In case you are faced with a wet or musty basement, then the next step is trying to prevent water from getting into your basement. The best solution is using waterproofing your basement. This will seal your walls against seepage. In order to select the best option, you have to determine whether the moisture is coming from the outside, or if it’s the actually high humidity that’s condensing on the cool walls of your basement.
How to find out what is causing the moisture?
To determine the cause of moisture tape a one-foot square piece of aluminum foil to the inside of your basement walls. Let it sit there for at least 24 hours. Then check whether if there is condensation on the inside or outside of the foil. If there is condensation on the outside of the foil, you have high humidity in your basement. You should fix it using a dehumidifier.
If the foil has condensation on the inside surface next to the wall, this is an indication that water or moisture is seeping through your wall. In that case, waterproofing your basement is the ideal solution for water leakage in your basement. You can either waterproof just your interior or you can also waterproof your exterior walls, which is better.
Best types of Interior Waterproofing
1) Concrete waterproofing coatings- These are cement-like thick coating. You should apply the coating with a heavy brush made with Tampico bristle. This kind of coats sticks to the walls permanently, thereby sealing the walls. Suitable for walls that have not been painted.
2) Silicate-based concrete sealers- Also known as densifiers, they are suitable only for walls that haven’t been painted or sealed before. These silicate-based sealers soak in and react with ingredients in the brick or concrete chemically and form a waterproof and hard surface.
3) Waterproofing paint- This is an acrylic formula. You brush, roll, or spray it on much thicker. One gallon should cover just 75 square feet. Waterproofing paint is fine for DIY application and you can apply it over painted surfaces, and paint over it once it’s cured.
4) Plastic sheets and panels- These can be a suitable wall waterproofing method only if your home has an interior basement drainage system in place. They do not stop water from seeping through the wall, but what they do is stop it from damaging things in your basement. When water seeps through the wall it just runs down on the back of the plastic, to your drainage system. After which you can use a sump pump to move the water out of your basement.
In this case, you have to excavate all around the foundation walls. After which you should install a waterproof coating to strengthen your drainage system. You should also install drainage panels which will provide a path for water to drain to the exterior drainage system. This water then flows to a local sewer system connected to your house.