A Quick and Easy Guide To Waterproofing Your Basement
Predicting the weather in Indianapolis, IN, is far from easy. That makes it all the more difficult to predict when – or if – your basement is going to flood. However, the last thing you want to do is wait for your belongings to sustain water damage as a result of an untimely rainstorm.
That’s why you may want to consider waterproofing your basement. While the process will vary based on the extent of seepage you see on a daily basis, working in advance to protect the items you’ve stored will save you grief in the long run.
So how does waterproofing your basement work? Let’s dive into the details so you can determine which of the available processes would suit your situation best.
What is the Extent Of Your Damage?
Before you get started or begin formulating a plan, check and see how extensive the water damage in your basement is. There are varying levels that each require different solutions. For example, if your belongings occasionally get damp, you won’t need to seek out as extreme waterproofing measures as you would if you’re frequently walking through water.
Should You Involve a Contractor?
Once you’ve determined what the extent of your water damage is, you can choose to bring in a contractor. While you won’t need a contractor to, for example, install a temporary dehumidifier, you may need a contractor’s assistance undertaking larger waterproofing endeavors.
The cost of bringing in a contractor will vary. If your waterproofing solution is a small one, your costs should not be extensive. The more extensive your repairs are, the more you’ll have to pay. Be sure to reach out to your preferred contractor to get a quote before you commit.
What Are Your Potential Solutions?
With those potential costs in mind, what solutions can you implement? Your options include:
- Drainage mats: drainage mats are a temporary form of basement waterproofing. You can install them along your walls or floors, where they’ll wick water away from your belongings.
- Sealants: sealants are a temporary form of basement waterproofing. By sealing your basement’s interior, you can prevent the kind of water damage that would arise after an Indianapolis rain or snowstorm.
- French drains: French drains actively pull standing water from your basement, making them ideal for homeowners who frequently have to clean up puddles.
- Dehumidifiers: dehumidifiers are ideal, if temporary, solutions for minor water damage. These tools will pull the extra moisture from the air and prevent it from reaching any of the belongs you’ve stored.
Be aware that DIY solutions will help deal with water damage in the short term, but you may want to invest in a more reliable solution to help with long-term flooding.
What is the Most Effective Form of Waterproofing for Your Basement?
If you frequently have to deal with a significant amount of water in your basement, you may want to seek out more comprehensive solutions. One of the most thorough waterproofing processes does require the assistance of a contractor. However, you can take the final steps on your own time.
The process typically plays out like this:
- Have a contractor or team jackhammer the inside perimeter of the home.
- The team will install a sub-floor drainage system that will direct water to a new sump pump.
- Install a reliable sump pump system to rid your basement of this leaking water by pumping it out of the home.
- Check the walls for any exterior or interior cracks.
- Fill any cracks with hydraulic cement.
- Moisture and vapor barriers also can be placed on the walls to help with the waterproofing process.
Note that this process can take a couple days or up to a week depending on what waterproofing solutions you’re interested in. However, once it’s finished, you shouldn’t have to deal with water in your basement again.
How Long Will the Waterproofing Process Take?
The length of the waterproofing process will vary. If you choose to implement a solution on your own, the process may take longer than it would if you brought in a contractor. That said, most temporary forms of waterproofing won’t take more than a few hours.
The more extensive forms of basement waterproofing can take up to two weeks. That schedule, however, will depend entirely on the contractor you work with and the time of year you’re having construction done. Note that it is significantly easier for contractors to waterproof new homes than it is for them to add waterproofing to existing homes. Make sure you talk to your contractor about any potential drain damage that may result due to the increased number of obstacles around your home.
Should You Waterproof Your Crawl Space?
If you have a crawl space but not a basement, you may want to consider implementing waterproofing solutions there. That said, the waterproofing solutions you use to keep your basement dry are going to be different from the ones you’d use to waterproof your crawl space.
You can readily use drainage mats to keep belongings in your crawl space dry. However, it would be much more difficult to stack your waterproofing solutions as you would with a reinforced basement. If you want to waterproof your crawl space, speak with a contractor to see what solutions would suit you best.
How Long Will Your Waterproofing Last?
The amount of time your waterproofing solution lasts will depend on the type of waterproofing you’ve chosen. Sealants, for example, will last between one and two years, depending on the type of sealant you use. Drainage mats will last a little longer, as long as you don’t experience repeatedly heavy rain or flooding.
Comparatively, the most intensive types of waterproofing – the types that involve interior drainage and sump pump systems installed by a trustworthy contractor, for example – can last up to ten years. So there’s a distinct benefit in stacking the waterproofing solutions you bring into your home.