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Home Improvement / September 28, 2015
Whether your basement is a finished living area or a storage space stacked with boxes, even a small amount of water intrusion can cause costly damage to your home. A waterproofed basement, on the other hand, lets you take full advantage of the subsurface space, adding valuable square footage to your property. A finished basement that’s dependably dry and comfortable can even raise the market value of your home. Here are some tips and tricks for waterproofing your basement, brought to you by the pros at Handyman Connection of Carmel.
Identify the Source
Waterproofing your basement is a good idea even if you don’t currently have a problem, but if you’ve been plagued by high humidity levels, condensation, persistent leaks or occasional flooding, it’s critical to track down the source of water infiltration. Most basement leaks, for example, are caused by cracks that should be repaired before waterproofing products are applied to the walls or flooring.
If problems only occur after a storm, runoff from rain water or melted snow is likely the culprit. Keeping gutters clean and downspouts directed away from the house sometimes resolves this issue. In some cases, it’s necessary to fix the grading outside your home or install a drainage system. If your basement is sealed tight yet you still notice condensation, you may need a dehumidifier to balance the humidity levels.
Patch the Cracks
Any cracks in your basement walls or flooring larger than 1/8 inch should be cleaned out, patched and sealed before any waterproofing product is applied. An epoxy or polyurethane material can be used for small cracks, but mortar is recommended for cracks larger than 1/4 inch because it expands as it dries for a tight seal.
For simple water seepage problems, the mortar can be applied with a trowel directly into the crack. The mortar won’t hold, however, if the water is seeping into the basement under pressure. In that case, the crack must first be enlarged with a dovetail cut to prevent the mortar from being forced out when it dries. The pros at Handyman Connection of Carmel can tackle this tricky job for you.
After holes or cracks are repaired, you can use a waterproofing compound to keep them dry. There are a number of waterproofing solutions available, ranging from epoxy and latex wall products that you mix with water to liquid floor coatings with a rubber base. Not every product works on every type of surface, however. Some are designed for bare concrete while others will bond to stucco or bricks, so you’ll want to check the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure that the product is right for your application. Keep in mind that most require a second coat.
While fixes for wet-basement issues vary depending on the source and severity of the problem, the experts at Handyman Connection of Carmel can help you waterproof your basement for less than you might think. For a free, no-obligation estimate, just give us a call. One of our experienced professionals will inspect your basement and help you find a solution that fits your budget.