Creating Lasting Repairs

How To Protect Your Basement From Water Damage

by Marvin Gilbert

If you've just finished off your basement, the last thing you want is water damage. Even if your basement hasn't flooded, any kind of leakage can cause mold which can cause an odor and be bad for your health. Leaks can also damage your flooring, wallpaper, trim, and in some cases, your home's framework. Here are some tips to keep your basement safe.

Start Your Preparations Above Ground

If you live on uneven property, look for ways to divert water away from your house's walls. Use a shovel around your home to build up the grade so that water runs down the soil and away from your basement. You may need to buy special downspout extensions to make sure water is going far away from your home and not eroding the soil. You may also want to invest in a seamless gutter system, as these gutters don't get clogged as easily with debris or have as many leaks as traditional gutters.

Hire a Contractor for Waterproofing Services

If you your home happens to be in a place where the water table is above your foundation and you live in an area with frequent floods, a sump pump is a good idea. A contractor or plumber can set you up with a sump pump, which can prevent water from flooding by pulling it away from your home's foundation.

A contractor can use sodium bentonite—a water-absorbent clay—to patch any cracks and areas where leaks are likely to occur. Other contractors may spray petroleum-based products or Drylock on to your basement walls, thus creating a barrier. Unlike regular paint, which can be penetrated by water, these waterproof sprays cover all of your walls' pores and bond with the masonry.

If you want to waterproof concrete floors, your contractor can use a crystalline waterproofing method. Crystalline materials are often formulated out of cement, quartz sand, and other waterproof chemicals. When the contractor applies crystalline, the permeability of your concrete will decrease.

There are all sorts of waterproofing methods out there that your contractor can try, so if one method is too expensive, there are still solutions for your budget.

Make Small Adjustments Yourself

Even if your basement is waterproofed, moisture can still hang around and cause damage if you don't circulate the air and use a dehumidifier to get rid of dampness. If you have any windows, be sure to caulk around the edges to seal off potential leaks. If you don't have a window well, consider installing one, as the curved steel insert and pipe can divert water and protect your window.

Talk with a contractor in your area, such as All-Systems Waterproofing Inc, for more waterproofing tips.