More basement waterproofing tips | Wet basement basics | Sump Pump FAQ | More basement waterproofing articles
Whether you choose to waterproof a basement yourself or hire an outside contractor, we've put together a some tips you may find useful.
Before spending any money, do a little research on "Basement Waterproofing" -- use the Internet or look for books on the topic at your local library or book store. Go to Home Depot or Lowe's and talk to someone who is knowledgeable. Often, home improvement stores have free How-To literature -- so grab a copy. Basement Waterproofing can be a costly (but necessary) investment. If you become informed on the topic, you'll know exactly when a contractor or supplier is trying sell you something you don't need.
When waterproofing residential and commercial basements, the following features should be considered essential:
When planning foundation floor and wall repair, be sure to consider:
If You Hire an Outside Contractor To Waterproof Your Basement Look for the Following Qualities:
Some people may ask: "I hardly go into my basement. Why should I put forth the money and effort to waterproof it? Why is a dry basement important?"
Here are some important reasons why you should have a dry basement:
Tips for Basement Waterproofing
(1) Plumbing that leaks or other sources of dampness, such as clothes hung to dry on a basement line, will cause higher humidity in the area, leading to condensation.
Fix leaky plumbing as soon as possible. Open windows or dry clothes either outside or in a clothes dryer that vents to the outside. If the problem remains, try using a high-capacity dehumidifier to reduce or eliminate the problem. A ventilation fan, installed on a timer, may also help eliminate your humidity problem.
(2) Moisture (humidity) in the air causes condensation on cool surfaces in the basement, especially walls, floors and cold water pipes.
Insulate pipes. Be certain there is enough ventilation. Open curtains and windows: sunlight and air movement can rapidly dry a basement. Ventilation needs to be regulated based on weather conditions. During hot, humid weather, or long rainy spells, keep the basement windows closed. The air outside will contain more moisture than air inside the basement. Also, during warmer weather, use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to cool and dehumidify the air. Sometimes, simply installing a ventilation fan on a timer may be all that's necessary to minimize humidity problems.
(3) Unprotected basement window wells act as cisterns during heavy rains, and let water come in around the window frame and below windows.
Windows, or parts of windows below grade, need to be protected by metal or masonry window wells. Place gravel in the bottom of the wells to allow for good drainage. Clear plastic bubbles are also available. These are used to cover the entire window like and awning.
(4) Defective or clogged gutters and downspouts -- or not using them to begin with -- lets roof water form puddles or wet soil near or against the basement walls, and enter through cracks or openings in the masonry.
Clean and inspect gutters regularly -- at least once a year. Install new gutters and downspouts as necessary. Keep them free of debris. Where leaves and twigs may collect in a gutter, install a basket-shaped wire strainer over the downspout outlet or place screening across the length of the gutter. Repair gutters and downspouts as soon as you notice the problem.
(5) A simple test to to find the source of water:
To determine whether the water is coming through the wall from the outside or if it's inside condensation, tape a twelve inch square of aluminum foil to the wall that’s prone to dampness. Seal all four sides as airtight as possible. In about two days, check the foil. If the side facing the wall is wet, the problem is water seepage. If the outside of the foil (facing the basement) is wet, it’s condensation.
Below you will find books for learning the fundamental "how to's" of Basement Waterproofing. You will also find our top picks for sump pumps and dehumidifiers.
Original Basement Waterproofing Handbook
THIS OLD HOUSE magazine August, 1996
Properly used even a novice in home repair/improvement should benefit. After reading the book, home owners will have an idea of what their choices are,how they should be implemented, and get a good idea of approximate job cost.
The handbook is unique in many ways. It is the only consumer oriented book to be written about this important subject. Since fully half of the homes in America ,with basements, leak water, it's indeed an important subject.The book is written in straight forward non-technical language. This, plus the fact that it's fully illustrated, make understanding easy-even for novice home owners.Of course pricing is included,as a protection against paying too much for a given service. The book is updated annually,to include new technology ,new pricing and new ideas.The list goes on,but perhaps most important of all,free consulting services are made available to every reader.For the first time,experts,myself included,are standing by on a daily basis to answer any lingering questions.The stakes can be very high when a home is being assaulted by ground water. Consulting Services will allow us to provide a level of reader satisfaction which this type of problem demands.
Michael T. Kubal's Construction Waterproofing Handbook is an all-inclusive, project-simplifying guide for waterproofing and construction professionals. This comprehensive answer-packed resource is loaded with the up-to-date, clearly-defined information you need on every project, including work on the building envelope, below-grade, above-grade, and remedial waterproofing. You get information on materials, including:
Quality, maintenance and warranties
THIS IS A MUST BUY!
DON'T HESITATE TO BUY IT!
Features automatic float switch with piggy-back plug. Side and bottom intake provides clog-resistant suction. Lifts water vertically 20 feet. Low-amp draw allows for cooler operation. Comes with 8-ft. waterproof power cord. UL listed. 1 year warranty. Thermally protected motor pumps up to 1200 GPH 1 1/4in. male iron pipe discharge thread and 1 1/4in. female iron pipe adapter (included)
Features rust-resistant thermoplastic volute and housing, tough polycarbonate impeller and thermally protected, oil-filled motor. Vertical float switch provides reliable operation and allows installation in 13in. basins. High-capacity 1 1/2in. NPT discharge. Will replace most pedestal pumps with no plumbing changes. 14in. H x 7in. W x 9.5in. L. UL listed. Limited lifetime warranty. U.S.A. Moves 6000 GPH@ 5-ft. head; 3800 GPH @ 15-ft. head The ultimate in corrosion resistance!
Split–capacitor motor allows low amp draw and cooler operation; side and bottom intake provides clog–resistant suction. Lifts water vertically over 25 feet. Mechanical float switch with piggy–back plug. Replaceable 8 ft. waterproof power cord. 1 1/4 in. female iron pipe adapter included. Pumps 1500 GPH1 1/4 in. male iron pipe discharge thread.
A great way to reduce dampness in your basement. This dehumidifier removes a whopping 65 pt. per day. Make your basement more comfortable by removing humidity from the air. Helps to reduce the presence of both mold and mildew. Controlling the environment with a dehumidifier can help prevent damage to wood, fabrics and carpeting caused by water and mildew. Recommended for all wet conditions. Electronic humidistat with adjustable humidity control. Energy Star qualified. Low temperature operation down to 42 deg. F. Automatic shut-off with "Full Bucket" indicator. Front-access water bucket with built-in handle. Slide-out washable filter for easy cleaning. Optional drain hose connection. 5-year parts and labor warranty.
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