Having a basement in your house is great. You can create a gym, a home theater, game room, or whatever your imagination allows you to do with it.
But, a major issue with basements is it can be tough to keep them safe from moisture. What do you do when your basement is flooded and the floors are ruined?
It’s kind of a trick question. Because the thing you have to do, you do it before your basement is flooded.
And what is that thing? Waterproofing it!
In this post I’ll share how you can waterproof your basement floor to prevent water damage. I’ll mostly be talking about concrete floors, unless otherwise stated…
Ready? Let’s dive in.
What Causes Water Damage in Your Basement?
Your basement’s walls and flooring can be easily damaged by moisture or water. And the biggest culprits are leaky pipes.
Most people have plumbing in their basements, often because they’ve set up a laundry room there. Often, one of the pipes starts getting rusty and leaky, and this can instantly cause the walls and floor to lock in moisture.
Another reason for moisture entering your basement is, of course, rain.
Do you have any holes or cracks in your walls or windows? That’s an open invitation for water to seep through them and ruin your flooring and walls.
If you’re living in an area prone to floods, it’ll be bad for you.
You can check if your basement is prone to getting water inside it due to rain. See if water pools around the foundation of the house. If it does, then your basement is open to rain water damage.
That’s yet another for you to waterproof your basement floor and keep moisture from damaging it.
Let’s look at some effective ways to treat your concrete basement floor for waterproofing.
What to do Before Waterproofing?
For best results, you need to take care of a few things as you’re waterproofing.
First of all, locate the water source. This could leaky pipes or rain water, as we discussed above.
You should also ensure there’s no water standing in your basement.
For starters, it’s very dangerous as it can cause an electric shock. Secondly, it’ll be practically impossible to fix or waterproof an already soaked/drowning floor. If there are any cracks or holes in your windows or walls, you need to fix them ASAP before you start waterproofing the walls. These steps will maximize the effectiveness of your waterproofing, keeping water from entering your basement.
Waterproofing Your Basement Walls
Let’s first see how to waterproof your basement walls…
Dig Around the House
Want a permanent waterproofing solution for your house? You can have a contractor dig around the outer boundary of the basement to the foundation’s base.
Once this is done, apply waterproof material or cement on your basement’s walls and flooring. If there are drainage pipes or drains on the surface, make sure they don’t have any cracks or leaks in them. Also make sure to secure all the pipes before you start filling in the area that’s dug up.
It’s also a good idea to have a drainage system that pumps water into an exterior drainage system. This way, even if there’s a leak or water buildup in your basement, the water can be flushed out through the drainage system.
Fix Any Cracks
The next step is checking the walls for any leakage that may cause water to seep in.
If you notice any holes or cracks, fill them with waterproof material, also using waterproof paint if painting the walls.
This itself doesn’t necessarily mean waterproofing your floor. But it does protect your floor from getting soaked and damaged.
Another way to seal the holes and cracks in the basement walls is by using hydraulic cement. This significantly reduces the possibility of leakage.
Seal the Exterior
This step involves covering the exterior walls with cement-based sealant. This will cover any and every crack, no matter how big or small it may be.
The sealant goes deep inside the concrete pores and hardens up, creating an impenetrable surface.
Next, cover the foundation wall with a waterproof membrane and install a drainage mat.
Finally, you can get a French drain installed and refill the dug out area with fresh gravel.
After the gravel solidifies, you’ll find yourself with a more solid and waterproof basement floor that isn’t affected by moisture easily.
Waterproof Your Basement Floor
Even if your basement walls are leakproof and free from moisture, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t waterproof your basement floor.
If you’re looking to treat the flooring properly, follow these steps:
Clean up the basement floor and move stuff away. so you can prepare it for proper waterproofing.
Examine the entire flooring for any cracks or holes that might cause water to seep into the foundation.
If you find any, scrape the sides of the cracks with a wire brush so any loose concrete can be removed.
A single crack inside your basement floor can ruin the entire surface. This is why you need to mix concrete with water.
Once that’s done fill all of the holes and cracks with the concrete and water solution, spreading it out with a trowel. When it dries up, you can sand it to make it level with the floor.
This is a precautionary measure to ensure moisture doesn’t seep in from the walls to your floor.
Apply concrete to the sides of the floor. Once it dries up, cover the seams with silicone tape and cover the rest with concrete.
This is the final step of waterproofing your basement floor; painting the basement floor with waterproof paint.
Mix the paint using the instructions and apply it to the floor with a paintbrush.
Make sure to apply at least two even coats so the entire floor is covered properly. While you’re painting the floor, keep the windows open for ventilation.
Besides this, you can also use an epoxy-based sealant to coat the entire basement floor.
Epoxy dries up and hardens quickly. It creates a strong waterproof layer on the surface, which waterproofs it for a long time.
For best results, you can also apply a second coat 24 hours after the first one.
Waterproofing your basement floor is as important as taking other preventive measures for waterproofing your basement.
These can be treating the interior and exterior of the walls and installing a drainage system that keeps water from pooling into the basement. No matter which method you use to treat your basement floor, it’s a good idea to consult an expert or handyman if you’re unsure how to do it yourself.
What do a basement gym, theater, studio, and laundry room have in common? All of them have valuable equipment you need to protect from water/moisture damage!
Now you know how to protect them by waterproofing your basement floor.
I hope you found this post helpful and will help you enjoy whatever it is you enjoy doing in your basement!
For more information about fixing or protecting your home, check out other articles on our site.
Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!