7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Waterproofing Basements

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It could happen to any home.

Your basement was fine one moment, and the next time you look, it’s completely flooded. You must have forgotten to make sure your basement was waterproofed before the rainy season hit!

To avoid a disaster like this, certain techniques can help with waterproofing basements before something goes wrong. Here is a list of things to avoid when waterproofing your basement.

1. Waterproofing Basements With Waterproofing Paint

While waterproof paint is a great way to protect your basement’s walls from damage, it is far from the only thing that you should be using. Relying too heavily on paint for a quick fix can cause lime to develop on the walls, which leads to bubbling and cracking in the paint. This is especially problematic when it comes to concrete walls and floors.

After a while, the paint will flake off, and the problem will start all over again. To avoid needless repairs, try to pay more attention to other potential solutions before turning to waterproof paint. A waterproofing expert can help you figure out long-lasting solutions to your waterproofing needs. 

2. Draining Flooded Basements Too Quickly

It’s only natural to want to drain a flooded basement as quickly as possible; however, the results from doing this could be disastrous.

If the flooding is the result of either a storm or a collapsed river/other large body of water, then it’s likely that there is more water adding pressure to the outside walls of your basement. Without the water on the inside, the water around the basement will try to fill in the gap, and the added pressure will cause severe damage to the room.

Take your time when getting rid of excess water in your basement to keep your foundation safe and secure. Otherwise, you may have a very expensive repair on your hands. 

3. Not Allowing Proper Drying Time

Before beginning any waterproofing procedure, it’s important to make sure that everything in your basement is dry and free of damage. Certain aspects of the walls, ceiling, or flooring may need to be replaced before waterproofing your basement; water can severely damage and weaken certain foundations, and to avoid a collapse later, it’s important to inspect the area thoroughly first. 

4. Not Being Aware of Soil Around the Home’s Foundation

Any water that gets into your basement is likely the result of the topsoil around your home absorbing and redistributing water inside the home. This is because the soil immediately surrounding your home is less dense, allowing water to easily soak in and get into your home’s foundation, leading to wet or flooded floors.

To prevent potential water from entering your basement, it’s crucial to have your home on a slope where the soil slopes away from your home. Any depressions around the foundation should be added to prevent water from soaking too deep underneath the soil. 

By doing this, you will thicken the soil while also providing a small hill for any excess water to be drawn away from your home, preventing water from having a chance to seep too deep into the soil.

5. Sealing Cold Joints in the Basement

Although tempting, the areas between the floor and walls of your home should not be filled in. Many like to use cement or other similar mixtures to prevent water from getting in, but this is a mistake.

By not allowing a small area where pressure can be released, it will begin to multiply along the sides and ceiling of the basement instead and can lead to serious damage to the integrity of the basement. 

6. Ignoring Potential Runoff Locations

If you find particular areas of your basement that are constantly waterlogged, it’s important to check the outside of your home for areas where runoff may be occurring. Extra runoff comes from the roof of the home, and without a proper gutter system, the water will seep off the roof and into the soil around your home, which will then soak into the foundation of the basement.

When waterproofing, make sure to check your gutter system; ensure that it is attached properly to the roof and that the runoff extends about 8 feet away from the foundation of your home. That way, water won’t pool around your home and soak into the less dense soil near your basement walls.

The windows around your basement can also potentially cause water to get inside of your basement; window drains are a great way to help prevent water from seeping through the window well area around your home.

7. Waiting Too Long Before Waterproofing

Of course, it’s easiest to avoid water damage to your basement by starting to waterproof right away! While a bit of water seems easy to deal with now and again, a wet basement can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, making it unsafe to use.

Not only will this make your basement hazardous, but it will also be incredibly expensive to deal with mold removal. Your home will also likely continue to collect water during the extermination process, meaning it will take much longer for you to begin waterproofing your basement.

Say Goodbye to Cold, Wet Basements

Now that you have the skills to avoid disaster, you are ready to begin waterproofing basements! Keep these tips in mind so that you can ensure that your basement stays dry and free of mold for years to come.

How have you waterproofed your basement? Are you finding yourself having difficulties with the waterproofing process, or need help figuring out what materials to use for waterproofing?

If you are having issues waterproofing your basement and need professional assistance, contact us today