If you’ve ever had water leaking in your basement, then you know just how annoying the problem can get. The truth is that you don’t have to deal with it. It is possible to leakproof your basement so that not a drop of water gets in from either above or below. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your basement is leakproof, assuming you know how to frame a basement beforehand.
Check for Problems Above Ground
Most leak issues in basements are caused by the runoff of water on the outside of the house. A good first step to prevent a leaking basement is to ensure that the water outside is redirected before you deal with any underground water.
Start with your gutters. They should be clear and free of any debris to ensure that all water is being correctly routed away and doesn’t remain stagnant. Stagnant water has a way of eating into the defenses of your basement and eventually finding its way through to the bottom. That isn’t something you want.
You should also check the downspouts to ensure that they are functioning as they are meant to. Downspouts are there to route away rainwater and other forms of precipitation. The idea to take water away from your home and not to let it linger. As long as the water stays away from the foundation, you are safe.
Repair Any Cracks
Once you have taken care of the routing of water, the next step is to repair any cracks in the foundation.
You have ensured that there isn’t any intense water pressure on your foundation, but is the foundation strong enough to handle even the little water pressure it is experiencing? To make sure, you should use hydraulic cement to repair the cracks in the foundation.
The cracks can be very dangerous as they allow water to seep through and, in time, will widen from a hairline crack to a much wider fault. If you have even the smallest of cracks, use a chisel and hammer to widen them. What you want to make sure the inside of the crack is wider than the opening. Since hydraulic cement expands as it hardens, this will help it get filled as it dries, and the crack will be completely sealed. To widen the inside of the crack, undercut it with the chisel and hammer.
Once you’ve opened the crack, make sure it is clean by washing it with a stiff brush and water. That way, the hydraulic cement will adhere better. You can then follow the instructions on the hydraulic cement container to mix the cement and roll it into a ball. Make sure to have gloves on during the procedure.
The area to be patched needs to be damp before it is patched, so ensure you dampen it first. Press the cement firmly into the opening of the crack until it is about half an inch in and allow that layer to dry. Once it is dry, you can add an additional layer that will match the repair surface for a neat finish.
Apply Waterproof Paint
Once you’re done repairing all of the cracks, seal out the water by applying waterproof paint over the repaired surfaces.
Salman is a prolific environmental writer, and has authored more than 500 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management, sustainability and conservation all over the world.
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