’t accumulate and then flood your basement. The good idea is to install a breakable spillway in the foundation wall to help direct the rising water away from your basement.
7. Use Waterproof Paint
Waterproofing paint is a good option if you want a quick fix to your basement. Waterproofing paint comes in different styles and colors and is usually used to block windows, doors, or any other points of entry that can flood your basement. It is inexpensive to protect against water seepage from the outside and rainwater that can build up on the roof and cause damage.
Reasons Why You Need To Waterproof Your Basement
1. Cost Savings
When you waterproof your basement, it is much cheaper than if you fix the problem when it occurs. At some point, you may consider waterproofing your basement in the future. Still, for now, the cost of repairing water damage will ultimately outweigh the cost of buying a basement waterproofing system. If your basement flood you might want to consider moving all of your items to a storage unit before carrying out repair work.
2. Increase Home Value
When water-damaged items are left in the basement long enough to dry out and decrease their value, you can still make some money by selling them on a resale market.
3. Prevent Flooding
When your basement floods, it can lead to mold and mildew in your home. It is because any excess water that infiltrates into the house will cause damage.
4. Decrease Your Utility Bills
A flooded basement is a constant source of moisture that can lead to mold or mildew growth, which will eventually cost you money in utility bills if you let it go on for too long. It’s also important to note that a flooded basement can cause your air conditioner to break down, which only adds to your utility costs.
5. Prevent Damage to Your Property
The longer your basement floods, the more damage it can cause; pipes can develop leaks and cracks, while floors and walls in your basement could be damaged by too much moisture. This excess water can also corrode exposed surfaces in the home.
6. Increase the Life of Your Home
Waterproofing your basement is an investment in your home. You will not only be protecting your floors and items in the basement, but you will also increase your home’s life by preventing water damage.
Basement waterproofing is a foundation repair project that will add value to your home and prolong its life by preventing water damage. If you are experiencing any problems with excess moisture or leaks in your basement, contact a professional basement waterproofer to help you develop a plan for long-term protection. They will be able to test your home and give you several different options based on your needs.