It’s always wise to take preventive measures to protect your beautiful Indiana home. This means starting with reliability from the ground up, or even below ground, in your basement. When you notice vertical or horizontal cracks growing in your basement walls, it’s time to take action.
Here are steps that you can take to waterproof your basement walls, and how Indiana Foundation Service can be your partner in home improvement.
The Dos and Don’ts of Basement Waterproofing
Have Mold and Puddling Water Cleaned Out of Your Home Before Getting It Waterproofed
Mold is an airborne substance that can spread rapidly in the right conditions. When it’s allowed to intensify in your basement, it can have negative effects on environmental factors like the sight and smell of the space. It can also affect the health of you and your family, and you may begin to notice increased allergy symptoms or difficulty breathing for family members with asthma or respiratory issues.
Before beginning the waterproofing process, you’ll want to have the mold removed and standing water cleaned out before you can begin healing the space. This will allow for a clean slate and ensure that waterproofing solutions aren’t applied atop wet walls or mold.
Waterproof Before You Finish Your Basement
It’s understandable to feel eager to finish your basement so that you can turn it into the game room or extra living space of your dreams. However, without any structural or water management solutions applied beforehand, your hard work may be at the mercy of Mother Nature and the soil around your basement.
The potential issues you could face are wet and moldy carpet, leaking from your walls or cove joints, and other mold growth.
Hire a Specialty Company to Complete Your Wall Waterproofing Measures
While it’s tempting to DIY your basement waterproofing solutions, what you may find in the store or in online stores and YouTube tutorials are mostly temporary solutions. Since online resources aren’t in your home with you, they may not be able to help you accurately diagnose your basement’s true issues. You may run into a similar issue if you decide to hire a general contractor who may not be privy to basement-specific issues.
With a specialized basement and foundation company like Indiana Foundation Service, you can count on the fact that your basement issues will be properly diagnosed. Even if you aren’t dealing with any basement leakage, a basement specialist will assess the space and provide a customized solution for you.
Don’t Just Use Waterproofing Paint
Waterproofing paint is marketed as a simple solution for basement wall leakage. This may make sense to the untrained eye, but what you may find after applying the paint is that it has the opposite effect on your basement. Waterproof paint won’t actually stop the source of the leak, but instead cover it up and insulate it between the wall and the thick layer of paint. You may notice bubbling behind the paint, or even the paint sweating after a certain period of time. If you want to waterproof your basement, targeting the issue at the source is your best course of action.
Don’t Just Caulk or Fill Cracks
Hairline cracks, or cracks that are roughly less than .003 inches in width, can be easily concealed without a real concern for the structure of your home. But when cracks grow to be wider than that, you’re dealing with a structural issue that can’t be fixed with an epoxy. While it’s widely marketed that sealing these cracks is the quickest fix, the cracks will eventually reappear as your home continues to settle or as the soil around your home continues to inflict hydrostatic pressure.
Don’t Ignore Window Well Leaks
Window well leaks can be an alarming issue in your basement that will only progress over time. During icy cold Indiana winters and spring snowmelt, a fully functioning window well and egress window is essential. While it may seem common or natural for these leaks to occur, you’ll need to take action as soon as you can.
What YOU Can Do to Aid Basement Waterproofing
Strategically Planting Flowerbeds
Planting too close means you’ll have to water the soil right on top of your basement almost daily. This isn’t good practice for maintaining a decently dry basement as the water will swell, then apply hydrostatic pressure on your basement walls. Placing flower beds further away from your home can ensure that you are still maintaining a beautiful garden, but not at the expense of your home.
Manage Your Gutters
Your gutters are the first line against water infiltrating your basement. Without gutters or with broken gutters, water will pool around your foundation and trail into your basement. This perpetuates puddling, leakage, and other nasty problems in your basement. While they’re an indirect protector, they’re still vital in the health of your whole basement.
Ensure Correct Yard Grading
Positive yard grading is when your home is built on the highest point in your property’s landscape. If it’s built at a lower point, then water will drain down toward the foundation one way or another. When this happens, your basement is more susceptible to leakage. It’s recommended to have your yard graded at least at a two to five percent slope. If this isn’t a possibility for you, you can use catch basins to collect rainwater and drain it away from your foundation and basement.
What Professionals Can Do for your Basement Walls
When you go with professional basement repair, you’re making the choice that your basement will thank you for years down the line. Solutions such as vapor barriers, interior drainage systems, and more, all work to stop the root cause of your basement wall cracks instead of just covering them up. By targeting your home’s structural problems, and implementing permanent water management, you can trust that your basement will last for life.
- WallSeal™ Vapor Barriers. At Indiana Foundation Service, we provide only the best quality products for all our basement waterproofing homeowners—this includes our vapor barrier that outperforms competitors. At its thickest point, it’s 12-mil. This solution works to seal your basement and aids in tamping down excess moisture and even temperatures.
- Intellibrace™ Foundation Wall Repair System. When you’re dealing with wall cracks, there’s a real structural issue at hand, set into motion by heavy soil and water-filled walls. Wall braces not only straighten and shape up your cracked or bowing walls, but also give your foundation walls extra support they need to actively hold up the rest of your living space.
- Interior Drainage. The BasementGutter™ is a clog-free interior drainage system that can help you manage excess moisture or leakage in your basement. It’s a drain that’s settled in an interior frame filled with drainage stones. This type of drainage system is extremely popular because of how simple it is for repair companies to help you maintain.
- Sump Pumps. A sump pump works with your interior drainage system redirects water collected by the drainage system far away from your basement. This will come in handy during heavy rainstorms when you will need it the most. Having a battery-powered backup sump pump is also vital, as severe thunderstorms or heavy snowstorms can cut out your power right when you’d need a sump pump the most.
- Dehumidifiers. Dehumidifiers are vital to a healthy environment in your basement. They not only aid in regulating safe humidity levels, but also cleaner air for you and your family.
Indiana Foundation Service is Your Partner in Basement Waterproofing
Your basement, your decision. Your home, your greatest asset. No company understands that more than Indiana Foundation Service. That’s why when it comes to waterproofing your basement walls, we are transparent with you every step of the way. From providing a completely free inspection of your basement walls and home, to offering you a free and no-pressure quote for services, we’ll be walking step by step with you the entire process.
Discover the possibilities that will add safety and comfort to your basement, today.