As a homeowner, you should already be aware that any sign of water in your basement spells trouble. It could lower the overall value of the property, damage the items you’ve stored there, or eventually lead to flooding. For those reasons, it’s important to take preventive action before the situation worsens.
Basement waterproofing involves techniques and measures meant to keep your basement dry as possible. But even if it’s crucial for home improvement and maintenance purposes, it can cost you dearly. Before starting the waterproofing project, you should do extensive research to discover the methods that’ll work for you but won’t break the bank.
Read on to better understand basement waterproofing and find out how you can minimize your expenses for it.
Signs That Your Basement Needs Waterproofing
To be on the safe side, it’s advisable to look for indicators that could help you identify the water-related issues in your basement. Some of the common signs of a wet basement include the following:
- Water puddles
- Moisture on the basement windows or doors
- Mold and mildew growth
- Damaged or warped doors
- Visible cracks on the floor and walls
- Water trickling out of the walls
These signs should be your first call to consult an expert. If you’re unable to identify a wet basement early enough, this could lead to:
- Damage to your home foundation, forcing you to deal with unnecessary expenses
- Health-related issues associated with harmful mold growth
It’s imperative to waterproof your basement in order to protect yourself, your family, and your property from such negative effects.
Sources Of Basement Moisture
At this point, you know how to assess the condition of your basement. Now it’s time to find out where that moisture’s coming from. The common sources of water in your basement include:
Groundwater or rain
Groundwater can be explained as water from outside that makes its way to your basement. If you have faulty gutters, a lot of water may end up in your basement, resulting in moisture. Also, if your house is built on high water table ground, some of that water might get to your basement.
This can be from leaky showers, faulty piping systems, and the kitchen, among others. If this water collects in your basement, it’ll increase the moisture down there.
The Cost Of Basement Waterproofing
A wet basement will never fail to lower your home’s value and appearance. Although the process of waterproofing can be high depending on the situation, it’s definitely worth it in the long run. It’s crucial to formulate a budget to ensure that you have enough funds to finish the project. Some of the factors that may influence the basement waterproofing cost are:
- The size of your basement: A large basement may cost more to waterproof than a smaller one.
- The cause of the water problem: For instance, if the basement moisture is only from a window crack, the overall waterproofing cost may not be that high.
- The method of waterproofing: Between the two methods of waterproofing, interior and exterior, the latter may be costly as it involves more intense activities such as excavation.
- Location: The set rules and guidelines in your area may affect the cost of basement waterproofing.
Tips To Waterproof Your Basement On A Budget
The following are some of the ways you can save on waterproofing your basement:
Install A Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier will play a big role in basement waterproofing, especially for mild internal sources of moisture. Those include the laundry, kitchen, and defective piping. The cost of this device will depend on its size, brand, and efficiency.
On the other hand, keep in mind that a dehumidifier on its own may not address serious water problems. Using it to rectify moisture problems from groundwater or rain may do more harm than good. The dehumidifier will dry the air, creating ‘vacuum’ spaces for more water to get in, which can cause further damage such as concrete spalling.
Clean The Down Pipes And Gutters
A proper gutter system will effectively direct rainwater away from your house foundation. During a downpour, your roofing will receive a considerable amount of water, and some of it may end up in your basement.
To increase the efficiency of your gutter system, it’s essential to clean it regularly. Remove any leaves and branches to ensure the smooth flow of rainwater. Specifically, clean the area where the gutters meet the downspouts. Otherwise, the water may find its way to your basement after a downpour, increasing the moisture.
Use Waterproof Carpeting Materials
You should know that cracks and pipe entry points in concrete foundations might allow water to get inside your property. You may use available carpeting materials to seal off the openings. Some materials such as urethane can cut off water seepage. They may also potentially control the humidity level in your basement, preventing damage such as spalling and porous masonry.
With so many materials to choose from, use the one that reduces the amount of water absorbed by your basement walls and floors. Consult professionals before selecting a specific material to reduce the chances of wasting your hard-earned money.
This is another cost-effective way to waterproof your basement. Have a soil inspection conducted around your home and change it if necessary. For instance, if the dip of the ground is toward your house, water may accumulate around the basement. You can inspect it by yourself, or you can request the assistance of relevant authorities. The ground surrounding your home should slope at least one inch per foot, extending away from your house for about five to eight feet.
The most preferred soil is usually dense clay soil. Using sand or mulch to grade the ground around your home may worsen the situation as either will allow water to pass through and around your foundation. You also have to ensure that the soil used doesn’t support the breeding of termites and other insects that may invade your home.
To save yourself from unnecessary expenses, it’s recommended to regularly conduct inspections to identify signs of a wet basement as early as possible. If you notice basement leaks at the right time, it’ll be more affordable to waterproof the space. While you can conduct some waterproofing practices by yourself, other issues would require you to seek help from a reputable company in your area.