Whether you are currently experiencing a damp basement or you're trying to take steps to prevent future problems, waterproofing can offer you a lot of benefits as a homeowner. In addition to protecting any belongings you have in your basement and preventing the growth of mold and mildew, waterproofing will also protect your home's foundation. But before you hire a contractor to begin the work of waterproofing your basement, it's a good idea to understand what your options are. There are three primary ways to waterproof a basement.
Using Interior Sealants
Water most often gets into your basement through small cracks in your home's foundation. But it's relatively easy to seal these cracks from the inside. A contractor can inject specially made sealants into the cracks. The sealants will travel along the crack all the way to the exterior, sealing the crack and hopefully blocking any further leaks. These sealants are designed to last for many years and come with manufacturer's warranties.
Unfortunately, interior sealant isn't always effective in preventing moisture infiltration through cracks. If there is a lot of water pressure in the ground outside your home, the pressure against the foundation may force the water past the sealant anyway. More than this, interior sealants can't really be used to seal large cracks and major leaks.
With this approach, the focus shifts from sealing the cracks in the interior walls of your basement to waterproofing the exterior. This preemptive approach prevents water from getting inside your home to begin with. Unfortunately, it's not quick and easy. Exterior waterproofing requires excavating around your home to expose the foundation. When that's done, a drainage system is installed that directs water down a slope or to a sump pump. A waterproof coating is used to completely seal the exterior walls so that any water on the outside is directed into the drainage system.
If, despite your best efforts, water does somehow get into your home through a leak in your foundation, an interior drainage system can provide you with a useful method for removing any moisture from your basement. The most effective approach to interior drainage is to install a sump pump that will collect any water that collects at the bottom of your basement and pump it back outside. Along with these pumps, your contractor can install vapor barriers that will help keep your basement free of mildew and mold.
For more information, or if you would like professional assistance, contact Safeguard Waterproofing or a similar company.