Excessive moisture within your basement can cause all sorts of water damage within your home, and can even contribute to mold growth and pest infestations, both of which are serious health concerns that can be expensive and complicated to remove. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to reduce the amount of ambient moisture within your basement. Understanding the differences between some of the most common ways to reduce the risk of water damage within your basement can help you choose the option that is the best fit for your needs.
If the walls within your basement are unfinished and are made out of exposed concrete or masonry, you can purchase a waterproof sealant from most hardware stores. This sealant can be applied with a roller, just like paint, onto the exposed walls of your basement, and acts as a waterproof barrier against moisture and humidity which may seep from the soil outside of your home through your walls and into your basement.
Drain Tiles and Sump Pumps
If you notice that water is welling up from the ground instead of the walls within your basement, you may have an issue with a high aquifer in the area that your home is built in. Therefore, your basement may be at risk of minor flooding and the resulting water damage. To prevent this, you should make sure that you have a working sump pump installed within your basement – and you may also want to consider installing drain tiles, which are connected to nearby storm drains and form a pathway for water to leave your basement. While sump pumps will help reduce the risk of water damage occurring in your basement, drain tiles will work to minimize any damage that does occur, making the cleanup and repair processes easier.
Basement Wall Repair
In extreme cases, excessive moisture and water damage moving through the walls in your basement can cause warping and cracking to occur, which can create further pathways for water to enter your home and cause damage. In the case that the structural integrity of your basement's walls seems to be compromised, you should contact a contractor who understands home waterproofing to have the cracks filled in and the walls adjusted; in most cases, they will also apply some sort of waterproofing barrier, either by digging around the edges of your home to install a vapor barrier or by applying a sealant, as discussed above, to prevent further wall damage.