Your basement is a room that has been constructed below the ground surface level of your home. Even with the best construction methods and procedures, there is always the chance that some moisture or water can seep into your basement. If you have any visible signs of moisture or mold on your basement walls, there are things that you can do to waterproof the walls and prevent damage. Here are some preventative measures that you can take to waterproof your basement:
Waterproof Your Concrete Floor: Apply several coats of acrylic urethane floor sealant to your concrete basement floors. This sealant is effective against moisture and stains coming from beneath your foundation. You can apply this sealant to your concrete floor with a roller or brush. After application, you can use a concrete joint sealant to seal the connection where your concrete floor meets your basement walls. These sealants will not only keep out moisture but they will also protect your basement from insects and mold.
Install Exterior Waterproofing: In order to prevent water from seeping into your basement walls, you need to protect your exterior basement walls with a coat of exterior waterproofing. To do this, you must excavate the earth surrounding your residence to expose the surface of your basement walls from the ground level to the concrete foundation. Once exposed, you can apply a sealant that is specifically designed for exterior walls. This project is best done during the initial construction phase of your house; however, it can be done in sections after construction.
Install Interior Waterproofing: You can protect the interior of your basement by spraying an interior wall primer and sealer on the surface of your basement walls from the ceiling to the foundation. You can use a traditional shellac-based sealer or a newer water-based sealer that is equally effective. A water-based primer sealer dries hard and can be sanded easily before you apply enamel paint.
Install French Drains: A French drain (invented by Henry French in 1859) is a trench filled with gravel or rock that contains a perforated pipe that redirects surface water and groundwater away from an area. A French drain pipe is perforated along the bottom to vent water that seeps down through the upper gravel or rock. You can have a French drain pipe installed around the exterior of your residence at the foundation level. If you live in an area with a lot of groundwater, you can also have several rows of French drain pipes installed under your foundation. You can have this professionally done in sections, excavating and installing one drainage pipe at a time. To keep your French drains operational, you can encase them in fabric filter cloths to prevent rocks and debris from getting into the pipes through their perforations.
Use Plastic Storage Containers: It is best to store all of your household belongings and possessions in your basement in clear plastic storage containers. These containers can lock out moisture, dirt, and debris and can protect your possessions from many kinds of damage. Plastic storage containers of the same size are convenient to stack and organize and can be moved easily. You can label your clear plastic containers by inserting a piece of paper on the interior wall of the container that is labeled with the contents.
Waterproof Your Roof: Make sure that your roof is totally waterproof and that no moisture is seeping into your interior walls from your roof. Have your roof inspected every five years or sooner if you see any evidence of moisture on your interior walls.
A basement is a great asset for a home but only if it is safe, secure, and waterproof. With the above preventative measures, you can have a basement that is impervious to damage and a safe place to keep your possessions. Contact a company like Central Penn Waterproofing to learn more.