Anyone who has dealt with a flooded basement knows how frustrating and messy cleanup and remediation can be. Add to that the cost of repairs, and you’ll see why waterproofing the basement makes sense. Basement waterproofing not only prevents floodwater and moisture from damaging your basement floor and walls, but more importantly, it keeps your home dry and free of mold.
When waterproofing the basement, you have three options. You can waterproof the interior or the exterior or both. Let’s see what each involves.
Waterproofing the Basement Interior
Sealing the interior is the first step in preventing future water damage from leaks or flooding. The process starts by opening a trench inside the basement. Next, an internal French drainage system is installed within the trench to direct water that gathers to a sump pump. After this, the trench is sealed with concrete. Internal sealants are then used to seal cracks that may let water seep through to the basement.
Though they cannot stop flooding in the long term, sealing closes up cracks on walls, floors and ceiling so no water gets inside. The most effective solution to flooding is to install basement sump pumps. When submersed, the sump pump will drain out large quantities of water, quickly eliminating the threats posed by floods, including water damage.
Concrete breakout is a common technique in full interior basement waterproofing. It’s useful in identifying leaks and potential leaks in the basement and walls of the foundation. For an amateur, this is hard, risky work, but for waterproofing experts, it’s a relatively easy repair that takes no time.
Summers can be hot and humid in Virginia, something that can make the indoors unbearable. If you find there’s too much moisture in the air, consider installing a dehumidifier. It will bring down the moisture levels in your basement to about 50 percent. Reducing moisture levels will discourage mold growth and reduce the amount of time you’ll need to run your air conditioner.
Don’t forget to install a basement grated drain pipe, as it will keep floodwaters out of your entryway.
Waterproofing the Basement Exterior
No matter how beautiful the outdoors look, danger always lurks around the perimeter wall, especially the soil surrounding the basement. Telltale signs that you have moisture issues emanating from the outside include damp cold floors and water puddles. Exterior waterproofing not only keeps the basement dry, but it prevents moisture buildup and stains as well as mold and mildew from taking over your home. When coupled with internal proofing, exterior drainage will keep water out of your home.
The first step in waterproofing the exterior is channeling water away from the basement and foundation walls. For this purpose, you will have to install gutters and downspouts. Installation is pretty simple and will cause minimal disruption to your yard or landscape. If yours is in place, make sure it’s functioning properly and not clogged.
Next, excavate the ground around your foundation and install a waterproofing membrane topped by drainage panels. This will stop groundwater from coming into contact with the basement walls and provide an easy path for water to follow down to the drain below your foundation. Ensure it’s sloped so that water doesn’t collect around the perimeter. Alter the slope or grading of soil around the home if that helps.
If you have a driveway, create drains to channel water away from the home to a drainage area. Ensure yours have metal grates to keep debris and leaves that can cause clogging out.
Avoid Flood Water and Moisture Problems
Water in the basement is any homeowner’s worst nightmare. As well as causing wood to rot and metal to rust, damp basements create good conditions for mold to grow and pests to thrive and infect your home. The cost of mold remediation and water damage repairs can run into thousands of dollars. Why wait till your basement gets flooded to act?
You can avoid all the above problems by waterproofing and exterior of your basement. Never attempt a DIY as you could apply the wrong solution to your basement. Where leakage has occurred, we encourage you to use interior and exterior basement waterproofing solutions.
Interior waterproofing can suffice, but you never know what nature has in store for you. You may wake up one day and find floodwater in your basement. For this reason, it’s best to install internal and external basement drainage systems.
If you’re not sure what to do with a cold, damp and musty basement, contact your local basement waterproofing expert in Virginia. We will recommend proven interior and exterior waterproofing solutions for your home.