How to Prevent Basement Leaks in Your Home

Basement leaks are unpleasant, uncomfortable and a health hazard.

The leaking basement leads to standing water, molds, mildew and dampness- undesired effects that will lead to expensive repairs, deterioration of the house and unusable space.

Identifying the leakage source and type of basement wall material, is crucial when deciding on the effective waterproofing method to implement.

Exterior excavation and waterproofing

Even though, it is not possible to completely remove the water and have 100 percent waterproof walls, you can reduce the effects of the water and help prevent noticeable basement leaks and weakening of the walls.

The prevention is achieved by driving the water away from the walls and applying the appropriate waterproofing treatment to prevent the ingress of the small amounts of water that could weaken the walls.

Depending on your location, you may need to inform and liaise with the relevant utility body, such as those dealing with drainage.

Excavation, Preparation and Repair

Start with the excavation around the leaking area to expose the basement walls, foundation and the footing. Cleaning and repairing of cracks, holes and other defects must be done to allow for a strong bond between the concrete parge and the walls.

Remove all the dirt, loose concrete, debris and other contaminants using a wire brush and a vacuum cleaner to remove the debris. Patch and compact the voids and cracks in the foundation by using the hydraulic cement. Apply the concrete parging coat on the surface to improve the sealing and the appearance.

The waterproofing is achieved by the using either the membrane, or the waterproofing material such as proofing paint on the exterior surfaces in the case of positive side waterproofing.

Before applying the paint, prime the surfaces with the waterproof exterior concrete primer and allow it to dry.

Use waterproof painting to prevent leakages in the basement

When painting the first coat use a brush that will effectively apply paint into the openings and crevices, and completely cover the surfaces. A paint roller may then be used to apply the subsequent second, third, or more, layers.

Preventing basement leakages with waterproof membrane

A waterproofing membrane is applied to the foundation and over the footing; a plastic drainage mat is then applied over the foundation wall all the way down to the footing. One may install either the weeping tiles or the French drainage to improve on the drainage near the walls, and then connect it to a suitable drainage system.

Improving the drainage system prevents basement leaks

Ensure the water drainage pipes are not leaking and repair all breakages and other defects in the system. Fill back the soil and compact it such that it slopes away from the walls to allow water to flow away without settling near the house. Clean the work area and remove all debris that would trap water.

Inspect your gutters, remove accumulated debris, repair leakages, seal loose joints and ensure proper drainage at the ends. Confirm that the gutters are properly attached to the roof shingles and all the rain water collects in the gutters without dropping to the ground.

The rain water from the roof should then be discharged about 5 ft away from the basement and in a location where it flows away from the house.

By taking the necessary precautions and preventive measures, the basement leaks can be avoided from recurring and especially if the water is prevented from settling near the walls as much as possible.