A house is different from home. I believe it with all my heart. Not to be a grammar purist, but a lot of us confuse ‘house’ and ‘home’ and use them in the wrong context. I’m sure that most of us understand the difference, but we still make that mistake. A house is a place that is built with brick, mortar, steel, and sweat. It is a hollow space, a body with no life to it. A home is where people live, love, cry, feel safe, and die. A home is decorated and holds millions of memories. People add soul to house and make it home. It lives and breathes.
Companies, contractors, and organizations build houses. Rows and rows of them. But, a family builds a home. And what is more painful than to see construction and structural problems creeping in at your home? One of the most common problems faced by homeowners is leaky/flooded/moist basements. When ignored this can cause a major problem in the long term.
Builders and construction companies build houses with basements to withstand leaks and water seeping through solid. But, with time things deteriorate and so do the basement walls resulting in water seeping in from the soil and the air becomes humid from evaporating water. Following are some steps to follow to seal your basement.
Hire a Basement Waterproofing Company
Prevention is better than cure. I can state more things like this. But the gist of it is that hiring the best basement waterproofing company the moment you notice a basement problem can save tons of money and hassle.
There are multiple ways to waterproof your basement. And an expert company can assess your home and choose the best method to treat and waterproof your basement. Mostly, the method and technologies they employ are done with the future in mind, this way your basement remains waterproof for decades to come. I highly recommend this as a permanent solution for your basement problems. At the first sign of a problem, hire a basement waterproofing company and let the experts handle the situation.
Determine the Source of Water
If you are looking forward to doing it yourself before contacting experts, this is the first step to it. Concrete is porous and hence water can seep through it. You can notice the streaks of water in your basement walls and other surfaces tracking to the source of leakage or water. Generally, window panes, mortar joints, and pipelines are common sources of leakage.
If you cannot find a streak and the entire surface of the wall is wet, the best course of action is to do a condensation test. Dry your wall with rags and attach aluminum foil sheets to it. Check after 24 hours. The places where the foil is wet, tell you the source of water. No wetness in the foil can tell you that the source of water is something else, like a basement shower, etc. Once the source of water is found, the next course of action can be determined based on that.
Filling With Hydraulic Cement
The standard construction procedure is to pour the footing of the foundation is poured first. This is made of reinforced steel and concrete and is designed to support the wall. The foundation is poured on top of that after the footing cures. With the settling of the foundation, this method can create a ‘weak joint’. Cracks develop in these weak spots and water seeps through from the soil.
Essentially, you can see streaks of water at the bottom of the basement wall. Sealing these cracks is a very easy and sophisticated process. You can use a hydraulic cement slurry to close these cracks. The slurry will get into the cracks forming a waterproof bond. Once this is done, your foundation should not leak. If it does, you can always contact experts to take a look at it.
Waterproof Paints for Your Basement Walls
If the moisture test showed that one or a few parts of the wall are the sources of water, painting it with a waterproof coat is the best and cheapest action to take. Before proceeding with this, it is important that you remove any layer of paint on the basement wall. You can use paint removing sheets or emery paper to do this. Once done you can go ahead with using waterproof paints for your basement wall.
Choose the right waterproof paints. Ensure that the older pain coating is removed. Apply one layer of waterproof paint. This fills the pores in the concrete structure, making a watertight bond. Once cured, apply another layer of waterproof paint for aesthetics as well as additional protection. This is a time-consuming process, but something you can do yourself provided you have the patience, tools, and skills for it.
Fix Your Window Wells
Window wells are common structures found around the world, and are also sometimes the most common sources of leaks. If your window wells do not have a proper water drainage system built with them, water tends to retain near your windows and they seep through them since windows are cold spots in your basement structure.
Installing a new drainage system for your window wells is a tough and tedious process. The simple remedy is to dig your window wells for at least two to three feet and fill them with gravel and stones that will allow quick dispersion of water into the soil. This way the potential for your window wells to be the source of water reduces.
While you can do all sorts of remedies to fix your basement leak, the best and safest solution is to hire basement waterproofing experts who can methodically determine the source of leaks and fix it. Leaving your basement without waterproofing can be hazardous to your health, safety, and purse. Reiterating myself, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, fix your basement today!