The Lowdown on Waterproofing Basement Walls

Published: 06th July 2008
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Waterproofing basement walls should be a standard thing to do when finishing a basement. Most basements have high moisture levels, and much of the moisture enters via the basement walls. Cracks, leaking windows and pipe condensation are probably the most common reasons basements have water build-up problems. Too much or prolonged water retention in the basement can cause a variety of problems.

Basement Wall Options

There are numerous ways of waterproofing basement walls and these include:

- French Drains
- Hollow Baseboard Molding
- Sump Pumps
- Waterproofing
- Damp Proofing

French Drains - Interior drainage systems installed below the wet basement floor to collect underground water and wet wall
seepage. A trench is dug round the inside perimeter of the wet basement floor. A perforated plastic drain tile pipe is installed and
surrounded by gravel. Some wet basement waterproofing and repair contractors re-cement the floor over the French drain system
leaving a 1" to 2" gap in the floor along the walls to allow the web wall seepage to drain below the floor into the French drain system. A French drain usually connects to a sump pump.

Hollow Baseboard Molding and Cove Systems - A hollow baseboard channel is adhered to the joint where the floor meets
the wall using a waterproof epoxy. The hollow molding collects wet wall seepage and water rising at the cove area. Usually connected to a sump pump.

Sump Pumps - Installed in a plastic or fiberglass tank below the wet basement floor. Sump pumps can collect underground water
through perforations in the sump well in the immediate vicinity of the sump pump. Sump pumps can also act as a good floor drain or be used to drain a variety of underground drainage pipes.

Wall Sealers - Varieties include spray applied basement wall sealers, brush or roller applied basement waterproofing sealers, or
panel type basement waterproofing sealers for wet basement walls.

The truth is even with a good drainage system, it can't assure a dry basement wall. Lets look at damp proofing and waterproofing
as these are the cheapest and easiest methods of stopping moisture getting into your basement through the walls.

What is Damp Proofing?

Damp proofing products are typically a tar based material in a solvent base. They are cheap to apply but their effectiveness is
limited because they are only to designed to 'retard' moisture penetration, not prevent it. The main problem is that it becomes
brittle once it cures and as the foundation settles and hairline cracks appear, the tar based coating will not stretch to bridge the
cracks and this allows moisture to penetrate into the basement.

What is Waterproofing?

Waterproofing products are designed to 'prevent' water penetration even under wet conditions such as hydrostatic
pressure in the soil after heavy rain or spring thaws. Advanced Waterproofing Technologies products contain rubber which
provides superior waterproofing protection and allows the product to remain flexible even when it dries. This flexibility allows the
waterproofing membrane to stretch as the foundation settles and bridge small hairline settlement cracks that can occur in the
concrete or block.

How to Apply

Clearly waterproofing is a better option and since there is not a huge price difference between that and damp proofing, it seems a
more sensible long term choice, especially when it often has a 25 to 30-year guarantee.

Builders, many times in the past, paid little attention to href="
basement-wall.html"> waterproofing basement walls. So now is your chance to rectify that with simple-to-use products. Most of
the products are safe and easy to apply by the 'do-it-yourselfer'. They come ready to use in for example, 5 gallon pails or 55 gallon drums and do not require heating or special application equipment - anyone who can use a brush or roller can apply them. You can even use a commercial airless sprayer which can be rented by the day. An average size basement of approximately 1,000 square feet can easily be waterproofed by a couple of people using a roller in 2-3 hours. So get to it and start enjoying all that space without the damp.

Video Source: Youtube

Harry on September 12, 2011 said:
Waterproofing basement walls can reduce future problems caused by water damage. These problems could be very serious and cause you to spend a large amount of money. This article contains great advice and should be listened to.

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