Options To Help You Prevent And Repair Basement Moisture Problems

Posted on: 29 April 2019

As a homeowner, dealing with a leaky and wet basement is never a positive experience. Your basement space can become soaked from water intrusion, which leads to damaged drywall, insulation, carpeting, and furniture that you need to remove and replace or dry out quickly to prevent mold growth. And when mold growth occurs it can put you and your family at risk of mold-related illness. When you experience any amount of moisture in your basement, here are some tips to help you diagnose and repair your home's interior moisture problems and to waterproof your basement.

Remedy the Cause of the Problem

You have discovered moisture in your basement and now you are not sure what your next step should be. Do you call in a foundation professional or have your entire foundation sealed in a waterproof barrier? Your home's moisture problem may be caused by a condition within or outside your home that you can easily remedy, so you should check into it a bit further.

Test to first find out where the moisture inside your home is originating from. To do this, take a section of aluminum foil and tape it onto the foundation concrete wall of your basement. Let the aluminum foil sit on the wall for at least 24 hours. After this period of time has elapsed, check the foil to see if moisture has collected on the side of the foil against the foundation wall or exposed to the interior air.

If the moisture is on the side next to the wall, the moisture is coming from outside through the foundation wall. If the moisture is on the inside of the foil that is exposed to the room's air, the moisture is originating from inside the room in the form of air condensation and humidity. You can remedy interior moisture by using a dehumidifier or running bathroom and kitchen vent fans.

Moisture originating from outside your home can be due to improper soil drainage around the foundation. The soil next to your home should slope away from your foundation to help moisture flow away in a similar fashion. Grade the soil from your home so it has a five percent slope or a slope of at least six inches in the first ten feet of space. You can order some soil from a landscaping company to build up the proper slope around your home.

Also, check your home's gutters to make sure they drain water off and away from your home. Check for cracks, sagging, and holes in the gutters that may cause leaking onto the soil around your home. Hire the work to repair or replace, or repair the gutters yourself.

Waterproof the Interior

When the moisture is originating from outside your home and you have maintained the exterior drainage as much as possible to prevent its entering your basement, you can waterproof your basement from the interior. This type of waterproof is less expensive than waterproofing from the outside and usually consists of the use of one or more of several methods.

Your waterproofing professional will recommend the installation of a French drain, which is installed in the floor of your basement along the edges of the room. This drain collects any water as it enters your basement space to prevent it from saturating the drywall, carpeting, and furnishings. Next, your professional may likely install a sump pump onto the French drain, which switches on as needed to pump water out your basement to the exterior.

In addition to these two methods, it is important that you have your interior basement wall covered with a vapor barrier just beneath the drywall. This vapor barrier will help collect the water and divert it downward to the interior French drain and sump pump. The vapor barrier essentially keeps the moisture from getting into your wall and basement interior.

There are additional waterproof methods you can have completed to the exterior of your home's foundation. Talk to your waterproofing contractor at a company such as Safe-Way Waterproofing about these options and their recommendations for your home.