Ideally, it is best to waterproof the exterior walls of a basement during the construction of a building. Newer buildings require this procedure because of many requirements in state and local building codes, but many older homes may not have any type of exterior waterproofing. Do you need to prevent water from entering your basement? Use gutters, a drainage system, and interior waterproofing to keep the basement dry. Stains, a distinctive musty smell, or mold and mildew may be signs that you need to waterproof basement walls.
The location of a basement means that you may need attention over time to address these problems and keep the space dry and its contents in good condition. Exterior waterproofing generally requires excavating the soil that surrounds the foundation of the house. As you can imagine, this can be a labor-intensive process that requires heavy tools and machinery. Once all the soil around the base has been removed, an impermeable sealant can be applied to the outer walls.
This sealant is usually a polymer base, which must last the entire life of the building. Ideally, this exterior waterproofing process should occur during construction. Many of the waterproofing products listed below will only work if applied directly to the substrate, so if there is any existing coating on the surface, wall, or floor, it must be removed. An effective basement waterproofing solution can prevent mold, structural and indoor air quality problems associated with basement water.
However, here we will focus on interior waterproofing that you, as a homeowner, can do yourself to achieve a dry basement. Here are the most common indoor and outdoor basement waterproofing methods and information on each to help you decide which is the best option for your home. We recommend an elastic sealant such as Big Stretch Sealant or Lexel Sealant, which are waterproof and flexible. The best way to waterproof basement walls by hand is to fill the cracks with hydraulic cement (it opens in a new tab) and apply a sealant designed to waterproof the basement walls, in addition to using silicone masonry putty around the window jambs.
Basement Systems' network waterproofing contractors are trained and experienced to find the source of a basement water problem and design a long-term waterproofing solution. Waterproofing a basement from the inside is usually the best option for most homes, mainly because it's more cost-effective and less harmful than outdoor excavation. That's why, when it's time to waterproof the basement, it's important to look outside the basement walls. If you're not sure of the depth of the damage and whether you can properly fix water problems yourself, calling a professional waterproofing expert in your area can give you peace of mind.
Waterproofing can be a key element in realizing your favorite basement ideas, but unfortunately, not everyone does it until it's too late.