As a homeowner, waterproofing your basement should be one of the first home projects you should undertake. A damp or flooded basement can cause structural damage and widespread mold, destroying your walls and floors. That’s why it’s essential to target the problem before it happens. Basement waterproofing can keep your basement dry and prevent water damage in the event of an accident or weather event. Here’s a six-step guide on how to waterproof a basement:

1) Seal any cracks in the basement wall or floors

Cracks in your basement’s foundation are caused by hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is often created by water that rests in the soil around the foundation. As the soil absorbs water, it can create enough pressure to cause cracks in your basement’s wall or flooring, allowing water to seep into the foundation and home. Repairing the cracks with caulk or cement can fill in the cracks and prevent water from spilling through, but it won’t eliminate the problem.

2) Apply sealants to waterproof basement flooring and walls

If the moisture from your basement isn’t coming solely from ruptures in your wall or flooring, you’ll want to use a product that can cover the entire area. Waterproofing paints and sealants can protect your basement from hydrostatic pressure and water leakage, particularly in hard-to-repair and porous areas, by acting as a barrier between the water and your basement.  

3) Waterproof your foundation

Waterproofing basement walls from inside isn’t enough to eradicate the underlying problem. Though repairing cracks and applying sealants are effective, they’re not 100% reliable. Exterior waterproofing addresses the source of the water leakage and is necessary if homeowners want to completely prevent water damage. Typically, the process to effectively waterproof will require excavation and construction around the foundation of your home to prevent water from gathering into your foundation.

4) Install a gutter

Sometimes the best protection method is simply stopping the problem before it starts. Using a diversion method such as installing a gutter can be an easy fix to stopping water seepage.  Gutters can help redirect rainwater away from the home and keep your foundation dry. An improperly installed gutter can escalate the problem, so make sure to consult a professional.

5) Install a drainage system

Like a gutter, drainage systems exist to redirect water away from the home, but it’s a more reliable solution if your gutters are prone to clogging. Drainage systems, such as a sump pump, work by draining out excess water underground, hereby alleviating pressure and preventing seepage.

6) Consult a professional

Before starting on repairs or construction within your home, reach out to a professional. Identifying the problem beforehand and getting a professional opinion will make it easier for you to know what problems you’ll need to address and what your options are to solve them. Speaking to an expert first can prevent you from making unnecessary renovations or making the problem worse by using a method not right for you and your home.

Waterproofing your basement today is essential to a safe and protected home, so don’t wait around until the problem becomes impossible to ignore.

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