DIY Basement Waterproofing Advice

In recent years, there have been several changes in our country. And one of the changes that effects homeowners more than many of them realize are the weather patterns. There have been significant increases in stormy weather over the past couple decades, driving up the cost of homeowners insurance, and increasing the frequency of basement flooding. And with flooding occurring in more and more basements, basement waterproofing is becoming the solution of choice.

Although basement waterproofing can help many homeowners keep their lower levels protected from the storm, it can become rather expensive to leave everything to the professionals. Clearly, there are many tasks that are much better left to a pro, but there are also several things a homeowner can do on their own to make sure their basement stays dry and reduce the chance that they will need to call in and expert.

The first thing for homeowners to do is an examination of the potential moisture problems downstairs. Look specifically for cracks in the foundation, walls and floor. Cracks in cement are a common sight, and for this reason, many homeowners just dismiss them as part of the normal wear and tear of the basement. Nothing could be further from the truth. These types of cracks are one of the biggest contributors to moisture in the lower level.

If you do find any structural cracks in the basement, waterproofing should be done before these cracks get bigger and create a greater problem. But before you do anything else, you’ll need to determine the extent of the damage. Remove all furniture and other items from the area of the cracks and look at how far the moisture has spread.

Next, look for other possible sources of water damage in your basement. These can result from leaking ducts, tubes, hoses and other devices that connect various parts of your basement where the water runs. Once you’ve found all the possible sources of leaks, it’s time to get the basement dried out. Take a dehumidifier and run it around all the affected areas for a day or two each. This will address the immediate moisture problem, provided it’s not already so widespread that it’s beyond the ability of a dehumidifier to fix.

After the lower level is dried out, it’s time to do the basement waterproofing. This generally entails sealing up all the cracks and leaks with a reliable sealant like RadonSeal or Dryloks. Once you’ve applied the sealant per the directions and given it ample time to dry, you should be good to go.

If you’ve taken all the ‘do it yourself’ basement sealing steps and your lower level still has moisture, it’s possible that the problem is beyond the scope of the homeowner to fix. However, that doesn’t mean it’s beyond hope. A basement waterproofing contractor can come out and assess the situation and give you a free estimate of what is needed and what the cost would be to repair. If nothing else, the contractor can at least let you know free of charge what the exact problem is, then you can decide if it’s something you can fix on your own or if you need to hire a professional.