Homeowners in the Virginia area know how much of a hassle it can be to deal with a damp basement. What’s even worse is having to redo basement waterproofing that hasn’t stuck. Sometimes, even after you’ve put your best efforts into the waterproofing process, seepage can damage the items you’ve put into downstairs storage.
With that in mind, what should the process of waterproofing a basement look like? Whether you’re doing the work on your own or contracting a professional, you’ll want to take the necessary steps to ensure that the process is completed properly.
Step 1: Determine the Extent of Your Waterproofing Needs
Not all waterproofing procedures need to be extensive. Before you get started, make sure to assess the damage you’ve seen in your basement. Are your walls frequently damp? Does the seepage extend onto your floor? Have your personal items been damaged?
Furthermore, be sure to take existing weather conditions into account. The Virginia area sees its fair share of rainstorms and hurricanes, so determine for yourself whether or not the water damage in your basement gets worse after it rains. If it does, you may have to seek out more extensive repairs than you would otherwise.
Step 2: Getting a Quote
Once you’ve determined the extent of your waterproofing needs, you’ll need to determine whether waterproofing your basement is an endeavor you can undertake on your own or if you want to seek out professional aid. This step is only a step that homeowners looking to hire a contractor will need to seek out: getting a professional quote.
While having a contractor or company help you waterproof your basement can be expensive, it is well worth it to have the team bring their expertise to your home. Note, though, that the nature of your waterproofing will change the cost of implementation. That variation in costs is why you should research multiple companies before committing to a service. When you do your research ahead of time, you’ll be able to determine which contractor can provide you with the best service, rates, and schedule.
Step 3: Take Steps Based On Your Needs
Whether you bring in a contractor or decide to try your own hand at waterproofing, you’ll only need to waterproof your basement as much as your needs dictate. With this in mind, know that you can use any of the following waterproofing solutions:
- French drains: French drains installed inside your home actively collect seeping water. It’s a good idea to have a sump pump system installed so this water has somewhere to go. The sump pump system will then pump the collected water out of the house. Their installation typically takes a single day, depending on whether or not you have help.
- Sealant: While sealants do not serve as permanent waterproofing solutions, they will help keep your walls and floor dry for a short period of time, typically between one and two years. If you have a mild problem with leakage, take a day to seal off your foundation.
- Drainage mats: Drainage maps are tarps you can install along your walls and floor to help protect your belongings from being damaged. Like sealants, these are typically temporary forms of waterproofing.
The most intensive form of waterproofing your basement – which often requires the assistance of a contractor, even if it’s just for a short period of time – typically plays out as follows:
- Jackhammer the internal foundation of your home.
- Install a sub-floor interior French drainage system to intercept seeping water.
- Install a reliable sump pump system.
- Check for foundational cracks.
- Install a moisture barrier on the walls if leaking is a major concern.
As you can see, based on this process, many waterproofing techniques can stack – meaning you can implement a number of them all at the same time. If you’re experiencing severe water damage, you may want to invest in several of these solutions.
Waterproofing Your Basement FAQ
Below you’ll find some of the most commonly-asked questions that arise when clients ask about the waterproofing process.
As mentioned, some waterproofing solutions are temporary, whereas others can last longer if they’re more comprehensive. The type of waterproofing that involves interior drainage installed by a reliable contractor is a more permanent solution. Comparatively, sealant waterproofing lasts between one and two years, depending on the type of sealant you used.
Waterproofing a basement can take anywhere between a single day and a full week. The more extensive, constructive types of waterproofing will take significantly longer than applying sealants, for example. If you’re working with a contractor, be sure to talk to them about how long they see the process of waterproofing your basement taking.
If you’re waterproofing your basement on your own time, do your research in advance and make sure not to take on a project that’ll consume more time than you’re willing to commit.
Yes, you can waterproof a crawl space. That said, the process of waterproofing a crawl space differs from the process of waterproofing a basement. Communicate with your contractor of choice to see what can be done to keep the items stored in your crawl space safe from water damage. Alternatively, research the type of crawl space you have and see if there are drainage mats or drains that can be installed to limit the water damage.
Controlling the water damage in your basement doesn’t have to be a stressful process. With a little bit of research, you can find the best waterproofing solution for your home.