Common Basement Waterproofing Mistakes

Reading Time: 4 minutes

When the basement floor is flooded with ground or meltwater, mold begins to develop, the smell of dampness appears, or even extra water accumulates. It leads to the destruction of the foundation and walls, and in the future, it may cause the building to collapse. That is why it’s vital to have high-quality waterproofing in the basement. Generally, the work is planned already at the design stage, but if it wasn’t carried out for some reason, waterproofing can be done at any other time. Waterproofing the basement from the inside is a very important procedure.

Types of Waterproofing

There are many types of basement waterproofing. First of all, we can point out vertical and horizontal wall waterproofing.

Vertical waterproofing of basement cinder block walls from excess moisture is required when the ground water level coincides with the basement walls’ height. The basement waterproofing material is used on all walls inside. However, under these conditions, horizontal waterproofing can be useful too. In a situation where groundwater flows at the basement floor level, there is no need to have waterproofing of the walls. You are in need of steam waterproofing.

Depending on the degree of moisture exposure, the following types of waterproofing are determined:

  • Barrier. It’s necessary when there is a strong impact of groundwater and when there is no drainage, and no work on the installation of external waterproofing has been carried out. Under the pressure of groundwater, waterproofing mats are pressed against the foundation, and water barriers are not eliminated. Rubber sheets, various seals, and membrane products are used as insulation materials.
  • Structurally integral. It’s used as protection against seasonal rain or flood waters. The waterproofing layer is bitumen mastic.
  • Drained. The name itself indicates a small amount of moisture that penetrates into the basement. In this case, the use of special materials that enhance the waterproofing properties of the foundation is motivated.

Step-by-step Installation of Basement Waterproofing

There is a guide on waterproofing basements. Let’s take a closer look at the steps:

  1. Pump out water from the underground. If it has penetrated there, try to dry the room. It’s impossible to perform waterproofing in a basement filled with water.
  2. Clean the walls, and prepare them for concrete or brick. Otherwise, the waterproofing cost will increase, and its effectiveness will decrease.
  3. Any cracks that have formed in the walls must be treated with a non-breaking material, then, they will be much easier to repair.
  4. Clean all holes and cracks, apply a primer, and cover with a cement solution. Allow the material to dry.
  5. You need to apply a primer to all your walls. This will help strengthen the material from which the walls are made and increase their adhesion properties. Try to treat the places of moisture penetration several times.
  6. It will be useful to install a net or reinforced fabric on your walls. They should be installed using some special glue. A net is laid in the middle of the layers when installing double-layer waterproofing.
  7. If the floor isn’t cemented, it should be covered with a layer of crushed stone and filled with concrete. Installing waterproofing directly on the ground is impossible, as it won’t perform the functions assigned to it.
  8. It should be noticed that when installing a horizontal layer of waterproofing, the cinder block walls should be covered approximately thirty centimeters above the floor.
  9.  Concrete foundations or brickwork should be dried using supply and exhaust ventilation. On wet walls, you can apply waterproofing with the effect of bitumen penetration.
  10. The use of oil paint in a heated basement isn’t recommended, as it will peel off over time.
  11. It’s significant not to forget about the stairs leading to the basement, it should also be treated with some waterproofing materials.
  12. Don’t forget to install ventilation in your basement. You make a hole in the ceiling and bring the pipe out. It should be covered with a net so that rodents don’t enter, and you have a visor as special protection from precipitation.

Common Basement Waterproofing Mistakes

Step-by-step Installation of Basement Waterproofing

In the process of basement waterproofing, people make a lot of mistakes. That’s why it’s better to contact professionals and have high-quality service. Let’s look at the most common issues:

  • Saving on the quality of materials. However, poorly equipped waterproofing can increase the financial costs of restoring the water protection layer, carrying out repairs, and correcting shortcomings. You invest fewer funds in high-quality and reliable waterproofing. We recommend you follow the “Golden mean” rule, in which the expenses on high-quality waterproofing would be one-time, excluding any costs in the future.
  • Wrong choice of materials. Waterproofing should be a comprehensive system that ensures the fulfillment of its main task – protecting your home from water penetration and the negative effects of moisture. To do this, you should use only high-quality and time-tested waterproofing materials recommended by experts in the field.
  • Incorrect use of materials during horizontal or vertical waterproofing of buildings. The use of wrong materials, violation of the technology of their installation, and failure to comply with the manufacturer’s requirements regarding the temperature range conditions can lead to weak installation and significant deterioration in the operational characteristics of the building.

Pay attention to the reliability and reputation of the company that carries out the construction of the house or repair work. Sometimes, without finding water immediately, bad specialists consider waterproofing superfluous, not excluding this item of expenses for the customer.

Methods of Protecting Basements from Moisture Penetration

While performing internal or exterior basement waterproofing, there are different ways to avoid moisture. Let’s look at them:

  • Membrane method. It’s a type of roll waterproofing. It’s most often used for external protection. When using this method, the surfaces are sealed and primed, then the membrane is attached (but only its upper edge). The lower edge is fixed with horizontal waterproofing.
  • Use of penetrating waterproofing. This method is based on the property of an insulating mixture to fill all the voids in the foundation and crystallize in them. Special reagents are required.
  • Injection waterproofing. As the main material, a thick gel solution is used – it’s applied to purposely equipped places, which are the small cracks in the foundation.
  • Liquid rubber is also used for waterproofing. It’s made from bitumen and polymers. The compound with concrete forms an insurmountable barrier to moisture. This method has the following advantages: low price, incombustibility of the material, and immunity to the effects of microorganisms.  

Thank you for reading!