Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Waterproofing Your Basement

Our home has a partially finished basement that we would eventually love to completely refinish. If we refinish the basement, we can have an extra 1500+ square feet of living space and with a family of 6, we could use all of the extra room we can get. We thought it would be a project we would tackle right away after we moved in to this house but unfortunately, after a big rain, we found we have a problem with water leaking in so we have a lot of work before we can even consider putting any money in it. I was inspired by Abtech Basement Construction to come up with a list of simple things you can do yourself to ensure your basement stays dry! 

*Check the ground outside of your house. It should slope away from your foundation, not towards it. If needed, you can add fill dirt around the outside of your home to fix the slope. 

*Make sure you keep your gutters cleaned out during all seasons and ensure the downspout is releasing water at least 5 feet away from your house. You can add extensions if necessary. 

*Cover the walls with products that are designed to waterproof basements. These products go on like paint and act as a sealant to help keep moisture out.

*Install a sump pump and a backup sump pump in case the first one fails. Also make sure you have a backup energy source such as a generator if you have an electric pump. You can also purchase a battery operated sump so you won't have to worry if you lose power.

*Repair cracks and other defects in poured concrete walls. You can do this yourself but if you aren't knowledgeable with this type of work, we suggest you contact a professional. 

*For serious leaks, you can call a specialty person who can come out and install a clay-like product which permanently seals your basement 

For big jobs, it's always best to consult with professionals before you begin but you can do the first few things on this list yourself. When we purchased this house, the first thing we noticed was the downspouts were too close to the foundation so we fixed that right away. We have a lot of low lying dips in the ground where the dirt has settled that we need to build up a bit and then I think we will be ready to get started on our basement reconstruction. 

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