Waterproofing basement walls helps control dampness. A damp or flooded basement can be a health hazard. It can also be very costly to repair; however, with proper precautions and routine maintenance, these issues and the associated costs can be kept minimal. The following products will ensure that your basement walls are waterproof.
Plastic Vapor Barrier
A plastic vapor barrier helps prevent any moisture from forming on the inside of your basement walls due to temperature changes between the outside and inside air. The vapor barrier is placed over the insulation and hammered onto the wall studs. The individual sheets are also taped together at the seams to create an airtight seal.
Drywall is also known as plasterboard or gypsum board. Drywall consists of gypsum plaster sandwiched between two layers of thick paper. The drywall is installed over the vapor barrier using drywall screws driven into the wall studs. The screws are meant to create a dimple in the drywall paper.
Drywall Tape and Joint Compound
Drywall tape and joint compound are used in conjunction. They complete the initial waterproofing of your basement wall. A thin layer of joint compound is spread over any screw indentations and joint seams. The drywall tape is then pressed into the seams and another layer of joint compound is spread on top of the tape.
Latex based paint is the best choice for this application. The latex paint is very thick and needs to be applied by hand with a strong, course paint brush. You need to the entire wall. Two coats are highly recommended, although the second coat may be applied with a thick nap paint roller.
French drains are trenches dug into the ground or basement subfloor which are covered with rock or pea gravel followed by a protective, durable cover. French drains can be used both inside the basement along the perimeter walls and outside at the foundation. Exterior drains redirect water away from the foundation to prevent water from coming into the house. Inside drains will perform the same function for water that does find its way into the basement and sends it to a sump.
A sump pump usually sits in a hole created at the lowest point of the basement where the water accumulates or flows from the French Drains and pumps that water out of the basement.
Water accumulatea near your basement windows. A basement window well is a dual purpose device. It first allows for easier egress from the basement window in case of emergency. Secondly, when connected to the outside drainage system, a window well prevents the accumulation of water at the windows and lessen the chance of water entering the basement.
Waterproofing basement walls with properly constructed walls and these devices put into place will help your home maintain its value as well as providing many years of happy, healthy and safe living for you, your family and friends.