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Don’ts of Waterproofing Basement Walls


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Terry Kobatskyi

Terry is a reliable project manager with over 15 years in construction field, who has started his career of working in the trenches. Learn More About Terry Kobatskyi

Transforming your basement into a dry and secure area requires proper waterproofing techniques. While it’s important to know what to do, it’s equally crucial to understand what NOT to do when it comes to waterproofing basement walls. In this post, we’ll unveil five common mistakes to avoid, ensuring that your basement remains free from water damage and potential issues. Let’s dive in!

1. Don't Neglect Exterior Waterproofing

Exterior Waterproofing Process

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is focusing solely on interior waterproofing solutions. While interior sealants and drainage systems have their place, neglecting exterior waterproofing leaves your basement vulnerable to water intrusion. It’s essential to protect the exterior of your foundation walls with waterproof coatings or membranes.

These materials create a barrier against moisture and prevent water from seeping through the walls. Additionally, ensuring proper grading around your home helps divert water away from the foundation, preventing potential leaks and seepage.

When it comes to exterior waterproofing, it’s best to consult with a professional who can assess the condition of your foundation and recommend the most suitable solutions. These may include applying waterproof coatings, installing drainage systems, or addressing any existing cracks or weak points.

2. Don't Ignore Cracks and Leaks

Cracks in basement walls are like open invitations to water. Ignoring or downplaying these cracks can lead to significant water seepage, structural damage, and even mold growth. It’s crucial to prioritize crack repair before waterproofing to ensure a solid foundation for your waterproofing efforts. Epoxy or polyurethane injections can effectively seal the cracks and prevent further water infiltration, providing a sturdy base for the waterproofing materials.

Identifying cracks in your basement walls requires a thorough inspection. Look for signs of water seepage, such as dampness or discoloration, and visually inspect the walls for any visible cracks. If you notice any cracks, it’s best to consult with a professional who can determine the cause and recommend appropriate repair techniques.

3. Don't Forget Proper Drainage

Waterproofing your basement walls without addressing proper drainage can be a costly mistake. Without adequate drainage, water can accumulate around the foundation, exerting hydrostatic pressure on the walls. Over time, this pressure can cause cracks, leaks, and structural damage. It’s important to ensure proper grading around your home to promote water runoff and prevent pooling near the foundation.

Consider adjusting the slope of the landscape away from the foundation to direct water away from the basement walls. Installing downspout extensions that divert water at least six feet away from the house can also help prevent water from pooling near the foundation. In some cases, installing French drains or a sump pump system may be necessary to effectively manage water around your basement.

4. Don't Overlook Proper Ventilation

Ventilation is a crucial aspect of basement waterproofing that is often overlooked. Insufficient airflow can lead to increased humidity levels, condensation, and the growth of mold and mildew. Ensure that your basement has adequate ventilation to promote air circulation and prevent moisture buildup.

Consider installing vents or fans to improve airflow within the basement. This helps to reduce excess humidity and prevents condensation from forming on the walls. Proper ventilation also contributes to the overall air quality of your basement, making it a healthier and more comfortable space.

Remember, maintaining proper ventilation in conjunction with other waterproofing measures will help create a well-balanced and moisture-free environment in your basement.

5. Don't Neglect Maintenance

Waterproofing is not a one-time fix; regular maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your waterproofing efforts. Over time, sealants and coatings may deteriorate or develop small cracks, compromising their ability to keep water out. It’s crucial to regularly inspect your basement walls for any signs of water infiltration, such as dampness or discoloration. Additionally, clean out gutters and downspouts to prevent clogging, which can lead to water overflow and potential basement leaks.

Periodically check the condition of sealants and coatings and repair any damages or deterioration promptly. Ensure that your downspouts are directing water away from the foundation and that the grading around your home remains intact. By staying proactive and addressing maintenance needs promptly, you can catch potential issues early and ensure the continued protection of your basement.

How To Fix Your Home's Wet Basement Walls With Basement Waterproofing Services Toronto

Signs You Need Basement Waterproofing: Over Top Of The Wall Leaking

Ever noticed water trickling in from the top of your basement walls? That’s a red flag indicating foundation stress, often caused by overflowing gutters or poorly sealed windows. But fret not! Basement waterproofing is your superhero here. By tackling this issue head-on, you shield your basement from potential harm, keeping it dry, secure, and worry-free. Say goodbye to leaks and hello to peace of mind!

Contact Foundation And Leaky Basement Repair Experts Today

At Aquatech Basement Waterproofing, we pride ourselves on being experts in our field. Our contractors are trained and certified to handle a wide range of foundation and basement repair issues, from minor leaks to major structural damage.

FAQs About Waterproofing Basement Walls

No, relying solely on interior wall sealing is not sufficient for effective basement waterproofing. While interior sealants can help manage minor moisture issues, they do not address the root cause of water infiltration. It is crucial to employ a comprehensive approach that includes both interior and exterior waterproofing methods.
Absolutely! Cracks in the basement walls can be significant entry points for water. Ignoring or neglecting them can lead to water seepage and structural damage. It is essential to repair any visible cracks before proceeding with waterproofing to ensure a solid foundation for your efforts.
Exterior waterproofing is generally considered more effective and comprehensive in addressing water issues and preventing water penetration, but it can be more expensive and disruptive to implement. Interior waterproofing methods, on the other hand, are often more affordable and suitable for managing minor water seepage or moisture problems within the basement.
Yes, it is possible to waterproof basement walls from the inside. Interior basement waterproofing methods are commonly used to address minor water seepage or moisture issues in basements. It’s important to note that while these methods can help manage minor water issues, they may not be sufficient for severe water problems or structural issues. If you have significant water infiltration or structural concerns, it is recommended to consult with a professional waterproofing contractor who can assess the situation and provide appropriate solutions.
No, proper surface preparation is crucial for the success of any waterproofing application. Failing to clean and prepare the walls adequately can hinder the effectiveness of waterproofing products. Ensure that the walls are clean, dry, and free from debris before applying any waterproofing solutions for optimal results.