One key way to keep your basement dry is to prevent water from being able to enter in the first place. Waterproofing the walls of your basement can help to prevent water from seeping in and while even if you’re basement walls don’t have visible cracks, water vapor can still pass through. Here are some tips and things you should know in order to waterproof your basement walls. Following these guidelines will help you do the job correctly or at least understand what needs to be done when speaking with a professional basement waterproofing contractor.
Repair Holes or Cracks in your Basement Walls
Most basements that are leaking have some sort of hole or crack that will need repair before anything else is done. Smaller cracks should be filled with a waterproof epoxy, while larger holes and damage should be repaired using mortar, mixing one part cement and two parts fine sand to create a tougher mortar compound for long lasting results.
Waterproofing Exterior Basement Walls
Water vapor can be blocked from permeating your basement walls from the exterior by “damproofing” your walls using an asphalt based product. Damproofing will slow down water infiltration but is not a full blown waterproofing solution. Damproofing products are usually asphalt or tar based and are sprayed on to the exterior of your basement foundation but can break down over time, requiring additional solutions to truly waterproof your basement.
Waterproofing compounds are however designed to keep all water and moisture out. These products can be in the form of a wide variety of compounds including urethane’s, asphalts, clay or rubbed based. These can be either sprayed on or applied as whole sheets directly to the foundation. These types of solutions are more effective due to the fact that they don’t break down when in contact with water over extended periods of time and can help bridge small cracks in your basement wall. In addition waterproof compounds are typically able to resist hydrostatic pressure which is a common cause of water finding its way in to your basement.
Waterproofing Interior Basement Walls
Waterproofing your basement walls from the inside is not always as effective as from the exterior but there are still some things you can do to prevent moisture from making in to your basement.
Remove loose paint and debris from your walls. This will make it easier to bond sealant to a prepped wall than to a wall that is uneven.
Clean the walls thoroughly, removing excess paint or grease. You should be scrubbing the walls to get them as clean as possible. Rinse the walls when complete and allow to dry completely.
Apply hydraulic cement to the walls. You want to work the cement in to all cracks and holes. Smooth out cement so that it is flush with the wall. Wait for cement to dry completely.
Once the cement compound has been applied and dried properly, you want to apply a layer of waterproof primer. Apply this over the entire wall ensuring to cover where the cement was applied. You can apply two coats when necessary.
Finally, you should apply a waterproof sealant to the walls ensuring to leave no spot untouched. Applying a second coat is recommended.