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Waterproofing Basements

If you are getting water in your basement in only a few spots or occasions, there are a numbers of things you can do to correct the problem without having to hire a professional.

The first step is to identify and remove any source of surface ground water that might collect along the outside of your basement and then seep in. For example, clean clogged gutters that might cause water to run over the edge of the eaves in a rainstorm; also, put extensions on downspouts to direct the collected water farther away from your foundation. Check the level of the ground around the foundation relative to the rest of your yard for areas that might cause water to puddle beside your house in a storm. Add filler dirt If necessary to eliminate any low spots and to make the ground slope down from the foundation so that the surface water will run away from the house. For even more protection, waterproof the foundation with an exterior barrier of plastic or rubber and install drains outside the foundation walls to direct water away from the house.

Concrete is porous, so you may also need to treat the walls inside your basement. If the walls are damp or have mild and occasional seepage, you might choose to simply treat the symptoms: use a dehumidifier to help reduce the dampness and reduce possible mold problems. Alternatively, you can add an interior waterproof barrier: after fixing any cracks in the wall, painting the walls with a barrier coating or waterproofing compound. Coming in a variety of colors, they are brushed on to form a barrier film on the concrete wall. However, with time, these barriers can begin to peel away. A more expensive but more durable treatment is to use a waterproofing compound that penetrates several inches into the concrete to provide a thick layer of waterproofing besides plugging the tiny holes on the surface of the wall.

If the problem is water seeping into your basement where the walls meet the floor rather than through the walls themselves, you can install a water collection system made of hollowed baseboards that catches the water and carries it to a floor drain or sump pump.

Finally, for some, the source of water seepage is from areas surrounding pipes going through the basement walls. If this is your problem seal any of these gaps around the pipes with silicone caulk.

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