Saturday, December 3, 2022

How to Waterproof Walls in Your Basement

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Keeping your basement dry and safe is essential. If your basement floods frequently or you live in an area that experiences heavy rains, water waterproofing may be the best option for you. The reality is that waterproofing your basement walls will protect them from moisture, which can cause mold and mildew to grow. Basements are prone to moisture because of their location. The ground outside drains water directly towards your foundation wall and underground plumbing. This article will explain why basement walls must be waterproofed if you want to keep your basement dry and prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and mold.

What Causes Basements to Flood?

A flooded basement can happen to anyone, and it can lead to expensive repairs. If you want to prevent your basement from flooding, you’ll need to understand why it happens in the first place. If you’re in an area that receives a decent amount of rain, a sudden downpour can quickly cause your basement to flood as rainwater runs off the ground and into your home’s foundation. Even in areas with a dry climate, heavy rains can flood basements if your home’s foundation is not properly sealed and graded. 

  • A porous or cracked foundation can lead to water seeping into your basement, where it can cause damage to your belongings and create a breeding ground for bacteria. 
  • If your home’s water supply is not properly diverted away from your basement, it can also cause flooding. 
  • Water from toilets, washing machines, and kitchen sinks flows into the ground and can seep into your basement if it is not properly diverted. 
  • You can also experience flooding if your sump pump malfunctions. Sump pumps are designed to automatically remove water from your basement, but they can break down or become clogged over time. Once your sump pump breaks, water will collect in your basement until you notice the problem.

Waterproofing Your Foundation

Every basement wall must be waterproofed if you want to keep your basement dry. Waterproofing your basement can be done by applying a waterproof coating to the walls. This can be done by troweling on a thin layer of cement, asphalt, or other waterproofing materials. Another way to waterproof a basement is to use a waterproof backing material. The most common backing material is cement board, which is stapled to the walls. 

Waterproofing your basement walls will protect them from moisture, which can cause mold and mildew to grow. It will also protect your belongings from damage caused by water. A waterproofed basement will be easier to clean and keep clean, making it a safer, healthier space for the whole family.

How to Waterproof Walls in Your Basement

You can waterproof your walls with cement, asphalt, or another waterproofing material. You can also use a waterproof backing material like cement board. 

To waterproof your walls: 

  • Prepare the walls by removing any old paint or covering from the walls. This is important to make sure that the new waterproofing material adheres to the wall properly.
  • Clean the wall with a mild mixture of water and detergent. 
  • Let the walls dry completely. 
  • Cover the wall with a thin layer of waterproofing material.
  • Let the waterproofing material cure. This may take up to two weeks depending on the material you use.
  • Cover the waterproofing material with another layer of wall covering, like drywall or cement board.

Installation of a French Drain

French drains are usually installed along the outside of the foundation wall to divert any water coming towards the wall. A French drain is essentially a trench filled with gravel that runs from the outside of the wall and into a nearby drain or water storage tank. 

  • French drains are a good option if you don’t want to apply waterproofing to the outside of your wall.
  • French drains can clog if there is too much dirt or gravel in the system, so they may require more maintenance than other systems. 
  • A French drain can be installed by digging a trench along the outside of your wall. 
  • The trench should be around 6 to 8 inches deep and 2 to 4 inches wide. 
  • The gravel should be 12 to 16 inches from the wall. 
  • French drains shouldn’t be installed against the foundation wall, but rather at a 90-degree angle to the wall.

Installing a Basement Drain and Water Storage Tank

A basement drain and water storage tank is installed in the back of the basement. First, dig a trench from the wall to the back of the basement. The trench should be 6 to 8 inches deep and 2 to 4 inches wide. Install the drainage pipe along the trench with gravel at the bottom to catch water. Water in the pipe will flow towards the basement wall and into a drainage control box. The drainage box has a water shut-off that directs the water into a water storage tank. The water storage tank collects water, and then pumps it out of the basement through a sump pump. The sump pump sends the water outside through a discharge pipe.

Installing a sump pump and drainage system.

A sump pump and drainage system can be installed along the basement floor. First, dig a hole in the basement floor and then place the sump pump in the hole. Connect the water discharge pipe to the sump pump, and then cover the pump with concrete or gravel. Next, dig a drainage trench along the floor to a nearby drain or water storage tank. A sump pump and drainage system is a more effective solution than a basement drain and water storage tank. It is also cheaper to install.

Conclusion

A flooded basement can happen to anyone, and it can lead to expensive repairs. If you want to prevent your basement from flooding, you’ll need to understand why it happens in the first place. Waterproofing your basement walls will protect them from moisture, which can cause mold and mildew to grow. It will also protect your belongings from damage caused by water. Waterproofing a basement can be expensive, but it is worth the cost because it protects your home and your family’s health.

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