How to waterproof a basement in 4 steps

How to waterproof a basement in 4 steps






If you've ever had a basement that's been damp or wet, you know how important it is to keep it dry. A waterproof basement is the best way to protect your home from water damage and mold.

Basement waterproofing is the process of making sure your basement is safe from water damage. Water can enter your basement through cracks in the walls or floors, or through gaps around pipes. When water gets into your basement, it can damage your belongings, cause mold and mildew to grow and make your home uncomfortable. Waterproofing your basement can help you avoid these problems and keep your home dry.



Reasons why you may have a wet basement


The basement floor may be wet for a number of reasons. Here are some possible causes:

  • Cracks in your house’s foundation. Water can enter your basement through cracks in the foundation walls or floor. These cracks can be caused by settlement. As your house settles, the foundation might crack.
  • Basement windows that aren’t secure. If your basement windows are not sealed properly, water can enter through them.
  • Inadequate drainage. If the soil around your house does not drain well, water can seep into your basement.
  • Problem with the exterior waterproofing system. This system is designed to keep water out of the basement, but if it is damaged or not properly maintained, it can allow water to seep in.
  • Basement floor level. If your basement floor is lower than the ground level outside, water can seep in and pool in the basement.
  • Sump pump. Your sump pump might not be working properly.

In any case, a wet basement can be a serious problem, so it is important to identify and fix the source of the problem as soon as possible.



Can you waterproof a basement yourself?


When it comes to waterproofing a basement, there are some tasks that should be left to a professional contractor and others that a homeowner can handle on their own. 

Foundation damage is one example of a repair that should be left to a professional. This type of damage can be caused by everything from settlement to water infiltration and results in cracks, leaks and other serious problems. A contractor will have the experience and knowledge necessary to assess the damage and make the necessary repairs.

Interior waterproofing, on the other hand, is a task that a homeowner can handle on their own. Some common methods of interior waterproofing include installing a sump pump, French drain or drainage system. These systems can help to redirect water away from the foundation, preventing it from seeping into the basement. By taking proactive measures like these, homeowners can help keep their basement dry and prevent major water damage.



DIY interior basement waterproofing in 4 steps


If you're planning to waterproof your basement yourself, there are a few things you need to do to ensure that the job is done properly to avoid seepage and basement leaks. Here are four steps to take when waterproofing your basement.

1. Clean the area before waterproofing

Cleaning up the area before beginning a basement waterproofing project is important for several reasons. First, it helps ensure that the waterproofing materials will adhere properly to the surface. Second, it helps remove any debris or contaminants that could potentially cause problems down the road. Finally, it provides a chance to inspect the area for any cracks or other damage that could impact the success of the project.

There are a few different ways to clean a basement before waterproofing it. One option is to rent a power washer and do it yourself. This can be an effective way to remove dirt, grime and other buildup from the walls and floor. However, it's important to be careful not to damage the surface with the power washer.

2. Plug any holes and fill large cracks

The next essential step is crack repair. This will help prevent water from seeping in and causing problems, like a wet or damp basement, which can lead to mold growth. Cracks can also let in water vapor, which can lead to the floors and walls sweating and cause condensation. 

If there are more serious foundation cracks, consider calling a professional to assess the damage. To properly plug holes and fill cracks, you'll need to use a sealant or caulk. First, clean the area around the hole or crack with a wire brush and then apply the sealant or caulk. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product label so that it will last as long as possible.

3. Seal openings to the basement

Water can enter the basement through a number of different openings, including windows, doors and vents. To keep water out, these openings need to be properly sealed. Start by caulking any gaps around windows, doors and window wells.

4. Apply a waterproof coating

After crack repair and caulking, use a waterproof coating on basement surfaces to help avoid future water problems. Waterproofing basement walls is an easy way to avoid mildew and mold problems in the future. Research the best waterproofing paint and waterproofing products for basements before purchasing. Apply a waterproofing sealant to the door frames, basement walls, floors and window frames by using a brush or roller.



Things to consider when waterproofing your basement


  • DO consider installing a sump pump. A sump pump is one of the most effective ways to prevent water from seeping into a basement. This system is installed in a pit on the floor of the basement, and it works to pump water out of the basement and away from the foundation. Sump pumps come in a variety of different designs, so it's important to choose one that will be appropriate for your needs.
  • DO determine the source of the water in the basement. Look for cracks, signs of leaking on the concrete walls and any other signs to trace the source of the water. Once you know where the water is coming from, you can take steps to address the problem and prevent it from happening again in the future.
  • DO consider purchasing a dehumidifier to help dry out the air in the basement. A dehumidifier can be a great home improvement to help keep the air dry, preventing condensation and mold.
  • DON'T continue the process of crack repair, hole filling, etc. with standing water in the basement. Make sure to dry the area completely before proceeding with any repair work. Working in a flooded basement is dangerous and can lead to serious injury.
  • DON'T forget to ventilate the basement properly. Poorly ventilated basements can lead to mold growth and other problems. Be sure to open windows and use fans to help circulate the air.
  • DON’T apply a sealer over painted walls or efflorescence. Painted walls should be dry and free of any flaking paint before applying a waterproof sealer. Efflorescence is a white powdery substance found on masonry surfaces. It is the result of water passing through the pores of the concrete and carrying minerals with it. These minerals are then deposited on the surface as the water evaporates. Applying a sealer over efflorescence will not only be ineffective, but it can also trap the efflorescence, which can lead to more serious problems.



Exterior basement waterproofing


Every homeowner knows that a dry basement is essential to the longevity of their home. However, what many people don't realize is that proper gutter and downspout maintenance is one of the key ways to prevent water from leaking through your foundation and causing basement flooding. 

Gutters play an important role in keeping your home dry by channeling rainwater away from your foundation and redirecting it to a safe location. However, if they become clogged with leaves or debris, they can quickly become overwhelmed and start to leak.

Downspouts are also crucial in preventing basement flooding because they help carry water away from your home at a faster rate. In addition, proper landscaping around your home can also redirect runoff and help keep water away from your foundation.

When most people think of basement waterproofing, they think of a basement waterproofing system that includes a sump pump, French drains and other similar features. However, proper basement drainage maintenance goes beyond just installing a basement waterproofing system. Homeowners need to be aware of the water table in their area. If the water table is high, it can cause water to seep into the basement even if there is no damage to the gutters or other exterior features. As a result, it’s important for homeowners to be proactive in protecting their basement from water damage.



More waterproofing steps you can take


  • Label the main shut-off valve in case of an emergency.
  • Drain your appliances properly.
  • Install an interior drainage system.
  • Consider a floor drain.
  • Elevate your washer and dryer.
  • Watch for condensation.
  • Install a home water-leak detector.
  • Install a sump pump.



Protect your home from costly repairs and water damage with a Cinch warranty


Water damage is serious business. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average water-damage claim in 2018 was over $10,000.

Cinch Home Services is here to help. We offer a wide range of home warranty plans that cover water heaters, sump pumps and more. In addition, our home warranty plans offer protection against unexpected repairs and replacement costs.

If you’re looking for a reliable home warranty company, look no further than Cinch.

Choose the Cinch plan that’s right for you and get started today! Get your instant quote now.



Are you concerned about water damage in your basement? Learn how to waterproof your basement in four easy steps with our guide.

Your home protection is ready and waiting!