Learn how to waterproofing basement walls work – 5 dos and don’ts to keep in mind
Since basements are built below grade, they are susceptible to water leaks and moisture. You may notice wet basement walls, water puddles, and basement flooding from time to time. In addition, humid and wet basements can result in mold growth, peeling paint, and damage to stored items.
Waterproofing basement walls can keep these problems at bay. Follow these dos and don’ts to keep your basement dry.
Do Determine The Source Of Water Leaks
- Wet streaks along the walls can help you detect the source of the water leaks. Look for streaks at the corners of the windows, along wall cracks, around pipes, and between mortar joints. However, if the entire wall surface is wet, do further sleuthing. First, conduct a simple condensation test by drying an area of the wall.
Then attach a piece of aluminum foil to the wall with tape. Remove the foil after 24 hours to see the underside of the foil. If the foil is wet, water is coming from the outside. But moisture may leak elsewhere in the basement if the foil is dry. This can be easily remedied by installing a vent fan in the basement.
Don’t Work In A Wet Basement
- A cracked basement wall will let the water seep in, especially during the rainy season. It is crucial to remove any water puddles from the floor before repairing the cracks. A flooded basement increases the risk of electrical shocks or electrocution. Therefore, it is better to avoid working in a flooded basement.
Take measures to remove the water before repairing the basement wall cracks. Get rid of the water with a utility pump. Ensure that the extension cord reaches an upstairs outlet to avoid any mishaps. Connect a hose to the pump to discharge the water in your yard. Once the basement is water-free, proceed further. Inspect the cracks to fix and waterproof basement walls.
Do Fill The Cracks With Hydraulic Cement
- Cracks are commonly found at the bottom of the basement walls. Over time the shifting and settling of a foundation can develop cracks in the basement. Sealing these cracks is a relatively simple task. Hydraulic cement can effectively fill the cracks at the bottom of the basement walls. Hydraulic cement contains additives that help the cement expand and set rapidly.
First, mix the cement with water to form a heavy putty consistency. Next, press it into the cracks with a putty knife. As the cement expands, it is pushed deep into cracks to form a watertight bond. Cement sets quickly, so mix the amount you can use within 3 minutes.
Don’t Overlook The Window Well Leaks
- If a proper drainage system is not installed beneath the well, window wells will retain water and cause basement wall leaks over time. As a result, water begins to pool around the bottom of the basement window and eventually seeps in.
If this is the case, dig about 2 feet lower in the well area and fill the space with gravel. This will help disperse the rainwater and prevent it from collecting in the window well. Use a suitable caulk to seal around the window.
Do Waterproof Your Basement Walls
- If water is soaking through your basement walls, apply a high-quality waterproof sealant such as waterproof paint. This type of sealant can be applied like a regular coat of paint. Allow the first coat to dry before applying a second one.
If you require basement waterproofing services, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with Crack X. We make sure your basement is waterproofed and in optimum condition before you start your finishing project. Our specialists will inspect your property and provide the best solution and advice regarding basement finishing. Call us at 877-727-2259. We are a civil structures repair company operating in Maine and New Hampshire.