A damp or wet basement can be a headache for you as a homeowner, so you're probably anxious to find a solution to the problem. There are different ways to waterproof a basement, and some of them are quite costly. An affordable option to consider is to apply a basement waterproofing sealer to the walls and floor. Here's some information on how a sealer might keep your basement dry and how you apply it.
Basement Waterproofing Sealer Blocks Moisture
Concrete is porous, so water often seeps in due to hydrostatic pressure of the soil against the outside wall. Cracks in concrete are also common, and these allow water to leak through. A waterproof sealer is much like paint in that you use a roller to spread it around the walls and floor. Once it's dry, it creates a coating on the walls and floor that has no cracks or seams that allow water to leak through from the outside.
You Should Repair Cracks First
Cracks should be filled in with a crack filler to block water and to stabilize the crack. This is an easy repair job you can do yourself, but you may want advice from a contractor about whether the cracks indicate a structural problem with your basement. If not, you can safely repair the cracks and then apply a waterproofing sealer. Check around your basement window too, and seal leaks if any are present.
The Walls Need to Be Clean and Free of Paint
The coating has to get a good seal against the concrete, so the walls and floor need to be clean. If your basement walls are painted, the paint has to be removed or the coating may not stick very well and last very long. You can scrape off the paint yourself or hire a contractor to do it. Once the paint is gone, wash the walls and get rid of all the grit and dust created by the cleaning process.
You May Need to Apply Multiple Coatings
Be sure to follow the instructions on the waterproofing sealer that you buy. You may need to apply a thick coat and then let it dry completely before adding another. Watch the tiny holes in the concrete as you apply the coating. The holes should be filled and covered so they are waterproof.
You Can Choose a Clear Coating
Basement waterproof sealers come in different colors. However, if you don't want color on your walls, you can opt for a clear coating. Your choice may depend on whether you just use the basement for storage or if you plan to turn your basement into a place to watch TV or play pool and want an attractive wall color.
Once the sealer is on and dry, you shouldn't have any more problems with water getting through the walls or floor. As a bonus, some coatings even seal against radon, so the sealer helps with radon mitigation too.