Ring’s End carries premium products to waterproof your basement. Depending on your level of expertise and the water issues you are experiencing on your property, it may be appropriate to hire a professional to do the work. This article is intended as a guide for the DIY’er. Before you venture into waterproofing your basement, you should understand why it might be wet in the first place. Because most basements are below grade (ground), they are more prone to accumulating excess moisture and suffering water damage. Here are some of the more common reasons why you may end up with a wet basement:

  • Cracks in your house’s foundation are a surefire way for water to seep in through your basement walls and floors.
  • Basement doors, windows, egress windows, and window wells that aren’t secure are other paths for water seepage.
  • Inadequate drainage is a major cause of a wet basement. When rainwater is not properly directed away from your home, it will sit at the house’s foundation and seep into the basement.
  • Improper drainage can be the result of a poor drainage system, improperly installed or clogged gutters, or even sloping around your home. If your land is sloped toward your home, water will run toward and accumulate around your house’s foundation.

Interior Waterproofing Your Basement Walls and Basement Floor

The foundation is said to be the strongest part of any home. But as a house’s foundation shifts and settles into the earth, cracks will inevitably develop and water can seep in, resulting in a wet basement. Typically, these foundation cracks can be fixed with easy DIY basement waterproofing solutions. There are certainly exterior waterproofing instances where a contractor may be required to repair major foundational damage or a landscape architect/civil engineer would recommend regrading your yard and/or redesigning your drainage system. However, here, we’ll focus on interior waterproofing that you, as a homeowner, can do yourself to achieve a dry basement.

Before You Begin

First, you’ll want to clean up the areas you’ll be waterproofing. Many of the waterproofing products listed below will only work if applied directly to the substrate, so if there are any existing coatings on the surface, wall, or floor, they must be removed. Old paint can be removed with a wire brush, sandblaster, or other methods. Please contact one of our Paint Centers for advice on how to best remove old paint safely, as you must always wear proper protective gear when removing paint. Wash the walls of dirt and dust using a scrub brush and warm water with a little bit of dish soap. If you see any mold, you can add bleach into the solution (1 cup of bleach per gallon of water). However, first check the ingredients in your dish soap and do not mix bleach with any products containing ammonia! Rinse the walls with warm water after washing them, and let everything dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step. *If you see any white, powdery, crystal-like powder on your masonry walls, that is efflorescence and needs to be removed with DRYLOK Concrete and Masonry Liquid Etch & Cleaner or muriatic acid. Please refer to the manufacturer’s directions before using.

Step 1: Clean the Area

First you’ll want to clean up the areas you’ll be waterproofing. Many of the waterproofing products listed below will only work if applied directly to the substrate, so if there are any existing coatings on the surface, wall or floor, they must be removed. Old paint can be removed with a wire brush, sandblaster, or other methods. Please contact one of our Paint Centers for advice on how to best remove old paint safely, as you must always wear proper protective gear when removing paint. Wash the walls of dirt and dust using a scrub brush and warm water with a little bit of dish soap. If you see any mold, you can add bleach into the solution (1 cup of bleach per every gallon of water). However, first check the ingredients in your dish soap and do not mix bleach with any products containing ammonia! Rinse the walls with warm water after washing them, and let everything dry thoroughly before moving onto the next step. *If you see any white, powdery, crystal-like powder on your masonry walls, that is efflorescence and needs to be removed with DRYLOK Concrete and Masonry Liquid Etch & Cleaner or muriatic acid. Please refer to manufacturer’s directions before using.

Step 2: Plug Holes

For any holes, use hydraulic cement, such as DRYLOK Fast Plug, to plug any obvious holes and large cracks. Hydraulic cement seals cracks and holes in masonry, and prevents water from flowing through them, even under pressure. DRYLOK Fast Plug will set and harden very quickly, in 3-5 minutes, so have a plan before you start! Use a trowel to smooth the cement before it sets.

Step 3: Fill Cracks

Fill smaller cracks with a Masonry Crack Filler.

Step 4: Seal Openings

Use caulk to seal doors, windows, and window wells. We recommend an elastic sealant such as Big Stretch Sealant or Lexel Sealant, both of which are waterproof and flexible.

Step 5: Apply Waterproof Coating

After your holes and cracks are sealed, use a waterproof coating on your basement surfaces. DRYLOK Clear Masonry Waterproofer is a great product that is guaranteed to protect walls and floors against hydrostatic pressure and water seepage. DRYLOK Masonry Waterproofer also comes in white and gray, but these two can only be used on walls and not on floors. Apply the concrete sealer with a quality nylon bristle brush or 3/4″ nap roller and make sure to work it into the pores of the masonry. Proper coverage and a minimum of two coats is required to warranty waterproofing. Read all manufacturer guidelines and instructions before applying. *PRO TIP: Tape along the concrete floor 1 inch out from the base of the wall, and paint DRYLOK on the walls, along the seam between the wall and the floor, and on the floor up until the tape. This will help prevent water from migrating down the exterior of the foundation and in through the seam.

Basement Waterproofing Tips

  • Don’t perform any crack repair or sealing until all standing water is first removed from your basement floor.
  • Consider running a dehumidifier in your basement to reduce condensation. This will help prevent mildew and mold growth.
  • If your dryer is in your basement, be sure that it’s correctly hooked up to the vent and that you don’t feel any air leaking around the hose. The hot, moist air from the dryer can cause condensation if it’s not venting correctly.
  • Another source of condensation in your basement may be sweating pipes. Check that your pipes are properly insulated with this guide: How to Insulate Pipes and Prevent Pipes from Freezing.
  • You can paint over DRYLOCK Waterproofer, and we recommend a paint that will perform in high-humidity environments, such as Benjamin Moore Aura Bath & Spa.

Exterior Waterproofing

Exterior waterproofing your home can be a big undertaking, and we recommend hiring a contractor or landscape architect for a consultation if you believe there are serious cracks or deficiencies in your concrete foundation or if you have groundwater pooling around your house. However, there are easy do-it-yourself fixes that you can try before excavating your yard!

  • Don’t plant flower beds or bushes that require watering too close to your house.
  • Make sure your gutters are clear and flowing properly to keep water flowing away from your house. Check out our guide on gutter guards and how to properly protect your gutters: Best Gutter Guards to Protect Your Gutters.
  • If your walkway or patio are sloped toward your house, they can contribute to water pooling around your foundation. You may be able to re-level the slabs so that they drain away from the house instead of toward it.

Preparing for Basement Floods

One last thing you may want to consider adding to your basement waterproofing system is a sump pump. If your house is located on a high water table, some basement flooding may be inevitable during heavy rainstorms. A sump pump can either be above or below (submersed into) your basement floor, and pumps out and discharges water from inside to outside.

Does My Crawl Space Need to be Waterproofed Too?

If your house has a basement crawl space, it is also necessary to not only seal the interior and exterior walls, but also any crawl spaces that may allow for water seepage.

When Should I Call a Professional Basement Waterproofing Company?

If you’re unsure of how deep the damage goes and whether or not you can properly fix the water problems yourself, calling a professional waterproofing expert in your area may give you peace of mind. Many waterproofing service companies offer a free inspection to tell you the extent of damage and the cost of repair services. If they find that your home has extensive basement leaks that have caused major structural damage or your basement is in need of foundation repair, it may be best to have a professional handle the work. Heavy rain and melted snow runoff can come in through cracks or leaks in the foundation, where it can warp floorboards, rust appliances, and turn finished rooms into mildewed messes. Fortunately, regrading or rerouting can correct most drainage problems.

How to Waterproof Your Basement

Exterior basement waterproofing

To prevent water from leaking through your foundation, gutters are your first line of defense. While gutter-and-downspout systems protect your house from precipitation, they can also compound drainage problems by concentrating roof runoff at a house’s corners, close to the foundation. When clogged gutters overflow, water can pool around your foundation. So be sure to remove any leaves and debris left over from winter, then install leaf guards to keep them clear. To carry water away, attach a sloped leader to each gutter and guide water at least 10 feet from the foundation. Alternatively, downspouts can dump directly into an above or underground catch basin. In that case, runoff should be carried through a solid drainpipe to a dry well—an in-ground perforated tank that collects water and lets it seep into the ground. High-impact plastic dry wells are easy to handle and work efficiently on small drainage problems. Larger pre-cast concrete drywells require machinery for their installation but will handle larger volumes of water. Houses without gutters often have problems caused by water splashing against the foundation. In this case, a collection system should be installed at the roof’s drip line. Dig a V-shaped trench, line it with thick plastic and lay in a perforated pipe, pitched toward a drywell or outlet pipe. Then cover the pipe with landscape fabric to keep out dirt and fill the trench with stones to allow water to leach through topsoil and into the pipe. Regrading the ground closest to your foundation can also help. Clear away plantings and gently build up the soil to slope away from the foundation. The 10 feet of ground closest to the house should slope at least six inches downward at an incline of at least ¼ inch per foot to keep water from draining improperly. Simply add soil, raking it smooth, until the grade is highest at the house’s perimeter.

Drainage System Options: Surface & Subsurface

There are two types of drainage systems, surface, and subsurface. Surface drainage works well for clay-based soils, while subsurface drainage is generally best suited to soils of high sand or silt content. The typical surface system consists of swales—shallow open trenches—leading to one or more dry wells that empty into a deep runoff trench dug in the lowest corner of the yard. Open trenches are the most effective way to intercept and carry away excess water puddling on the ground’s surface. Subsurface drainage systems consist of several French drains that carry off water from poorly drained areas through collection pipes linked to a deep runoff trench dug in the lowest corner of the yard. Ideal places to put French drains are the bases of slopes, along retaining walls, or any other area where water tends to collect. To build a French drain, dig a sloped 3-foot-deep trench to carry water away from the area to be drained. Line the trench with landscape fabric to keep surrounding soil out and keep the gravel porous so that water flows easily. Then, install a 4- or 6-inch perforated drain line at the bottom of the trench, and backfill it with 4 inches of gravel. Cover it with drainage-friendly topsoil. Your entire system of drainpipes should connect to a 6-inch solid collection pipe that goes all the way down to the runoff trench.

Waterproofing Basement Walls from Inside

There are several steps to internal waterproofing, the first of which involves sealing cracks and holes in the concrete walls of your foundation with hydraulic cement. The cement will expand inside the fissures and create a water-tight seal. Then, apply a coat of waterproof masonry cement to your basement walls. This will seal the pores of the concrete and stop moisture from seeping through. These efforts combined with proper above-ground drainage will do a lot to prevent moisture from coming through the walls. Sump pumps equipped with a battery-backup system will continue to run even if the electricity goes out during heavy flooding. The rechargeable battery will operate for 7 to 10 hours before recharging is necessary. The batteries should be replaced every 2 years. Alternatively, water-powered sump pumps rely on water pressure, not a rechargeable battery, to keep pumping during a blackout. A water-powered sump pump will run virtually forever, as long as there’s water pressure. However, this system is only suitable for homes connected to a municipal water supply, not a well pump. Another complementary internal drain system is the French drain. However, installation of this drain type will require a professional installation and may be costly.

More Waterproofing Steps You Can Take

Other tips include labeling the water main shutoff valve so everyone in the family knows how to find and close it in case of an emergency. Also, ensure that your appliances like a washing machine, are draining into the appropriate drains. Additionally, installing a water leak detector is useful for alerting you that there’s a leak. Whole-house leak detectors use wireless transmitters that detect and then automatically shut off the water in the event of a leak. Or, try a programmable auto-shutoff leak detector that’s designed to measure the amount of water continuously flowing, and will turn off the flow at a set interval.

Tools

Tempted by ads that promise to waterproof your basement? Here’s the scoop.
Basement-Waterproofing-options-How-to-inside-blue-sealant-diy Image: Ruslan Sidorov/GettyIf you’re trying to figure out how to cure a wet or musty basement, you’re probably curious about advertisements for products that claim to waterproof basement walls. So you wonder, Is it really possible to dry out a basement simply by sealing the walls? Yes, it is possible — but to make sure you’re choosing the right option, you need to figure out if the moisture is coming from the outside, or if high humidity is condensing on the cool walls of your basement.

How to Find Out What’s Causing the Moisture in Your Basement

Tape a 1-foot-square piece of aluminum foil to the inside of your basement walls and leave it in place for 24 hours. If there’s condensation on the outside of the foil, you have high humidity in your basement. Fix it with a portable room dehumidifier or a whole-house humidifier system instead of waterproofing products. If the foil has condensation on the inside surface (next to the wall), the soil around your house may be naturally damp from a high water table or poor soil drainage. In that case, waterproofing your basement walls can be useful. You can waterproof just your interior walls, which may solve the problem. Or you can waterproof your exterior walls, which is a better bet — but more costly. Here’s the scoop on the different types:

3 Types of Interior Waterproofing for Your Basement

Concrete Waterproofing Coatings

These thick coatings are cement-like. Once they dry, they adhere permanently to concrete and masonry walls. You apply the coating with a heavy brush made with tampico bristles — a natural fiber. Swirl the brush at the final stage of application to give the wall an attractive, finished look. Concrete waterproof coatings can’t be applied to previously painted surfaces; check the label. A 5-gallon bucket costs about $60.

Silicate-Based Concrete Sealers

Also known as densifiers, they are suitable only for walls that haven’t been painted or sealed. The sealers soak in and chemically react with ingredients in the concrete or brick, forming a hard, waterproof surface. Because these are penetrating sealers, they can’t flake off or peel, and you can paint over them (but check the label first). Applying a silicate-based sealer with a brush, roller, or sprayer is easy enough for a DIY project. One gallon costs about $65 and covers 175 to 250 square feet for one coat, but you’ll need at least two coats.

Waterproofing Paint Is an Acrylic Formula

It’s not all that different from ordinary wall paint. But you brush, roll, or spray it on much more thickly — one gallon covers just 75 square feet, not the 300 square feet typical with standard paint. Waterproof paint is fine for DIY application. You can apply it over painted surfaces, and paint over it once it’s cured (one gallon costs $37).

Exterior Waterproofing for Your Basement: Costs & How It Works

The surest way to waterproof your basement walls is a full-scale exterior waterproofing solution. It can cost $10,000 to $15,000, depending on the work needed. Exterior waterproofing involves excavating all around the house to the full depth of the foundation walls, then installing a waterproof coating or membrane topped by drainage panels. The panels provide an easy path for water to flow down to an exterior French drain at the bottom of your foundation. From there, water flows by gravity — or with the aid of a sump pump — away from your foundation to another part of your property or into a storm drain. Related:

  • Why You Need a French Drain
  • 8 Solutions to Common Wet-Basement Problems

Troubleshoot the causes and find the solutions to wet basement walls – the sooner, the better, to maintain the integrity of your home.

Top Tips for Waterproofing Basement Walls Photo: istockphoto.com Because they’re built below grade, basements tend to take on water. You may notice moist basement walls from time to time, water puddles here and there, or—worst case scenario—flooding during the rainy season. Humid, damp, or downright wet basements can result in peeling paint, mold and mildew growth, rotted wood, and damage to stored items. While builders take steps to waterproof basements during construction, over time a house can settle, creating cracks in the basement walls. When the soil outside becomes saturated, water can seep through these cracks. Even structurally sound basement walls can absorb water from the soil and transfer it to the basement interior, making the walls feel wet. As the water from the walls evaporates, the air in the basement becomes more humid. A high-quality dehumidifier will help remove excess basement humidity, but the best long-term solution is to waterproof the walls. RELATED: So, You Want to… Waterproof Your Basement Depending on the reason for the moisture problem, the fix could be a simple do-it-yourself remedy, or it could require the assistance of a foundation contractor. If you’re looking at waterproofing basement walls, the following tips will get you started on the right foot. Find basement waterproofing pros Get free, no-commitment estimates from pros near you. HomeAdvisor Logo + BobVila.com Logo

DO determine the source of the water.

Because concrete is porous, you can often see wet streaks that let you know where the water is coming in. Look for streaks along cracks, at the corners of windows, between mortar joints (for cement block walls), and around pipes where they enter or exit, such as a water-supply line or a sewer pipe. If entire wall surfaces are wet, however, you’ll need to do further sleuthing. To conduct a simple condensation test, dry an area of the wall with a rag and then attach a one-foot square piece of aluminum foil to the wall with duct tape. Peel off the foil after 24 hours and check how the underside of the foil feels. If it is wet, water is seeping through the wall from the outside. If dry, the moisture is originating elsewhere in the basement, most likely from a basement shower—easily remedied by installing a vent fan in the bathroom to direct steam outdoors.

DON’T make wall repairs with standing water in the basement.

During a rainy season, a crack in a basement wall can allow an inch or two of water in, but before you seek to repair the crack, remove all the water from the floor. Working in a flooding basement increases the risk of electrical shock or electrocution. Turn off the power to the basement, and then use a utility pump (with extension cords that reaches an upstairs outlet) to get rid of the water. The pump will discharge the water to the surface of your yard via a garden hose. When the basement is water-free, proceed with inspecting, fixing, and effectively waterproofing the basement walls.

DO fill cracks with hydraulic cement.

Another area where cracks are commonly found is at the bottom of the basement walls. When a foundation is poured, its footing—a wide flat base made from concrete and reinforced steel, designed to support the walls—is poured first, and then the walls are poured on top after footings harden. Although this is standard construction procedure, it can create what’s known as a “cold joint,” a weak spot in the foundation between the wall and the footing where cracks can develop with the shifting and settling of a foundation, along with lateral pressure from the soil. Fortunately, sealing cracks is a relatively simple DIY task that involves filling them with hydraulic cement, such as QUIKRETE’s Hydraulic Water-Stop Cement (available from Home Depot). Hydraulic cement—which contains additives that cause the cement to expand and set rapidly—is mixed with water to a heavy putty consistency and then pressed into cracks with gloved fingers or with a putty knife (follow mixing and application directions). As hydraulic cement expands, it pushes deep into cracks and crevices to form a watertight bond. Mix only as much as you can use within three minutes, though, because that’s how quickly it begins to set.

DON’T forget to address window well leaks.

Window wells are a common source of basement wall leaks because they tend to retain water if a proper drainage system wasn’t installed beneath the well when the house was built. This can lead to water pooling around the bottom of a basement window and then seeping in. While it’s difficult to install a window well drainage system after the fact, consider digging approximately two feet lower in the well area, and then filling the space with gravel to help rainwater disperse rather than collect in the window well. Then, caulk around the window with a caulk suitable for use on masonry, such as GE’s 100 Percent Silicone Window and Door Caulk (available from Home Depot). In addition, install a sloped window well cover, such as Shape Product’s Universal Fit Polycarbonate Window Well Cover (available from Home Depot), over the window well to direct rainwater away.

DO apply a masonry waterproofing product to bare interior basement walls.

If your foil test showed that water is soaking through your basement walls and leaving them wet, seal the interior of the walls with a high-quality waterproof paint, such as DRYLOK White Extreme Waterproofer (available from Home Depot). This type of sealant comes premixed and goes on just like a coat of paint. When waterproofing basement walls with it, brush or roll the paint on thickly enough to fill all the little surface holes, then allow it to dry fully before a second coat is applied. When completely dry, the sealant forms a watertight bond to keep any more moisture from seeping through. A five-gallon container treats approximately 500 square feet of wall. Top Tips for Waterproofing Basement Walls Photo: istockphoto.com

DON’T apply sealer over painted walls or efflorescence.

If you or a previous owner painted the basement walls, you’ll have to remove the paint before applying sealer, which only adheres well to bare masonry. It’s common to find several coats of paint in older homes, which is best removed with a sandblaster by pros known as blasting contractors. Alternately, it can be removed by wire brushing, a tedious but inexpensive DIY task. It’s also necessary to remove efflorescence—white deposits that form on the surface of concrete walls subject to constant moisture—before applying sealer; do so with muriatic acid (follow the manufacturer’s instructions). RELATED: 7 Health Hazards Lurking in Your Basement

DO take steps to keep water away from your basement.

Sometimes, the solution to wet basement walls is easy. For instance, remove foundation plantings, such as bushes and flowerbeds that require watering, which subsequently allows water to seep into the basement. Also inspect and, if needed, repair guttering and downspouts to ensure that they’re directing water away from your home. It’s also a good idea to grade your yard away from the foundation—at least a two percent slope. In addition to the above steps, consider having an exterior drain tile system installed. This is usually a last-ditch effort because it’s pricey, easily running $10,000 or more. It requires excavating the soil from around the outside of your basement in order to install a perforated drain at the footing level. A waterproof membrane is often installed on the outside of the basement wall, and the system also requires putting in a buried sump pump where water will collect and then be pumped to the surface. This is strictly a job for a foundation contractor, but it could greatly reduce basement water problems.

DON’T forget interior drainage solutions.

Another method of attaining dry basement walls is to install a drainage channel beneath the floor inside the basement. The drain is similar to the exterior drain tile described above, but it’s located just inside the basement walls; then, new walls are built on the inside of drain so the original basement walls are not visible. This is another job for a foundation contractor, at a minimum cost of around $5,000. When it’s done, you’ll have new, dry walls, and any residual water that seeps through the old basement walls will be directed to the drain channel and pumped away. Find basement waterproofing pros Get free, no-commitment estimates from pros near you. HomeAdvisor Logo + BobVila.com Logo

Understanding the Top 3 Basement Waterproofing Methods

There are few things worse for a homeowner than a wet basement. What appears to be just a tiny trickle or small puddle are the warning signs of a much bigger problem. Moisture in your basement can lead to an array of costly and time-consuming repairs. From structural damage to toxic mold, water in your basement is a serious problem. So what can we do to keep our basements dry and prevent moisture from making its way in? Check out our top 3 basement waterproofing methods below to learn more. Top 3 Basement Waterproofing Methods in Gaithersburg

What Causes Basement Moisture?

To best understand how to keep your basements dry, we need to have a thorough understanding of what causes moisture to occur in basements in the first place. Unfortunately for homeowners, water has a knack for finding its way into our homes. Due to the unique nature and construction of basements, these spaces are particularly prone to wetness. The points below highlight some of the primary causes of basement moisture:

  • Improper Soil and Drainage Systems:

    If rain and groundwater cannot drain away properly it can make its way into your basement. Improper soil and poor drainage systems are one of the most common causes of basement wetness. If water isn’t directed away from the home, it will accumulate around the foundation, where it will try to find a way inside.

  • Poorly Installed and Maintained Gutters:

    Gutters are intended to direct rainwater away from your foundation. If they are improperly installed or too clogged to function, water will drain around your foundation, rather than away from it.

  • Improper Slope:

    The ground around your foundation should slope away from your home, not towards it. If the slope is wrong, water will accumulate around your foundation, rather than running away from it.

  • Hydrostatic Pressure:

    Hydrostatic pressure occurs when water accumulates around your foundation. As gravity pushes down on that water, it will try to escape, in an effort to relieve that pressure. The water will force its way through any cracks in your basement walls and floors. In fact the pressure can get so strong, that it will cause cracks.

  • Cracks in Your Basement:

    Cracks in your basement walls, floors, and around windows or doors provide the perfect avenue through which water can flow. Water will always follow the path of least resistance and these cracks make it easy for water to come inside.

  • Condensation:

    Basements are notoriously damp places. When condensation occurs, it can bring mildew, mold, and potential damage along with it.

The list above is just a basic overview of the causes of basement moisture. To learn more about the causes behind basement moisture, click here to read our blog post about the subject.

The Top 3 Basement Waterproofing Methods

Now that we have a better understanding of what causes basement moisture, let’s talk about what we can do to prevent it. There are 3 methods to basement waterproofing:

#1. Interior

These are steps that can be taken to keep water out of your basement from the inside. These methods are often used after an existing problem has been identified. This can include sealants and coatings, as well as methods to prevent condensation.

#2. Exterior

As you would expect, these are methods that take place on the outside of your home. The goal with these methods to block water from ever making its way inside in the first place. This can include exterior drainage systems and coating the exterior walls with a waterproof barrier.

#3. Drainage

Drainage issues are one of the most common causes of basement moisture. This method can include repairing a poorly functioning drainage system, or adding a drainage system if there isn’t one in place. Each situation is different, so it is important to have a good understanding of what waterproofing issues are present in your home. A truly effective waterproofing system will utilize all 3 methods. Now let’s take a closer look at each of the 3 waterproofing methods and learn more.

Interior Waterproofing

Interior waterproofing methods are typically the easiest and most affordable. These typically begin with ensuring that any cracks or holes in your basement walls, floors, and around windows and doors, are properly sealed and watertight. Water most frequently makes its way into our basement via these cracks, so properly sealing them is the first step towards ensuring your basement stays dry. Special sealants can be used to effectively fill any cracks, preventing any new moisture from traveling inside. These sealants are typically quite effective and often come with extended warranties, guaranteeing their effectiveness. Interior waterproofing methods, such as waterproof sealants, also do a good job at keeping humidity levels down, preventing condensation. These coatings can be put onto basement walls and floors creating a waterproof barrier. While these interior sealants are an important step in the overall waterproofing process, they do not address the underlying problems causing the moisture. The bigger problems are usually found on the outside.

Exterior Waterproofing

When it comes to wet basements, the root of the problem is typically located outside of the home. So when it’s time to waterproof your basement, it is important to look outside of your basement walls. Exterior waterproofing is typically a much larger undertaking than the simple sealing process we use on the inside. It is a good idea to consult a professional when considering exterior waterproofing methods. Exterior waterproofing typically requires the excavation of the soil surrounding the foundation of the home. As you can imagine, this can be a labor-intensive process, requiring heavy tools and machinery. Once all the soil around the foundation has been removed, a waterproof sealant can be applied to the exterior walls. This sealant is typically a polymer base, which should last for the life of the building. Ideally, this exterior waterproofing process should occur during construction. It is also important to mention gutter systems when discussing exterior methods. When properly installed, gutters direct rainwater away from the foundation of your home. However if not properly installed or maintained, these systems can have the opposite effect. Clogged gutters or gutters that drain to close to your foundation will deposit water along the base of your home, exactly where you do not want it be. Make sure to keep your gutters clean and free of debris to keep them working properly. Ensure you have proper downspouts that direct water as far away from your home as possible.

Drainage Systems

Drainage problems are often the underlying cause of moisture in your basement. Having proper drainage around your home is essential if you want to keep your basement dry. The goal of these drainage systems is to direct water (whether it be groundwater or rainwater) away from the foundation of your home. There are numerous different drainage systems available to help control the water around your home. To start, you should examine the soil around your house. Different types of soil drain in different ways. Be sure your home is surrounded by soil that drains easily and does not retain moisture. Each home is different, so be sure to thoroughly examine how the drainage around your home is functioning. Take a look at the slope of the ground around your foundation. It should slope away from your foundation, not towards it. Depending on your specific situation, it may be necessary to install a sump pump to collect water from the inside and pump it away. These interior drainage systems collect water from around your foundation and pump it out away from your basement. These systems should be designed to function in case of a power outage. As one might imagine, installing a sump pump or other interior drainage system can be quite the undertaking. It is advisable to consult a professional when considering this type of waterproofing method. Understanding the Top 3 Basement Waterproofing Methods in Gaithersburg

Which Method is Right for You?

As we mentioned earlier, each home is different. Thus the best waterproofing method for your home may be different than of your neighbor. There are so many factors that come into play when it comes to keeping your basement. While each situation is different, the best policy is always prevention rather than repair. Taking steps to waterproof your basement before water is present is sure to yield the best results. Water damage can cause major problems, resulting in costly repairs and lots of headaches. While it is often tempting to save money now by ignoring the problem, waiting to address your basement waterproofing can lead to much bigger bills in the future. Basement waterproofing methods can vary greatly, so be sure to do your research and find out what method is the most appropriate for your unique situation. Your home is your biggest investment. It is important to take the necessary steps to protect it. Don’t wait until you have a problem to do something about it. Taking preventative measures can keep your basement dry and your pockets full. Reach out to our experienced team at Triad Basement Waterproofing to learn more about keeping your basement dry this winter. Contact us today!


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