Basement Waterproofing – The Complete Guide [DIY]

Basement Waterproofing

What Causes Wet Basements?


Water from melting snow and rain results in the accumulation of water on the basement floor. Water passes through cracks in the basement windows or as a result of damage to the interior drainage systems. Luckily, DIY Basement Waterproofing is not difficult at all.


Purpose of Basement Waterproofing


You need to prevent water damage. Interior sealant will help you seal the gaps in your pipes. A sump pump will get all the water out. Exterior waterproofing is necessary if there is water in your crawl space that is damaging your foundation walls.

Interior Waterproofing

4 Types of Interior Waterproofing


  1. Interior basement french draining: A french drain aids in releasing pressure and lowering moisture. It is not a complete waterproofing solution, but it is sometimes a necessary step. The next waterproofing methods will cover more complete solutions to drain systems by waterproofing basement walls.


  1. Paint for basement waterproofing: This sort of interior waterproofing implements paint on cracks to seal them shut, rendering basements dry. The right waterproofing product will have waterproof paint written on it. If it’s still a wet basement, your drainage system may have faulty gutters, downspouts, or drain tiles.


  1. Interior water drainage: This method incorporates the installation of an interior drainage system to stop water buildups. The installation requires one or two days at most. This is the most effective DIY Basement Waterproofingsystem out of all the methods on this list.


  1. Interior sealants: This interior basement waterproofing system uses sealants to temporarily seal cracks. As a result, the drainage system works long enough for the water to leave the basement. The material lowers the humidity levels in the basement.


Waterproofing Your Basement One Step At A Time


Here is a cheap and easy DIY Basement Waterproofing method for amateurs. I will explain each step nice and easy, so there is no reason to worry.


Having said so, follow the steps carefully as faulty waterproofing causes more damage than good. Everything that you have in the basement is at risk of damage as a result of seepage. It could be the basement windows, walls, or pipes that are at fault. For this reason, the first step is to inspect the premises carefully.

Clear Out Your Basement

Step One: Clear Out Your Basement


The first thing that you have to do is go down to your basement. Next, clear out all the things that you have in there. In other words, make sure that the basement is empty.


The reason behind this is to prevent further damage and to ensure a safe work environment. Once the area is clear, you can move on to the next step of waterproofing.

Dig To The Foundation

Step Two: Dig To The Foundation


With an empty basement, you can now commence digging. The target is the entire outer perimeter. Furthermore, you have to dig down to the floor of the foundation.


This step is necessary for the coming ones, so make sure that you do it right. Take your time when you are digging and set aside all the soil in one place. This will help you fill the basement up easily once the installation of the drainage system is complete.

Inspecting Your Basement For Leaks

Step Three: Inspecting Your Basement For Leaks, Gaps, And Cracks


The next step in the one by one DIY Basement Waterproofing manual is to check for cracks. You need to look for leaks, gaps, and cracks and surfaces that look like possible entry points of moisture. However, before you start checking, clean up all the surfaces of the walls and pipes.


After spotting the leak that is the culprit, the next step is obvious. Coat the spot with hydraulic cement. I am assuming that there are more than one leaks. If that is the case, apply the hydraulic cement on every crack.


Double-check for cracks and make sure that you are using proper lighting so that you spot every last crack. The hydraulic cement that you apply on the cracks expands while drying, making it an effective sealer of cracks. After coating with hydraulic cement, move on to the next step, which is the sealant application.

The Application of A Sealant On Exterior Walls Of The Basement

Step Four: The Application of A Sealant On Exterior Walls Of The Basement


This is an easy step that involves the application of a sealant on all the walls. The reason behind this step is to exterminate all possibilities of moisture and humidity. So, when you are out shopping for sealant, look for the product that says “Cement Base” on the side.


A sealant is a sort of material that gets hard after drying and, as a result, blocks concrete pores. Hairline cracks are the sort of cracks that are barely visible but contribute to basement moisture. We need them shut.


You want to make sure that you get the waterproofing of the basement right on your first attempt. For this reason, be meticulous about identifying and sealing all sorts of gaps or cracks.


Now that sealing of all gaps and cracks is complete, move on. The next step of the DIY Basement Waterproofing plan is very important. You currently have to put a waterproofing membrane in place.

The Application of A Waterproofing Membrane To Completely Ensure A Waterproof Basement

Step Five: The Application of A Waterproofing Membrane To Completely Ensure A Waterproof Basement


Now that the sealant is in place, the last waterproofing step is to put in a waterproofing membrane. When you are out shopping, get a polyurethane spray that has asphalt modification written on it.


This spray will make the foundation wall of your basement waterproof. The spray-on material is very elastic even after drying. As a result, the layer of polyurethane spray will last for future cracks underneath it.


Remember, there is a difference between a waterproofer and a damp-proofer. You are not looking for the damp-proofer product as it will not withstand if there is future damage. Get a waterproofer that is relatively high end. Don’t be cheap when it comes to securing a waterproof and strong basement foundation.


Your basement is now completely waterproof, and there is no chance of an increase in humidity. So, it is time to move on to the next step, setting up a drainage mat.

The Installation of A Drainage Mat That Has Dimples

Step Six: The Installation of A Drainage Mat That Has Dimples


Once the waterproofing is over, you can start setting up the Drainage mat that allows moisture to drain. The mat has little gaps in it that guide moisture to the drain structure.


While installing the drainage mat, you should make sure that it is at the right length. To do so, cut it exactly using the depth of the foundation as a measuring scale. Once the installation is complete, the drainage mat will help alleviate the lateral pressure that threatens the foundation.

French Drain

Step Seven: French Drain


Set up a french drain. Do so on the basement floor and make sure that it is below the water level. It is a good idea to install cleanouts so that future maintenance is easy to do. The last step of the french draining is backfill.


You have to backfill using gravel that is eighteen inches from the soil and four inches from cement. And there you have it! You are now a DIY Basement Waterproofing expert.


How Water Gets Through Concrete?


Concrete seems impeccable, but it can be the reason for moisture leakage. The water gets through hairline cracks that are hard to detect. If it is not that, then it is the concrete pores releasing humidity that turns to moisture. Luckily it is an easy fix if you follow steps three to five.


How to Check for Moisture Transmission


The transmission of moisture is not detectable without special tests. There are a few ways to check for moisture transmission, out of which two are the most common. The two major methods of checking moisture transmission are ASTM F1249 and ASTM E96. These methods measure the moisture vapour transmission rate, and the result is very accurate.


How Much Does Basement Waterproofing Cost


If you are not comfortably waterproofing your basement yourself, then you can always seek professional help. The cost of fixing up your basement may range from 2000dollars to 7000dollars. This depends on where you are and how extensive the damage is.


What Is The Best Basement Waterproofing System?


Interior water drainage is the most effective method of waterproofing your basement. It is the method of setting up an internal drainage system. Whether it is DIY Basement Waterproofing or professional waterproofing, make sure that you have your safety gear. Best of luck waterproofing your basement and make sure you follow every step in order.

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