When finishing or remodeling a basement, moisture can wreak havoc on any project. In fact, moisture buildup in the basement is a serious concern. Not only can moisture damage a home’s foundation, but it can also ruin personal items if the leak is not dealt with properly. Luckily, sealing basement walls to keep out unwanted moisture is an easy process. By following these simple steps, you can rest assured knowing that your basement is free of moisture.
Step 1 – Uncovering the Source
The first step in properly sealing a basement is to determine the source of the problem. Sometimes the leak is obvious to locate, especially if water is coming from cracks in the wall or floor. However, it is often difficult to tell the exact location of the moisture leak. If that is the case, then waterproofing the interior walls is the best way to ensure the moisture is properly handled.
Step 2 – Fill in Cracks
Whether or not you choose to waterproof all of the walls in the basement, filling cracks and gaps in the concrete is an important beginning step. Without these cracks properly filled, water can easily find its way back into the basement even after the walls are sealed. Fortunately, there are a variety of products available to fill in these holes, including cement or epoxy sealers. Simply follow the instructions on the sealer and make sure it is fully dried before applying sealant to the rest of the walls.
Step 3 – Concrete Sealers
Once all of the cracks have been sealed up, it’s time to choose the proper type of sealer to waterproof the walls. If the walls have not been painted and the bare cement is exposed, there are two options to choose from: concrete and silicate based sealers. Concrete sealers act like an additional layer of concrete and dry in thick layers. Concrete sealer should be painted on with a heavy brush. Silicate based sealant, on the other hand, uses a chemical reaction to create a solid surface on the surface of the wall.