Here are a few basement waterproofing tips to get you started. In general, the basement is a place where people find their old sofa, unwanted bags of cloths to be donated to the Goodwill, along with rust, mold, mildew, fungus, and wood rot all over the place. People not only want to be rid of this awfulness, but at the same time, they start to think of the possibilities. What could the basement possibly be? It could be storage space sure, but what about living space? A basement can potentially be far more than a rotting cellar. Solving this situation means eliminating the source of biological growth (water), repairing any damages, waterproofing and finally doing an overhaul on the interior design.
Green slime and hair-cracks along the basement floor all the way to the wall where half the foundation blocks are broken with seeping holes of flowing water and a corner caving totally in from an enormous sink hole are worst case scenarios that show sings of badly needed basement waterproofing. But if there is a lot of condensation on the walls, pipes and water heater, even more annoying things like rust and mold can be found. This is mainly because when surface water from old gutters or an improperly graded lot around a foundation cause underground water pressure (hydrostatic pressure) to build up at the floor and wall corners, then the basement is suffering from one fatal word “neglect”. Neglect from the original house builders, neglect from the salesman, and neglect from the homeowner. But once the problem has been identified, and measures are taken to waterproof the basement, then it is hope that prevails.
Hope is based on our dreams. Dreams of what a basement could be. A basement can be another living room, a party room, a guest bedroom, a pool room, an extra kitchen, an extra laundry room, or even a play room for the children; thus the whole reason for the art of basement waterproofing. People not only want decent living space, they deserve such a place to the very extent that it at least be a safe and dry place to leave their belongings, if not make sure that their children can safely play their without getting sick. Basic health issues are just common sense. Who wants to be living on top of a rotting cellar that slowly decays the house into the ground?
Taking care of this and making sure that there is a solution to the problem, means identifying the source of water, through observation, repairing, and waterproofing. Cracks filled with water that seeps only during a hard rain is an indication of surface water building up underground. Whole lakes in the basement or, continuous flows from a hole or crack in the wall can mean ground water that will need more attention. Humidity causes the expansion and shrinkage of the walls cracking them and can thus lead to condensation and dark, damp caves that give birth to fungus and other cave dwellers. Fixing the source of the water is just the first solution, and then fixing up the damage done is the next basic solution in keeping the basement dry. But lastly, the basement will need to be water proofed, be it through the use of Bentonite clay on the external foundation walls, laminated asphalt waterproofing, sheet membranes such as; rubber, polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene, and liquid membranes of the earlier mentioned substances can also be applied with roller brushes, standard brushes, trowel or spray gun. Final waterproofing techniques are varied.
Finally, when thinking about why people waterproof their basements, the subject can be demystified by understanding the basic concept of neglect. Water builds up pressure called hydrostatic water pressure and pushes through the cement block foundations, over time. The builder doesn’t foresee the problem (neglect), the salesmen (neglect) nor the homeowner (neglect) until it is too late. The basic hope of using the basement may seem like a dream to the more down to earth person who actually lives with a wet basement badly in need of waterproofing. But it is not only possible to fix the damage and recover the space for storage; it’s possible to actually “use” the waterproofed basement. Just identify the problem, fix it, repair the damage, waterproof, and remodel till your heart is content. Waterproofing the basement can be as easy and fun if instead of neglecting them, we brought them to life… by bringing the basement, a little hope.