Your basement is a useful part of your home. It provides extra storage and living space, while also housing important appliances such as the furnace and water heater. Unfortunately, your basement can turn into a huge source of stress if it's subject to flooding. Do your part to keep water outside your basement where it belongs. Here are four steps you can take to waterproof your basement.
1. Repair cracks in the foundation.
In some cases, water leaks into your basement through the foundation. You may not notice the problem except for during times of heavy rain, when water seeps up through the floor. The only solution is to repair any cracks in the foundation, which may require your basement floor to be temporarily removed. After repairing any foundation damage, it's a good idea to apply a layer of waterproofing to be on the safe side. Foundation repairs are an involved endeavor, so it's best to finish all the work at the same time.
2. Dig around the sides of your home.
Your basement is built below ground, which means you'll have to access it before applying any exterior waterproofing. This work is best left to a professional, since the entirety of your basement walls will need to be exposed.
3. Apply external waterproofing.
The purpose of external waterproofing is to keep water from soaking the ground and permeating your walls. This is a concern especially if your walls are made from wood or another porous material that's susceptible to mold and rot. You can use a waterproofing membrane that repels water, or you can coat the walls with a waterproof sealant. In some cases, a French drain is needed to relieve groundwater pressure, according to Angie's List.
4. Move drainage spouts away from your home.
The drainage spout to your gutter is another culprit for basement flooding. If your gutter currently drains right next to the house, the water may find its way into your basement. You can easily solve this problem by extending your gutter spout several inches in order to redirect the water flow.
Waterproofing your basement can be a long and arduous process, especially if you need to do serious structural work. In many cases, it's better to hire a professional contractor to fulfill your waterproofing needs. An expert will be able to install exterior waterproofing and make any repairs necessary. Contact a contractor as soon as possible, so you can avoid the costly damage of a flooded basement.