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Basement Waterproofing Solutions

Basement flooding is a major problem for many homeowners. Although waterproofing your basement may initially seem expensive and perhaps even unnecessary, keep in mind that in most cases, repairing damage caused by water will cost more than waterproofing your basement.

Basement waterproofing can prevent water damage Standard insurance policies do not always cover basement flooding. If you live in a high risk area, purchasing full coverage insurance against flooding should be considered. Keep a detailed inventory of the contents of your residence and take photos of the rooms as it will prove extremely valuable in the event of a flood or major water leak.

Make sure your insurance policies and related records are in a safe location and easily accessible should the worst happen. Too often, homeowners will keep their valuables in a safety box that they store in the basement, which is usually the first part of a house to be flooded.

Basement waterproofing 101
Surprisingly enough, many home foundations are not waterproofed. Because concrete absorbs water, moist earth around an unprotected foundation will cause dampness in a basement. Basement waterproofing will not only prevent humidity, but will also protect your home’s foundation, a critical step in maintaining your home’s value, as well as an important measure in preventing serious water damage.

Basement waterproofing is generally not recommended as a do-it-yourself project. This is one task best left to reputable professionals; moreover, insurance companies may refuse to pay a flooding claim if your waterproofing was not done by professionals. Ideally, basement waterproofing should be done during the construction stage.

Some temporary solutions
A common foundation waterproofing method used by homeowners is the application of black tar; however, it is not recommended as it is a short-term solution. It will dry out, crack and allow seepage within five to eight years. Tar can be effective as a damp-proofing method, but it is not recommended as waterproofing material.

If you do choose a do-it-yourself waterproofing method, opt for the application of a rubberized liquid membrane, which is essentially the same material that automobile tires are made of. The liquid membrane is quick drying, inexpensive and generally easy to apply with a roller, sprayer or trowel. However, particular attention should be paid to consistency during the application.

Black mold
Mold is a good indication that your basement has leakage or condensation problems. If mold exists in your home, your basement may have cracks in the walls or the floor, improperly installed or a lack of footer tiles, leaks from sweating basement pipes and/or basement windows. Black mold grows where there is dampness or water damage and is considered a serious health concern.

When to Consult a Professional
Basement waterproofing can minimize water infiltration and prevent its growth. If mold is a problem, it is best to consult a professional to waterproof your foundation. Other factors to consider are the climate and landscape of the area.


This article was written by Herb Mansfield:
Herb Mansfield is a master plumber in the province of Quebec, Canada. He has over 35 years experience in the plumbing field. He is now lending his expertise to the Sump Pump Info website.


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