Are you sick of waking up to find that your basement has flooded? Or even that just a little bit of water has gotten through and made the floor and walls damp?
Lots of homeowners have to deal with leaking basements, and all of them know that it’s no fun. If this sounds like you, then it’s time to take action and waterproof your basement.
Waterproofing a basement sounds like a scary thing that would take a lot of work. But it doesn’t have to be! Depending on how bad your leaking problem is and what method you choose to fix it, waterproofing may be as easy as slapping some sealant on and calling it good.
Keep in mind, however, that if it’s gotten to the point where you are waking up regularly to find water in your basement, then it’s probably going to take a more involved fix than just sealing the cracks. That’s where either some manual labor on your part comes in or where a waterproofing company like Utah Foundation Repair saves the day.
Many home basements start to leak only years after the home was built. Your foundation walls may have been fine when your home was new, but as your home settles, cracks can appear. Then when it rains or the soil outside takes on water, the water will seep through these cracks into your basement. If water is not dealt with quickly, mold and mildew will appear, releasing harmful spores into the air and possibly affecting the health of your family members.
That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of waterproofing your basement and not let some other issue distract you or cause you to put off waterproofing your basement. Your foundation walls are literally holding up your house, and if the water is getting through them, that’s a sign of a serious problem that will only get more serious as time goes on. It will save you a lot of time and money in the long run to waterproof your basement today.
How to waterproof a basement:
There are a couple of different ways to waterproof a basement. The way you should choose depends on your budget, tools, and how bad your leaking problem is.
You can waterproof a basement by waterproofing the exterior walls of your home or by waterproofing the interior walls of your home. If possible, you should always waterproof basement walls from the outside over waterproofing basement walls from the inside, because this method works better. However, waterproofing the exterior walls is more expensive and requires some excavation.
To waterproof your basement from the outside, you’ll probably need to hire a foundation or waterproofing company like Utah Foundation Repair unless you have the tools to properly excavate the soil away from the foundation. Once the soil is excavated away from all sides of the house, you’ll need to install or replace drainage pipes (such as drain tile) and add a moisture barrier or waterproof membrane against the walls of the foundation. Then the excavated soil can be replaced and you’ll have a waterproof basement!
This method is better than waterproofing the interior walls because you’ll be combating the problem before it even begins. By not allowing water anywhere near your foundation concrete, that concrete cannot be damaged. If you waterproof your basement from the interior walls, then water can still get through the cracks in your foundation walls, it just won’t get beyond there. This means that cracks can still form and grow larger in the concrete because the water is still present.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t waterproof your basement from the interior, though. In fact, depending on the circumstances, this may be a better option.
One reason it may be better to waterproof your basement from the inside is if you are only dealing with a few small cracks that allow water into your basement. Waterproofing a basement from the outside is much more expensive than waterproofing it from the inside, especially if all that needs to be fixed are a few small cracks. If this is the case, you can simply fill the cracks with hydraulic cement or some type of waterproofing sealant.
If you want to seal your basement walls, take time to choose the proper sealer and do the job right, or you’ll just be doing it again in a few more years. Something important to remember is that sealers don't work over paint. If your basement walls are painted, you’ll need to sandblast the paint off or scrub them using a wire brush to remove the paint before sealing the walls. Waterproofing basement walls doesn’t have to be difficult, all you may need is some sealant or some cement.
If there are large cracks in your foundation walls or previous attempts to seal cracks were unsuccessful, you may need to install a floor drain system. This requires digging a trench through the concrete on the inside of your basement wall, and so is labor-intensive and quite messy. If you don’t have access to a concrete saw and a jackhammer or don’t want to spend hours doing hard, difficult work, you’ll need to hire a concrete or foundation company. This is a perfect job for basement waterproofing specialists like Utah Foundation Repair.
If your basement floods a lot and you don’t trust a sealant or other waterproofing method to work, you can install a sump pump. A sump pump works by pumping water out of an area into the sump pit, which will be located somewhere in your basement. Sump pumps work well if only one area of your basement tends to flood.
Here are some tips about waterproofing a basement:
1. Your basement may just be damp
If your basement is just damp and doesn’t have standing water anywhere, you can try using a dehumidifier. Condensation often occurs in basements because of the difference in temperatures between the basement and the rest of the house. A dehumidifier can help lower the humidity level and keep your basement dry, as well as get rid of bad odors, mold, and dust. If a dehumidifier doesn’t fix the problems or your basement gets any worse, then it’s best to waterproof the walls and proactively prevent the problem. This isn’t as much of a common issue in parts of Southern or Northern Utah because the humidity is relatively low for the most part. It is still, however, something to consider that is contributing to the problem.
2. Figure out where the water is coming from and why
Before deciding how you want to waterproof your basement, always figure out where the water is coming from and why it’s happening. You need to know this information in order to choose the best way to waterproof a basement since different ways of waterproofing solve different sources of water.
If you learn that water is entering your basement because there is too much water in the soil, you may be able to fix the problem by removing plants from near the foundation and directing rain gutter spouts away from your home. This lessens the amount of water coming into contact with your foundation and may prevent water from finding the cracks and seeping into the basement. You can also bring in some topsoil and make it so that your yard slopes away from your foundation in at least a 2 percent grade. This won’t get rid of all the excess water in the soil, but it will make it so that less is present and not as much gets through to the basement.
3. Completely dry basement before waterproofing and making repairs.
If you’ve finally decided to waterproof your basement because it recently flooded or you found water somewhere, always make sure to completely dry everything in your basement before making any repairs. This includes walls, floor, furniture, ceiling, and objects. By completely drying everything in the vicinity, you’ll be able to work more easily and will avoid getting an electrical shock. To further prevent any possible electric shocks, turn off the power to the basement before working. This tip is mainly for if things were very wet or maybe haven’t quite dried all the way, since ideally, you’ll want light in the basement so that you can see.
4. Pay attention to window wells and possible leaks there
Your walls may not be the only culprit in your leaking problems. Water may also be getting into your basement through a window well. If this is the case, you can install a window well drain that will hopefully fix the problem.
5. Gutters are more important than you’d think
Your gutter-and-downspout system is a lot more important in keeping your basement dry than you may think. If your downspouts or gutters aren’t working properly, then water isn’t being directed away from the home. That water will go directly onto the foundation, which may then crack and let water seep into the home. The less water that comes into contact with your foundation, the less likely you are to have flooding or leaking problems. To prevent some of these problems, make sure to take care of your gutters and downspouts. Check them each year to ensure that they are correctly directing water away from your home’s foundations, and not directly onto it.
6. Be prepared for a flood or other large amounts of water.
If you know that there are cracks in your foundation wall or you’ve experienced basement flooding in the past, always be prepared for it to happen again. Make sure that every member of your family knows what to do in the case of a flood and have a plan of action to take care of the problem. This includes keeping things that may get ruined—like photo albums or papers—away from windows, walls, and floors. You can even raise all shelves, dressers, and other furniture off the ground a little bit to prevent them from being ruined. When preparing to waterproof your basement, make sure to remove all important items and anything you don’t want to be ruined, because waterproofing a basement can be a very messy job.
How much does it cost to waterproof a basement?
Many homeowners put off waterproofing their basement because of the cost. Yes, waterproofing a basement can be expensive, but it will definitely be worth it. The average cost to waterproof a basement is a few thousand dollars, but this depends on how you decide to waterproof it. Your home is your biggest investment, and you don’t want to let the foundation or the basement of that home deteriorate until it needs to be torn down. A great way to prevent this worst-case scenario is by waterproofing your basement.
Though it may be expensive now, waterproofing your basement will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. You’ll no longer have to worry about your basement flooding or spend the time it takes to dry everything out and check for mold. You can leave the sprinklers running at night without wondering if you’ll wake up in a swamp.
Who can waterproof your basement?
Now that you know more about how to waterproof a basement, you can decide how best to waterproof yours. You should always get a professional opinion on how to waterproof YOUR basement, even if you plan to do the work yourself. Utah Foundation Repair would love to help you figure out the best way to waterproof your basement or to waterproof it for you.
Utah Foundation Repair specializes in foundation stabilization, sidewalk and driveway repair, foundation repair, crack repair, and basement waterproofing. Utah Foundation Repair has the tools and the attitude needed to waterproof your basement quickly and effectively.
If you want to work with one of the best basement waterproofing companies in Utah, call Utah Foundation Repair today.
Whether the basement of a newly constructed home needs to be waterproofed, or the basement of an old home with cracks and mold galore, Utah Foundation Repair is perfect for the job. Give us a call today and we’ll figure out the best time to come and figure out what needs to be done. Don’t wait to waterproof your basement. You’re risking more than it’s worth. Call Utah Foundation Repair to waterproof your basement today.
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