5 Steps to Help You Waterproof Your Basement

Waterproofing your basement has many benefits. To start with, a properly waterproofed basement ensures that water doesn’t find its way into the basement. It also helps to reduce the collection and accumulation of water around the foundation. This ensures that the strength of the foundation remains intact. The great thing is that basement waterproofing is not as hard as it looks. In fact, even though most people hire experts for the job, you can easily do it on your own. So, how can you waterproof your basement?

Related: Get a free quote on waterproofing your basement

We have created a very basic guide to ensure that indeed you get this project done right.

Fill the Cracks

The first step to waterproofing your basement is to seal any cracks in the foundation.
The first step to waterproofing your basement is to seal any cracks in the foundation. Image source: YouTube

If there are cracks and holes in the basement walls, the first step should be to seal them off. Use hydraulic cement for this job. Take your time and fill each hole carefully. The cracks allow water in and can significantly weaken the foundation of your home. Remember that the basement walls are an important component of the foundation and as such, you cannot afford to have cracks and holes weakening their structural integrity.

Apply Waterproof Masonry Cement

Once all the cracks and holes are filled, you now need to move to the next step. Here, you must apply a coat of waterproof masonry cement on the entire wall. The coat of waterproof masonry cement is applied to ensure that even as water gathers around the basement walls, it won’t be able to make its way through and flood the basement.

Add Extensions to the Downspouts

Adding a waterproof coat of masonry is a great solution but it’s not the only thing that can prevent water from entering into the basement. In order to ensure that the walls have a chance, you must redirect rainwater away from the foundation.

The logic behind this step is actually very basic.

If there’s no water accumulating around the foundation and the basement walls, there will not be any water percolating through the walls. Drainage is an essential part of waterproofing your property and adding extensions to the downspouts to drain the water away from the foundation is very important.

Dig Trenches Below the Extended Downspouts

Dig trenches around the foundation to install French drains.
Dig trenches around the foundation to install French drains. Image source: HouseLogic

Once you have extended the downspouts away from the foundation, you will need to create a path for the water to drain away from the property. The idea of digging trenches and installing French drains is highly recommended.

Here are some tips:

  • The trenches should be a little deep
  • Once the trenches are dug, attach a PVC pipe to the downspout extensions that you added
  • The PVC pipe needs to be at least 4” in diameter so it is has the required capacity to carry the water away from the foundation and property without any overflow

Install the Dry Well

Installing a dry well gives the water a place to go other than your basement.
Installing a dry well gives the water a place to go other than your basement. Image source: Instructables

The PVC pipes that are now attached to the downspouts will be able to drain the water out of the property but the big question now where?

Well, you can easily install a dry well on the property to act as the reservoir to collect the water. Installing a dry well is something that you can do very fast. It’s simply a matter of digging it into the ground and then connecting the PVC pipes directly to it.

Once the pipes are connected to the dry well, the water from the roof will be redirected by the gutters and the PVC pipes to the well. In the end, there will be no water accumulating on the property, and more specifically around the foundation.

There’s nothing more stressful than coming home only to find your basement flooded. The cost of repairing the damage and cleaning up the water can be enormous. The great thing is that you don’t have to and the steps above should offer a solution for anyone.

Related: Winter’s Worst: How to Prevent Frost Heave Damage


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