Water and moisture can seep into your basement in a variety of ways. If there is a crack in your foundation, water will leak through. Even if the concrete is in good shape, water vapor can still move through the concrete, condense on the walls, and cause a problem with dampness and moisture. You may need to combine a couple of waterproofing methods to fix the problem. Here's a look at some of the options you have for waterproofing your basement.
DIY Waterproof Coating
You can apply a waterproof coating to the interior walls of your basement to keep water from seeping through the concrete. However, this may only give you temporary results. While it may block water vapor, it does nothing to divert water away from the foundation on the outside. If the water is constantly exerting pressure against the concrete, it could eventually crack, and you might eventually need foundation repairs.
Exterior Waterproof Membrane
A better option is to have a contractor install a waterproof barrier on the outside of the basement walls. This is probably not a DIY project because soil needs to be dug away from the foundation to expose the walls. Since this is a big undertaking, you may want to have a drain installed at the same time, since a trench will already be dug. The drain will divert water away from the foundation, and the membrane will provide further protection from seepage in case water pools around the foundation of your home because of a clogged drain or some other circumstance.
Interior Or Exterior Drain
The best way to ensure your basement stays dry is to install a drain system. If you install an interior drain, water that leaks into your basement will roll into the drain towards the well where it will eventually be pumped back outside. An exterior drain will keep water from getting near your home to start with. It's usually quicker and easier to install an interior drain. The contractor breaks up the concrete floor near the walls to make a small trench. A drain is placed in the trench and connected to an electric well. When the well is full of water, it kicks on and forces the water back outside.
An exterior drain works on gravity alone. It drains water from your foundation to a pond or the street. In this case, the contractor digs a big trench in your yard to hold the drain. Depending on the size of your property and the type of landscaping you have, putting in an exterior drain can be very disruptive.
The first step in deciding what type of basement waterproofing is the best for your situation is to call in a contractor from a company like B-Sure Systems Inc. He or she will determine why your basement is wet. It could be anything from newly installed landscaping that changed the slope of your yard to a change in the underlying water table. If you can't fix the cause of the problem, then your contractor will suggest the best way to go about keeping your basement dry so you can reclaim the space for daily living. The fix may be something as easy as filling cracks and repositioning landscaping, or as complicated as needing to have a trench dug in your yard for a French drain system.