When your home's basement experiences moisture problems from exterior intrusion, it is important and essential you determine the source of the moisture and repair it as soon as possible. Basement moisture problems can cause moisture rot, mold and mildew growth, and can cause damage to your basement furnishings and finished surfaces. Here are two methods to help you waterproof your basement to keep outside moisture out.
Your basement waterproofing begins outside of your home to ensure water does not reach your home's interior and basement foundation. This is completed by landscaping the soil appropriately around your home's foundation and ensuring your roof drainage is working and installed properly. Make sure you build up the soil's slope around your home so the soil slopes downward at least six inches in the first ten feet away from your home, to help water runoff flow away from your foundation.
To make sure your roof and gutters are draining water from your home during wet weather, you will need to inspect the gutters for any damage or sagging. Safely get upon your roof and spray your garden hose so water flows through the gutters. Look for any leaks from holes, cracks, and gaps and water runoff over sagging edges of your gutters. Improper gutter draining will cause water to fall upon the soil next to your home's foundation. Have any damage to your gutters repaired as soon as possible by a gutter professional.
You should also check your home's downspouts to look for improper water flow. The water draining from the downspouts should not fall directly onto soil near your home's foundation. The water can erode the soil and saturate down through the soil around your home's foundation. When the soil becomes overly saturated, this causes the pressure of the water within the soil to find an exit of least resistance, which can be through any small cracks in your home foundation or the gap between the foundation slab and basement walls.
It is recommended to at least place a splash block below your downspout to stop soil erosion, but it is more beneficial to add a downspout diverting extension onto your downspout, which guides water several feet away from your home, preferably onto a paved surface. It is recommended to divert downspout water at least five feet from your home to prevent basement moisture leaks.
It is also important to waterproof your basement from its inside to prevent any potential water from seeping into your home space and causing moisture damage, and mold and mildew growth. There are several methods you can use to accomplish this.
First, you can take care of interior water seeping by installing a French drain around the perimeter of your basement walls. You will need to remove any installed flooring to excavate a perimeter trench to house the drainage tube and surrounding gravel layer. Then, an installation of a vapor barrier of durable plastic sheeting onto the walls traps and diverts any incoming moisture into the French drain. This drain collects any water and diverts it to a sump pump installed within your basement floor, where it is pumped outside and away from your home. You can install drywall over the vapor barrier to finish the walls and room.
Another method uses a spray or liquid sealant that is applied onto the interior basement walls. First, you will need to fill and repair any cracks within the foundation walls to fully block any exterior water from penetrating your basement, due to a high water table or excessive exterior soil saturation from weather conditions. Then, apply the waterproofing layer onto the walls to help seal out the moisture.
Talk to a basement waterproofing professional or a contractor to get an estimate for installing either a French drain system or to seal your basement walls with a waterproof barrier protection.