Last Updated Dec 2, 2010 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
A basement can be a very useful addition to the home but you have to make sure that it is well protected against moisture and damp. Here are some great suggestions for waterproofing your basement.
Before you can waterproof your basement walls, there are some things that you will need to take into consideration. Firstly, you need to make sure there are no cracks in your walls. If there are, they will need to be repaired before any waterproofing products can be applied. This can be done by filling hairline cracks with waterproofing compound but larger cracks will need to be fully patched up. You also need to make sure that there is good drainage outside the house, otherwise the water pressure from the ground outside can build up and actually begin forcing its way through the walls. Also make sure that the walls are thoroughly cleaned. Many waterproofing products must be applied to dry walls but always check the instructions just in case.
There are different products that you can use in order to waterproof your basement walls (see waterproofers). One is the application of a liquid or sheet membrane. These are applied to the wall in order to create a tough, waterproof coating. Sheet membranes are stuck on while liquid membranes are sprayed, rolled or trowelled on. It is imperative that every surface of the wall is covered and that there are no holes, otherwise water will find a way to come through. You could also choose to apply a cementitious coating. These work by using a cement compound with additives in order to create a waterproof barrier. The mix comes dry and then is mixed with water in order to create a slurry which is then applied to the wall.
Another option is to use sodium bentonite. This product is made into a slurry and is injected between the exterior basement walls and the soil. The slurry then penetrates any cracks or areas where water might be able to get through to the inside of the basement and plugs them, creating a waterproof barrier.