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How to Correctly Waterproof Your Basement

How to Correctly Waterproof Your Basement

How to Correctly Waterproof Your Basement – French Drain And Vapor Barrier

Waterproofing a basement is essential for keeping down moisture levels. If your basement is excessively humid, it’s going to affect the air quality of your entire house, as well as cause damage to its foundation. Here are a few steps you need to take when you waterproof your basement and a few options.

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First, check around the house and make sure that the ground slopes down away from the house, and not toward it. If it slopes toward your house, the rainwater is going to naturally find its way into your basement. If this is the case, do a little landscaping, and add dirt around your foundation.

Speaking of landscaping, you should also remove plants from around the foundation of your house. Their roots will bring water right in if they’re sitting too closely. One more thing to check outside before you start is your gutters. Make sure the gutters and downspouts are clean and will drain rainwater away from the house.

Inside the basement, inspect everywhere for cracks and holes, and repair them before you get started. They’ve got compounds that you can buy at the hardware store for doing this. You simply apply the compound, and it seals up the crack. There is different stuff for different materials, so make sure you know what you’re filling first.

Now, when you get to actually waterproofing a basement, there are several different solutions. They make foam spray and waterproofing paint, but the effectiveness of these is fairly limited. We’re going to look at two very effective methods that work to waterproof your basement both inside and out – French drains and vapor barriers.

French Drains

French drains are continuous piping systems that draw water away from your basement. They can be installed either inside the house under the basement’s floor, or outside, running along the perimeter of the house.

Laying French drains involves digging a trench for the piping to lay in. There are several options for doing this, and you might want to have a waterproofing professional have a look at your basement and make a recommendation. Once the trench is dug, you lay the drainage piping. Lots of materials are good for this including tile piping and PVC. Once it’s down, surround it with gravel and fill the trench back in.

Vapor Barriers

A vapor barrier is a clear polyethylene sheet that blocks water and moist air from entering the basement. It stops water but also the vapor that seeps in through the basement walls and floor slabs. It is attached to the foundation wall.

These are both things that you can do yourself, but you might want to call in a professional when you’re waterproofing a basement. It takes skill, experience, and tools to make sure you’re doing a thorough job that will be effective in the long run.