Basements are an essential interior space in a home that can be utilized in a variety of ways. A finished basement can increase your home’s value and provide a location for entertainment, recreation, relaxation or work. Basements that have water leaks can foster the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause health problems for the homeowner. You must waterproof your basement to enjoy this interior space and avoid potential health issues. Water leaks are a common problem, but you can solve this dilemma and convert your basement into the functional space that you desire.
Basement waterproofing is the process of stopping water from entering the building through the basement with the use of sealers and drainage systems. This process is important in locations where ground water accumulates and increases hydrostatic pressure. This dynamic process forces water through the basement walls and floor. Waterproofing techniques can prevent this water intrusion, the associated dampness and possible structural damage.
Basement Waterproofing Methods
There are three basic waterproofing techniques. The first process is the use of interior wall and floor sealers. These sealers are normally applied to basement floors and walls using a large nap paint roller. This relatively simple method stops high humidity within a basement, but may be insufficient in areas with high levels of hydrostatic pressure.
The next two waterproofing techniques are the use of interior and exterior drainage systems. Interior systems will collect any water and divert it to a sump pump. This technique, like the use of sealers, can be implemented after the home has been constructed. Exterior drainage systems involve the application of a polymer compound to the foundation’s exterior walls.
This process is the only structural damage averting technique approved by the International Building Code. This method is usually performed during the construction of the home. This is the time when waterproofing is easiest and the least costly as significant excavation may be required to perform this process at a later date. Interior drainage kits are available, but these two waterproofing techniques typically require professional installation.
Why Waterproof Your Basement?
A properly waterproofed basement can inhibit or prevent mold and mildew growth from becoming a problem. Your families health alone should be enough reason to waterproof your basement, but in addition the home’s foundation will remain structurally sound and the overall value of the home will increase after you have waterproofed your basement.
Finally, the extra living space provided by a waterproofed basement is an added benefit to the homeowner due to the increased usable square footage that a finished and dry basement provides.