Sunday, 4 May 2008

Choosing Effective Basement Waterproofing Solutions

Before choosing to apply a basement waterproofing sealer from your local home center or, the more dramatic approach, digging up outside your home to install drain tiles, do a little homework to figure out what is "causing" your problem. For instance, painting your basement walls with a waterproofing paint, is not going to matter much when you have a rain gutter downspout dumping enormous volumes of water directly against your foundation. With a common-sense approach, you can fix the things that need fixing and end up with better results.


Go outside during the next rain storm to see what's happening. Look at you rain gutters. Is water spilling over the sides? Check out where your down spouts empty to. Are they spilling out right next to your basement? Is surface water being directed toward your home. Are there low spots next to your home where water is ponding? Do you have a stream or creek nearby that may be flooding your property?

You should write down what you find during your outside inspection to help you decide later, what is the best solution for your problem.


If you determined that surface water is directed towards your home or that water is laying in low spots next to your home, you will have to consider doing some outside landscaping to re-contour the property around your home.

At least several inches of your foundation should be visible above ground level. Your yard should then slope slightly away from your home to direct surface water away. If water is laying in puddles, or deeper next to your home, no basement waterproofing product or method is going to work to its full potential.

Re-grading your yard is probably a job for a professional landscaper. Besides repairing your basement water problem, you must also consider preserving the value of your home or, improving the value from a professional job well done. If you have other landscaping needs or dreams, now is a good time to consider adding them to your project.

Rain Gutters

If your outside inspection revealed that your rain gutters are spilling over, they are probably clogged with leaves or other debris. Get your rain gutters cleaned out so they can direct your roof water away from your basement.

If your downspouts are dumping water next to your home, add extension pipes to direct the water at least 10 feet away. You should also consider extending underground drain pipes out to the street or down over a slope away from your home. Successful basement waterproofing is a multi-phased approach.


If your basement problem is only a "dampness" issue, this requires a completely different approach. Humidity problems are common to basements because they are underground and "cooler" than upstairs areas. Humidity and condensation are attracted to the basement because of the cooler temperatures. The word condensation refers to the principle that warmer air volumes shrink as they enter the colder basement. When the air volume shrinks, the moisture in that air collects together and forms droplets of water. These droplets form on cold water pipes, cold basement floors and walls and are absorbed into porous concrete, wood, carpets and furniture. This constant dampness is what helps feed unpleasant odors in the basement.

Get a good dehumidifier to mechanically remove this extra humidity from your basement. Make sure to get a deicer feature to prevent it from freezing up in the cooler lower level. A drain hose is another good feature. It will free you from having to empty the collection pan several times a day.

In Closing

Prevention is a key factor in any basement waterproofing project. The preventative tips above are all projects that will help improve the value of your home and your property. Identify your real problem before deciding on a solution.

Robert Clarke has owned and operated many successful home improvement companies throughout the past 30 years. He is a published author of home repair articles, pamphlets and brochures. Find additional information on basement waterproofing here.

Article Source: