When it rains, it pours, and the water in your basement may resemble one of the Great Lakes. If this is the case, you may be tempted to hire a contractor to construct an expensive internal drainage system to remove the water and prevent it from happening again. Before you pay the cheque, consider whether you can fix the problem yourself.
Basements frequently become damp or, at the very least, moist. In fact, the American Society of Home Inspectors believes that moist basements are present in 60% of all houses in the United States. And, as you would expect, a damp basement is not a good thing. It can cause a range of issues, including mould. Water in a basement may also ruin the drywall and frame of a house.
There are a variety of reasons why your basement may not be dry, but the most common is that water from rain or snowmelt is seeping in from the outside via a leak (or breaches) in the foundation. Furthermore, there might be a leaking pipe or pipes that have been dampened by moisture.
For the time being, let us presume that rains and snowmelt are the perpetrators. When it rains or snows, water rushes from your roof and down toward your house’s foundation. Water, being water, constantly flows to its lowest level – an unchangeable physical reality. It will soak the soil near the home and leak through foundation fractures. Water can also seep through concrete walls.
The first step in waterproofing your basement is understanding where the water is coming from. Because concrete is permeable, wet streaks are frequently visible to show where water is entering. To determine where water is entering, look for these telltale streaks at the corners of windows, around any cracks, around pipes, and between mortar joints.
Remove the Water with a Whisk
The key to repairing a leaky basement is to divert the water away from the house’s foundation. Gutters may be really beneficial. Gutters collect rainfall and channel it away via downspouts. If your home lacks gutters, consider having them installed. And the next step is critical: Attach horizontal drain extensions to the downspouts that are at least 4 feet (1.2 metres) long. These will deflect water away from the foundation’s edge and away from the basement.
Clean your gutters if you already have them. Gutters will not function if they are clogged with leaves and branches. Unclog the blockage where the gutters meet the downspouts in particular. If not, when it rains, the water can flow down to the edge of your foundation like a miniature Niagara Falls.
Repairing Leaks and Waterproofing Walls
Repairing foundation leaks is unlikely to prevent all water from entering the basement, but it can’t harm. You’ll need hydraulic cement for this. Hydraulic cement prevents water from passing through the walls. It hardens and sets quite rapidly. Once mixed, it’s only used for around 10 to 15 minutes, so make sure you’re ready to use it before you start.
First, scrub the foundation’s surface. Dirt, dust, or grease will prevent the cement from bonding. Wire brushes are effective [source: Rodriguez]. Next, remove any and all loose particles from the foundation, no matter how big. Apply the cement to the surface with a trowel.
Foundation waterproofing membranes are another option, but they are costly and should be left to the specialists. The membranes, which are made of rubberized asphalt connected to a waterproof polyethylene film, must be put on the exterior of the foundation. It works well in complete basements rather than crawl areas.
Condensation and Humidity Control
As previously stated, condensation and humidity can cause a moist basement. Condensation happens when cold water combines with heated air. If you don’t believe me, go into your basement on a humid day and see the condensation on the floor.
Install foam pipe insulation around your pipes to prevent condensation from accumulating. It is inexpensive and simple to set up. The foam is cut open lengthwise so that it may be easily put onto your pipes. With scissors or a utility knife, trim away any extra. If you live in a colder climate, the insulation will keep your pipes warm and prevent them from freezing in the winter.
Your best bet may be to consult with a professional to see what may be done to keep your basement dry.
Best Of Luck.