Several Problems and Solutions about Waterproofing Basements

Are you being plagued by a damp or wet basement in your home? You are not alone. This problem is very common especially to houses with basements. The cause of the problem could be minor and obvious. Through simple waterproofing techniques, it could easily be corrected. There are common causes of basement leaking problems as well as there are simple solutions. Here are some of them.

Problem: Possible source of flooding or seepage in the basement could not be identified.

Solution: It would be easy to determine the source of water in your basement. Attach a small square of aluminum foil using a tape into the wall where there is dampness. Seal all sides of the square and make it airtight as possible. After a day or two, remove the foil. If the side that faces the wall is moist, there is seepage in the wall. If moisture is on the other side, there is just a minor problem of condensation in the room.

Problem: There is clogged, defective, or even nonexistent downspout and gutter that allow roof water to create puddles or wet the surrounding soil against or near basements walls. The water may enter through openings or cracks in the masonry.

Solution: You should immediately install downspouts and gutters wherever needed. You should make sure they are free from debris. If twigs and leaves in the nearby trees are collected in the gutter, you should put a basket-shaped wire strainer over your downspout outlet or you could put a screen across the gutter length. Try to repair downspouts and gutters as soon as there is a need to do so.

Use a concrete gutter or use a splash block to lead the water away to avoid concentration of water right at the discharge point. You could also consider extending the downspouts from the rain gutters away from the exterior of the foundation. There is also an option to pipe roof water underground to storm drain, surface outlet, or dry well about 15 feet or more from your house.

Problem: There is dense shrubbery and other vegetations around the walls of the basement, which prevent proper ventilation.

Solution: To remedy this problem, trim heavy growth of shrubbery to enable the soil to get more sunlight so it could dry faster. When digging up plantings, remove pieces of mortar, masonry, or other materials that are buried near the house following excavation of the basement.

Problem: Any unprotected basement window well is acting like cisterns when there is a heavy storm. Water is permitted to seep in below the windows and around window frames.

Solution: Protect the windows or parts of windows below grade using metal or masonry window wells. The bottoms should consist of gravel to facilitate good drainage. You could also use clear plastic bubbles to cover the whole window well.

You should realize that waterproofing your basement need not be tedious and costly. You should first strive to identify the cause of the problem so you could find and adopt simple and practical solutions to remedy the situation.


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