Damp basements are a troublesome issue for many homeowners. Water seeping through basement cracks can damage furnishings, encourage the growth of mold and mildew and eventually weaken the home's foundation. Keeping the basement dry generally requires approaching the problem from both inside and outside of the home. You must properly seal cracks in the basement floor and take steps to redirect water away from the home's foundation.
Things You'll Need
- Downspout extenders
- Crack filler
- Putty knife
- Waterproof sealant
- Large paintbrush or paint roller
Check gutters and downspouts to be sure they are functioning correctly. Clear away leaves and other debris from gutters to allow for the free flow of water. Make sure downspouts lead water away from the home's foundation. Attach downspout extenders if necessary.
Mix the crack filler according to the manufacturer's directions and apply to the cracks with a large putty knife.
Use a large paintbrush or paint roller to apply a thick coat of waterproof sealant to the basement's floor and walls.
Regrade the ground surrounding the home's foundation so that the soil slopes downward, preventing rainwater from flowing toward the home or pooling on the ground. Measuring from the foundation outward about 10 feet, the soil should slope about 6 inches downward.
Relocate plantings that are close to the home's foundation. Plants and flowers that lean up against the side of the home hold water in the soil, and that water can eventually seep through basement cracks.
Consult a professional about installing a drainage system in the ground around your property to redirect water away from the home.
- Ask the Builder; Basement Floor Crack Video; Tim Carter
- Ron Hazleton's HouseCalls; How to Use Downspout Extenders to Protect Your Foundation; Ron Hazelton; December 2008
- This Old House; Preventing Water Seepage; Steve Thomas
- Yavapai County Contractors Association: How Can I Stop Water from Seeping into My House?
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