Regardless of the quality of construction of your basement, water can seep into it if it is not waterproofed. Over time, seepage can lead to various damages that will require costly repairs. So, you need to prevent this problem by ensuring timely and quality basement waterproofing.
If you are set to protect your basement, here is a step-by-step guide to basement waterproofing:
- Dig around the basement
The first thing you have to do is to dig around your basement. Start from the outer perimeter of the basement until it reaches the base of the house’s foundation. The success of your basement waterproofing depends on the application of the right product over the walls.
You will need to install some materials around or below the area you want to waterproof. The materials you can use include perforated pipe, gravel or crushed stone drains, and drainage tiles. The installed system will discharge into a well-constructed drainage system.
- Take note of cracks and/or holes
Are there any cracks or holes that can allow water to come into your basement? If yes, block the areas with a coat of hydraulic cement. Don’t leave out any holes or cracks.
- Apply sealant
Get a coat of cement-based sealant and apply it to all exterior walls. This kind of sealant can be used easily and is great for different surfaces including cement. For full coverage, you can also apply the sealant to the cracks or holes you blocked in the previous step.
- Install a membrane
The next step is to prevent outside water from coming into the basement. You can do this by using a waterproofing membrane to seal the foundation water.
Go for elastomeric membranes that are specifically designed for waterproofing. Made of modified asphalt, these membranes can expand and cover areas with new cracks.
- Use a drainage mat
Now, you need to get a drainage mat that has molded dimples. Then, install it over the areas. Make sure the material leaves some air gaps between itself and the wall. This is to enable moisture to move to the drainage structure. Cut the drainage mat to the precise foundation depth. This mat can also play a key role in reducing lateral pressure against the foundation.
- Install the French drain
Afterward, the French drain must be installed. Alternatively, you can use a weeping tile. Install the pipe at the base of the footing to force the water to stay below the basement floor. You may also consider installing cleanouts so that it will easier to access the area for maintenance.
You should also backfill with gravel. Make sure the gravel is 18’ from grade for earth areas while keeping it at 4’ from grade in the area for pouring cement.
Although you have completed basement waterproofing, you should note some essential things. Foremost, avoid using tar and plastic materials for waterproofing your basement as these materials crack or peel away. Similarly, you must avoid backfilling with limestone because it can block drainage structures. Instead, you must go for gravel for backfilling the basement