In England, we have ever-changing weather. So it’s a good idea to ensure that your house is fully waterproof for when it inevitably rains or snows. If you have a basement in your property, you will know that they can be prone to flooding. This can be incredibly damaging in the long run if the problem isn’t sorted - costing you thousands of pounds.
But fear no more! There are ways in which you can protect it using simple DIY methods. However, if you have already faced issues with it or you aren’t confident in using these techniques, it might be a good idea to seek professional guidance.
Determine The Source of The Leak
Before you try out any of these methods, you should start the basement waterproofing process by checking your basement for streaks of water between the mortar joints, around the pipes or along the cracks on the wall. If there are no obvious signs as to how the water is getting through, you should conduct a condensation test.
Now, a condensation test isn’t as scary as it sounds. You can do one by simply attaching a one-foot square piece of tin foil to a dry area of the wall with duct tape. After 24 hours, go back down to the basement and see how the underneath of the foil feels. If it’s damp, it’s clear that water is coming through the wall from the outside. However, if it’s dry, the moisture is coming from somewhere else in your basement.
The Different Methods
If you don’t already have gutters on your property, it’s a good idea to install them. Gutters will direct water away from your property, which in turn, will help to waterproof your basement. A simple and cost-effective solution, it will save you money in the long term. When installing gutters, you should also put 1.2 meter (or 4ft) downspouts to help to whisk the water away.
If you already have gutters, then ensure that they are cleaned out (especially in the winter)and free of leaves/dirt to make sure that your basement walls aren’t gathering all of the water.
Move Any Trees/Bushes
Sometimes, basement leaking can be caused by the close proximity of tree roots/bushes. Although this shouldn’t cause too much seepage, it could result in condensation within the basement which could persuade mould to harvest within the walls. Move any bushes or trees at least 40 cm away from your property to decrease the chance of it affecting your basement.
If you have noticed cracks at the bottom of your basement walls, then filling them with hydraulic cement might be the best option. When a house is constructed, reinforced steel and concrete is placed in the foundation to ensure that it is secure. However, sometimes the area between the footing and wall can become weak because of the pressure of the soil and property - which is where hydraulic cement can come in.
Quick note: As hydraulic cement dries very quickly, you need to make sure that you are able to fill the cracks within 15 minutes – to save you from having to mix more of it.
You should begin this process by cleaning the foundation surface – any dust or dirt will prevent the cement from bonding, so it’s essential this step is taken.
Then, use a trowel to smooth the cement on the wall surface. The cement will then create a cap to ensure high-quality waterproofing.
You can then put on a protective coating with a paintbrush, which will sink into the pores – you should use more than one coat.
If you’re considering this option, it’s important to do thorough research before beginning the project. If it doesn’t seem like the right choice for you, it might be worth contacting a professional.
Exterior waterproofing membranes are a very popular choice. This technique involves spraying a substance onto the outside of the foundation. A thick substance, it allows lots of flexibility to accommodate new cracks when they occur. However, it does involve excavating the basement foundations to ensure that it’s waterproofed sufficiently – therefore you might want to leave it to a professional.
Install A Drainage System
Moving any water away from your basement, a drainage system can prove to be very effective. However, this method is quite complex and expensive, therefore it isn’t for everyone. The cost of the system will depend on the size of your basement and the amount of drainage you require.
For this technique, you will have to break up the concrete in your basement. When you do this, make sure to leave a 4 x 4 inch section every 6ft so that the wall is still supporting. You can then install the edging and tubing before patching up the floor.
The difficulty of this project means that it should really be carried out by a professional. It also requires a lot of materials (including irrigation hoses, a sump pump, etc.) which can be difficult to acquire. Therefore if this is a method you wish to take, ensure you are fully aware of all it entails before starting it.
Things to Avoid
Don’t use plastic to waterproof your basement: it will let moisture in.
Don’t use tar: it will crack and brittle over time.
Basement waterproofing is not an easy task. That’s why people often turn to a professional. As a professional maintenance company, we will assess the best waterproofing method for your home. Offering membrane drainage, damp proofing and other waterproofing services, you can rest assured that your basement will be protected from the British elements – no matter what the weather is like outside or the time of year. Saving you the time and effort of waterproofing your basement, we will visit your property and consult with you what options are suitable and ensure that you are getting the best possible value for money.