A Poor Man's Basement Waterproofing Methods


A wet basement is not only unusable, but it could give way to extensive water damage, weakened foundations and toxic molds. However, waterproofing basements or repairing cracks in the foundation can be one of the most expensive fixes in home repair. For the homeowner on a budget, there are several quick, inexpensive fixes to ensure that the basement stays dry before calling a contractor.

Proper Roof Drainage

  • According to MoneyPit.com, roof drainage is the number one cause of leaky basements. It's also one of the easiest, most inexpensive fixes. Because the roof is as big as the home itself, it is capable of collecting lots of water, which is eventually transferred to the gutters for disposal. Homes should have one gutter downspout for every 600 to 800 square feet of roof surface. They should also be cleaned often. Downspouts should also dislodge water 6 to 8 feet away from the home. If these proper measures aren't taken, the gutters could overflow during heavy rainfalls, dumping rainwater close to the foundation, which increases the chances of a basement leaking.

Proper Soil Angles

  • Another leading cause of leaky basements is uneven soil outside the home. Properly angled soil should slope away from the house so that excess rainwater doesn't run toward the home. Water running toward the home only increases the chance of it seeping into the foundation. According to MoneyPit.com, properly angled soil should slope downward 6 inches over the first 4 feet from the foundation wall. If grading needs improvement, use dirt and not topsoil to build up the ground around the home and then cover with grass or mulch to prevent soil erosion. This improvement is inexpensive and can be accomplished easily by the homeowner.

Waterproof Paint

  • An inexpensive waterproofing fix is to coat the basement walls with waterproof sealing paint. But, according to Basement Waterproofing, this inexpensive fix can be faulty if not carried out correctly. Homeowners need to rid the basement of humidity, either with a humidifier or humidity-reducing chemicals and powders. Any loose paint on the walls must be removed because loose paint could weaken the bonds produced with waterproof paint. And the homeowner needs to apply the waterproofing paint just as he would coat with any other type of paint. Waterproofing paint that is compatible with latex or oil-based paint typically works best.

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