Basement waterproofing. What to do when your basement is wet?

The basement is a great place, and homeowners who have one in their home know this. There you can store useful and completely useless things, make a real craft workshop or a cool men’s lair. But, unfortunately, flooding or moisture can significantly harm your basement. Sometimes, after rain, your basement can look like it’s been under Niagara Falls.

And this is indeed a serious problem. According to the American Society of Housing Inspectors, more than half of all homes in the United States have moisture and waterproofing problems in basements. Water in the basement creates not only inconvenience, an unpleasant smell, but can also seriously ruin your belongings. Moisture and flooding in your basement encourages the growth and spread of various types of mold in your beautiful home, especially black mold, which is notorious for its detrimental effect on the human body. Among other things, water in the basement can also harm the foundation and structure of your home. So the problem of a wet basement needs to be solved without delay. And for this it is not necessary to hire expensive specialists and implement complex engineering solutions (although this option is also possible in some cases). You can easily protect your basement from water and moisture with your own hands.

Mold is known to be a health hazard

Before you take any steps to protect your basement from moisture, you first need to find out the cause of this event. There are two main reasons for flooding and dampness in the basement. The first reason comes from outside – it’s rain and melting snow. The second reason, on the contrary, is in the house itself – this is condensate. The first is certainly more significant, but the second should not be ignored either.

If the water in the basement comes from outside

So, you have found out that the main culprit in your wet basement is rain and other precipitation. This means that you need to limit the access of water to the foundation of your house. There are several methods to do this, and we’ll start with the simplest – gutters. They collect water from rain and other precipitation and carry it away from your home through pipes. If you don’t already have gutters, then it’s definitely worth considering installing them. If they already exist, but do not function as they should, you can first lengthen the pipes into which water flows from the gutters, so that it does not flow directly to your foundation. Otherwise, there is not much use for gutters. Secondly, gutters love to be clean, that’s when they do their job especially well. If your gutters are clogged with leaves, dirt, and twigs, then they are useless and rainwater flows under your foundation. Therefore, do not neglect the need for annual cleaning of the gutters.

Do not neglect the need for annual cleaning of the gutters

Your gutters are fine, but your basement is still wet? There are several other ways to solve this problem. This requires some ground work, it is more difficult than installing gutters, but, nevertheless, it should help. You need to make a gentle slope along which water will flow from your house into the ground. The slope of this slope should be approximately 4-6 inches and its width 5-7 feet. To provide additional protection, you can also cover this slope with a waterproof film, and cover it with gravel or tree bark on top. In this way, you will not only protect your house from water, but also add exquisite touches to the aesthetics of the appearance of your home.

Waterproofing walls and floors in your basement

If the gutters and earthworks still did not help you, then you need to go down below, namely to your basement. It’s time to work inside your basement. If your house is not as new and young as you would like, then most likely there are leaks in the walls and floor of your basement from which water flows. Your first step in fixing these leaks is to use hydraulic cement. This type of cement can perfectly seal all cracks in the walls and floor, from which water comes. But in order to use it, you need to perform a few preliminary steps. First of all, you need to clean the surface of dust and dirt. A simple wire brush will help you with this. Also clean the walls and floor of all loose particles. Next, you should be as quick and attentive as possible, because this cement hardens very quickly. Just 10-20 minutes and that’s it, the time is up. Therefore, carry out all preparatory work before mixing the cement. After that, apply cement to the cracks and let it harden.

Hydraulic cement will hold water

After applying hydraulic cement, you can take one more step to protect your basement from water, which is to apply a special waterproofing coating to the walls. This coating is applied to the walls like paint. But it should be applied not in a thin, but in a thick enough layer. This coating should go into all the small pores and cracks that could not be filled with hydraulic cement. It is worth noting that before applying the waterproofing coating, the walls must also be cleaned of dirt and dust.

Of course, if you like more radical solutions, then installing a drainage system is just for you. It’s not something you can do alone. The drainage system is a rather complex engineering solution that includes a drainage pump and a separate pipeline. So to implement this solution in your basement, you should definitely contact the appropriate specialist.

How the drainage system works

If the water in the basement comes from the inside

It often happens that the main cause of moisture in your basement is internal sources. But how can water appear inside your basement? The answer is quite simple – it’s condensate. Condensation forms in a warm room on pipes in which cold water flows. Due to the temperature difference, condensation forms, which subsequently drips onto the floor and forms unpleasant puddles in your basement. How to protect yourself from condensation? Everything is quite simple here and you definitely do not need to involve a third-party specialist.

In order to get rid of condensate, you need to install special foam insulation around the water pipes. In fact, everything is quite simple. This foam insulation material is very easy to buy and even easier to install. Just cut it lengthwise, put it on the pipe and fix it with any material convenient for you. If the climate in your area is quite cold, then in winter this foam insulation will help you keep your water pipes from freezing.


However, the methods and techniques that we have described in this article are not the only panacea for solving the problem of a wet basement. But we hope that we were able to help you in solving this annoying problem. Whatever steps you take, we hope that your basement will stay dry and excess water will no longer cause you and your basement any problems. To implement some of our tips, it is not even necessary to involve a specialist. You could see this in our other article.

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