Waterproofing Basement Walls
by HDME Staff
When waterproofing basement walls, the very first decision you need to make is whether you will be doing it yourself or hiring a professional to do it for you. There is no single method to let you know which is the better option, so you need to consider the pros and cons of each in order to make the right decision.
It is important to keep in mind that waterproofing has to be done right or it can be very costly down the road. Therefore, though it might be cheaper at first to do it yourself, if you don’t know what you’re doing or don’t have any experience in waterproofing basement walls, then it might be more costly in the long run if problems develop due to improper application.
It is also important to remember that if there already is a leak, it is up to you – the homeowner – to find it so that you can ensure that it is being properly waterproofed by yourself or the professional. This will save you a lot of money in unnecessary repairs.
Simply identifying the source of a leak can save thousands of dollars over time. Walk around your basement and do your own inspection. Check out the various places that are conducive to leaks such as condensation from plumbing, window or wall cracks, or any other visible areas that could allow water to enter. When you call a professional or decide on waterproofing basement walls, you should already have a good idea of where the leak has started.
Among the most common causes of basement leaks is the simple settling of a house over time. Over the years, a house will very slowly shift; it happens to every structure. What can happen, though, is the development of foundation and wall cracks as a result of this shifting.
Another cause of water leaking into basements can be pressure from underground water, which can then come through the basement walls. A poorly constructed basement may also lead to leaks, especially if shortcuts were used, leading to a shoddy final product. No matter the cause, though, waterproofing basement walls is highly recommended.
In almost every case, a hole or crack in a basement is the source of water leaking in. Therefore, when waterproofing basement walls, the holes and cracks must first be fixed. In the case of smaller cracks, a little waterproofing mix can be used as filler.
For larger cracks or holes, first clean the area, then apply a proper patching job. After this is done then the waterproofing compound can be applied. If no holes or cracks are present, then you can simply apply the waterproofing compound right to the wall.
The Big Question for YOU!
What's the biggest challenge you're facing when it comes to waterproofing your basement walls? And if you've completed such a project before, tell us about it as well as any lessons learned.