Featured News 2012 Home Improvement Tips: How to Waterproof Your Basement

Home Improvement Tips: How to Waterproof Your Basement

Basements are an excellent place to store your holiday decorations, store unwanted furniture, hide presents, or create a game room, guest room, or bed room. Whatever you decide to do with the space under your home, it's very important that you make sure the walls are waterproofed. If you fail to waterproof your basement, chances are that you will incur heavy damage when the heavy rains come. A basement that is not properly waterproofed will have leaks and seepage. Water will come through the walls and into the space, soaking carpet and damaging goods. If you are selling your home, it is important that you waterproof your basement before doing so.

Also, if you are a landlord, you will want to make sure that the basement of your property is waterproofed so that your tenants will not complain about damaged assets later on. When you want to waterproof your basement, you can hire a variety of home improvement crews to do the job for you, or you can do it yourself. According to ACE hardware, before your start waterproofing, look for cracks in the basement walls. Sometimes, a house may be constructed poorly, and have cracks in the walls which are letting moisture in. Other times, a house naturally settles which causes damage to the walls. There may also be cracks in your floor from this, and these will need to be patched as well. In some cases, water pressure from outside your home may have built up, forcing cracks in the walls where the water can come through.

Once you have located the cracks and the water seep areas in your walls, you will want to fill them. You can normally purchase waterproofing mix at hardware stores. For hairline cracks, just applying this mix in the small gap should do the trick. For any cracks larger than 1/8 of an inch, you will want to patch the crack with mortar or latex cement. Mortar is made with cement, fine sand and water. You may want to look up a mortar recipe or purchase a guidebook at your hardware store if you will need to fill large breaks in the basement wall. If the water is just seeping through the wall, this will do the trick. If water is pouring into the basement, then the problem is very difficult to correct, and will require expert chiseling and filling. You may want to hire a professional if you feel you are in over your head at this point.

Once the walls are nice and patched, you are almost ready to begin the water proofing process. If there is paint on your walls, you will probably want to strip it off, since it will render the waterproof mix ineffective. You will need to wire blast or sandblast the walls before you begin. You may want to wash dirty walls before applying the water proofing, but make sure that they are dry before you start waterproofing because epoxy or latex waterproof coatings won't stick to wet walls. If you choose, you can make your own wall coating with plain cement and water. Apply the mixture starting at the bottom, and after doing one panel move to the top. Continue this until you have reached the middle of the wall.

Once the coating has dried, spray the area with water and let it dry overnight. The next day, you will want to soak the wall again and apply a second coat of the waterproofing mixture while the wall is still wet. This will reinforce the wall effectively. If water is seeping into your basement at the floor line, you will need to add waterproofing here. You may want to trowel the area as well. This can get complicated, and may be a good time to get a professional involved. By following instructions carefully, you will be able to get your basement waterproofed and ready for the rainy season.

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