Waterproofing your basement is a very smart thing to do but if you’ve never before done this type of work, it is easy to feel a little overwhelmed when you think about it. There are, however, things that you can do to make this task a little easier and these things are easy to find if you start your research online. There are numerous tips to making the waterproofing of your basement a lot less stressful and some of them are below.
Start by Determining Why the Basement Flooded
Wet basements are usually caused by problems either inside the basement or outside and there is an easy way to find out which one applies to you. If you cut a 12-inch-square piece of tin foil and tape it to the wall of an exterior basement that is damp, using duct tape to keep it in place, and then leave it there for several days, you can use that foil to get your answer. After a few days, remove the foil and check where the dampness occurs. If the wetness is on the inner side of the foil, your basement is experiencing condensation, and if it is on the side against the wall, the water is coming from the outside.
Make Sure That the Pipes Are Insulated
Always insulate your water pipes when you waterproof your basement and don’t forget to allow for good ventilation so that great air flow is achieved. You can do this in the summer months by using your AC as a dehumidifier and in the winter, always turn on the heating so that the room can stay dry. All of this is especially important if condensation is your problem.
Remove All of Your Plants
If seepage problems exist in your basement, the problem can get worse if you have large plants or thick shrubbery surrounding the area because it prevents air and sunlight from reaching the walls. If this is the case for you, it is best to either remove or thin out the plants so that you get the circulation you need to ventilate the room and allow the sun to dry out the walls.
Keep Your Rain Gutters Clean
Because many different areas of your home can affect the waterproof capability of your basement, it is crucial that you thoroughly clean your gutters at least once a year. Your downspouts can easily allow water to collect around the walls of your basement, which can increase the dampness inside of the room. If you keep the downspouts and gutters clean and this doesn’t work, have your downspouts extended outwards further away from home and this may take care of the problem.
Make Sure That Your Mold Is Eliminated
Getting rid of mold and mildew before you waterproof your basement is easier than you think. You can fill a spray bottle with one gallon of water and three-quarters of a cup of bleach; after you put on the right protective clothing, spray the affected area thoroughly with this mix. If there is mildew present, you will likely need to remove it with either a rag or a scrubbing brush, depending on its severity.
Keep All of Your Doors Closed
It may seem as though you should do the exact opposite but once your basement is waterproofed, it is a good idea to keep your doors and windows closed for a bit. It may seem as if outside air flow will help your basement stay dry but the truth is that when it’s humid in the summer months, condensation can result. In the winter time, the rainfall can make the dampness worse. Keeping the windows and doors shut can take care of this problem, increasing the effectiveness of the waterproofing job.
Always Use Waterproof Paints
It is important to use waterproofing paint for your basement after you’ve waterproofed it. Do not use water-repellent paint because this type of paint produces only temporary results and is only for exterior use. By contrast, waterproofing paint is a specialized paint that does a great job of preventing the hydrostatic seepage of water that is under pressure and it can also be used for both interior and exterior walls. For this and many other reasons, using special waterproofing paint is a very smart thing to do after you’ve personally waterproofed and protected your basement.