Whether your basement is always damp or it gets wet after a hard rain, you may be considering ways to waterproof it. There are a few options for basement waterproofing, so you can choose the best method for your situation and budget. Here are the benefits of having your basement waterproofed and some options to consider.
Why You Should Waterproof Your Basement
If you dry out your basement and keep it dry, you'll gain extra space in your home for storage or to use for recreation. You could even finish the basement and turn it into a family room or extra bedroom, but you couldn't risk doing that if the basement keeps getting wet or stays damp.
A wet basement often has a musty odor, and the dampness can attract insect pests. Metal things like your furnace and water heater might develop rust in a damp environment. Dampness makes your basement an unpleasant place, and the odors and pests can also affect your living space in the upper levels of your home. Problems like these are eliminated when you waterproof the basement.
Why Basements Are Wet And Damp
Part of the reason your basement stays damp could be due to condensation. This happens naturally since your basement is below the ground and is cooler than the warm air outside or in your living space above. When cool and warm collide, condensation forms. This causes water to drip from pipes and run down concrete walls.
Water can also seep in from outside. This happens if there are cracks in the foundation or if the hydrostatic pressure on the outside of the walls pushes water through the concrete. If your property has poor drainage, it could cause your basement to get wet when it rains.
Figuring out the cause of a wet basement may require the help of a contractor, but knowing why your basement is wet can help you choose the right waterproofing method.
How To Waterproof Your Basement
To get your basement dry and keep it that way, you need to fight condensation and stop water from seeping inside. Stopping condensation might require wrapping pipes in insulation, putting insulation on the walls, and setting up a dehumidifier in the basement.
Keeping water from leaking inside could entail putting in an exterior drain that catches water before it can reach the foundation. The contractor might also consider covering the outside walls of your basement with a waterproof membrane.
Another option is to put the drain indoors under the basement floor and route it to a sump pump. Indoor waterproofing might also involve sealing cracks or applying a waterproof coating to the walls.
Each of these options has its pros and cons. For instance, exterior basement waterproofing tears up your yard and can be quite disruptive. However, it is a permanent solution to your problem.
If you plan to use your dry basement as a living space, then you want a permanent method of basement waterproofing that has a low risk of failure so your furniture, flooring, and electronic equipment will stay safe and dry.