A wet basement isn’t something you’d want in your home, regardless of how you choose to utilize the space below your ground floor. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to make sure that your basement waterproofing won’t let you down.
After all, once water starts to seep in through cracks and crevices, the area becomes virtually unusable. Nothing can be stored down there anymore. The floor area is wet, and the walls are oozing damp.
Apart from the unpleasantness, a leaky basement can cause structural problems for your house in the long run. It can also lead to health hazards. The mold and mildew can cause serious problems for the family. Every time you walk into the house from outside, you can smell that dank odor wafting up from downstairs. Not fun.
To prevent all the hassle, here are some basement waterproofing tips so you can keep your basement dry and functional at all times.
Heed the warning signs
There will be telltale signs. Don’t ignore them. The sooner you investigate where the damp is getting in, the quicker you can fix the problem. Peeling paint, moldy patches, dampness, if not outright puddles mean that you need to get cracking with repairs.
Other signs you should look out for include the following:
- Efflorescence – residue on your basement walls, usually white and powdery
- Peeling wall paint – trapped and seeping moisture is going to cause paint to bubble or peel
- Walls bowing inward – caused by pressure
Over the counter solutions
Don’t try and solve the problem by slapping on a coat of so-called waterproofing paint. The water is getting in from outside, and it is there that you need to stop it. Once it gets through your foundations and basement walls there’s little you can do. The fix has to be preventing it getting through in the first place.
Slope, slope, slope
The problem is often from below ground level, and you need to pinpoint where it is entering before you can start fixing it.
Rising ground water following heavy rains is a common source of these problems.
One way to prevent rainwater from seeping into your walls, is to make sure your garden soil is graded properly. Grading means you’re sloping the soil around the foundation of the house away from the structure. This minimizes the pressure of water against your walls and foundations. This goes a long way toward preventing leaks in the future.
Seal those cracks right away
Structural cracks in the walls and floor, detract from the appearance and stability of your home. In time they are likely to lead to damp problems. Before this starts happening, they need to be sealed. This means cleaning them out to the proper depth. All loose material must be brushed out and removed, and they should be caulked with the best concrete waterproofing sealant you can find.
If the cracks are already too big and won’t be solved by simply sealing them up, contact waterproofing professionals immediately.
No gutters, no glory
Gutters are oft-neglected parts of a home, but they play a key role in keeping your structure dry and waterproof.
Gutters get filled with debris that is washed off the roof when it rains. Leaves, dust and trash that the wind blows onto your roof will eventually clog the gutters. The result is that rainwater can’s escape. Once it overflows, it will start running back under the eaves and down your walls resulting in dampness much lower down in the house.
Equally important are the gutter downspouts Even if the gutters are clear, if the water cannot find its way down to the ground it will back up and cause problems.
In addition, the downspouts should never discharge straight down next to the walls. This is a sure-fire way to create dampness problems. Always lead the water away to a safe distance where it cannot flow back towards the house.
Periodic maintenance is essential for dry basements
Make sure you periodically check the gutters and maintain or repair them as needed. You can install gutter guards to keep debris like fallen leaves away from the channels. Likewise, check the connected downspouts to ensure that they are working efficiently and are not clogged or damaged.
Be aware and act immediately
The moment you spot unusual wet or moist spots in your basement, or perhaps you get a whiff of mold anywhere, you need to act fast. It’s a sure sign that there’s likely a waterproofing issue that needs to be addressed right away. When things get too complicated or you are stumped about how to solve certain basement leaks or flooding problems, call your local basement waterproofing contractor and schedule an inspection at the soonest possible opportunity.
At Anchor Waterproofing we have had many years’ experience solving these issues. We will quickly and efficiently get to the root of the problem, and solve it for you, economically and permanently.
Contact us and let us solve all your waterproofing issues.