Your wet basement may pose a problem if the moisture spreads further and comes in contact with a living space. It can ruin the surface of your wall, carpet, and frame. And not to forget the hardwood floor, moisture can be the sole nemesis of your wooden floor. It is, therefore, essential to fix your wet basement while you still have time. Having a wet basement is one of the major problems for most of us. So, if you are thinking you are alone in this journey, worry not. Most of the American Households go through the same problem every year, and some of them pay the price for their ignorance.
Having a wet basement is a major problem, but there are ways to fix this. Handling this matter on time doesn’t just lessen your cost, but also reduces the chance of damage to the surroundings of the wet basement. If you are looking for ways to fix a wet basement, you are at the right place. Here are some simple solutions on how to fix a wet basement for everyday people.
Identify the source of the problem
The first step to fixing a wet basement is to identify the source of the problem. Wet basements generally originate from two sources: water that comes from outside and interior humidity. Water from the exteriors usually includes rainwater, snow, and groundwater. The water can seep into the foundation and saturate the soil, making its way into the basement. Or, it is possible for the water to enter the basement through cracks, holes or porous foundation walls.
Knowing the source isn’t easy without experimenting. In order to identify the source, tape aluminum foil to your wet basement wall and leave it to be inspected after a few days. Moisture on the outside surface of the foil indicates the source being interior humidity while the water on the other side of the foil indicates moisture leaking through the walls.
Push water away from the walls
After identifying the main source, you should push water away from the exterior foundation walls. Make sure all the gutters are working properly. Check if the water is flowing freely from the gutters. The overflowing water could seep through the foundation walls and make the basement wet. In addition, make sure that the water is discharged few feet away from the downspout. If there is any fixing needed in the gutter, please do so. Leaking gutters also pose a threat to the foundation. Use all the means to keep water away from the walls and end this wet basement issue once in for all.
Get the humidity under control
If the problem is in the humid air, eliminate its source. In order to prevent the unwanted humid air from entering the basement, seal leaky dryer vents with foil tape. Consider closing the windows during warm weather. Add a fan to eliminate the water vapor during showers. Also, install a dehumidifier to keep your rooms and bathroom dry. If your basement room doesn’t have an air conditioner, install one that pulls condensation from the air.
Seal the cracks
The main reason behind a wet basement is also the walls itself. The walls’ efficiency degrades as time passes. Holes and cracks develop in old walls, which guide the water through the walls. Patching holes and sealing may not be the end of the problem, but it helps you minimize the future damage. Try sealing the walls with cement or sealing materials to prevent water from entering. Use Hydraulic cement to patch the holes.
Install basement drain system
Basically, there are two ways to install drain system. One is installed along the interior side of the foundation walls and the other installed against the external side of the foundation walls of the basement. For older homes, the most practical method is to install the drain alongside walls. This allows the water to be directed to the sump pump, where the perforated tubing is installed. However, it is costly to install such system. Be prepared to spend from $3000 to $8000 to seek professionally installed system.
Waterproof the walls
Installing basement drain system itself doesn’t guarantee a dry basement. You need to waterproof the walls by coating. Coating the walls covers the pores in the concrete or masonry walls. It could prevent the water from leaking in. Apply the coatings in a drywall. Use wire brush to dust off loose material. Then clean off any white powdery ‘efflorescence’ with masonry cleaner. Make sure the coating is done in all directions to cover the pinhole of the walls. Remember to spread thick coat and be careful to not make a mistake. After you are finished with the first coat, repeat to coat again.
Add Gutters and Extend Downspouts
Adding gutters and extending downspouts will help you greatly, by keeping your basement walls dry. Check if the gutter is present. If you don’t have, consider adding one. A gutter channels the water to the downspouts. In addition, extended downspouts direct the water away from the house. Whether you have new gutters or the old ones, make sure the downspout is well extended to drive the water away from the house.
If your wet basement has already developed a mold issue, then you’ll need to remove it, as the final step in your basement repair project. Continuing research illustrates an ever-growing list of health concerns and ailments that can be caused by the presence of mold in your home, so eliminating all existing mold is critical for the health of your family. Stopping the water from penetrating your foundation could help you further, by eliminating the moisture required for mold growth, but a thorough mold removal procedure will be necessary, to remediate any previously existing mold problems.
Insulate pipes with the help of foam pipe insulation to stop condensation. The cold water pipe causes droplets of water to form which can result in basement problems. To avoid such problems, coat the cold water pipes, with insulation foam. It can be found easily at any hardware shops at an inexpensive price.
Insulate your walls if water is leaking from the inside. Insulated walls stay protected against the humid. In order to prevent condensation, insulation of walls is necessary. Insulating walls also have certain advantages such as energy saving and reduction in heating bills.
Lastly, it might get difficult for you to live in a house with a basement, which is damp or drippy. Regardless of whether you use your basement for storage or have a finished living space, a wet basement can be a major hassle, not to mention a health risk. Fix your basement on time and keep your house healthy.