1. Extend your downspout discharge lines away from your foundation and out into the yard or into an underground dry well. Downspout lines often fail even in newer homes so making sure that the roof water is being properly diverted is essential.
2. Use Drylok on walls that only have minor dampness. This product, and some that are like it, can be an effective short-term solution to keeping dampness isolated. They only work for a few years in some instances and can chip and flake if the water problem becomes worse.
3. Adjust the grade so the outside soil line by the home’s foundation wall slopes away from the house.
4. Make sure that you don’t have any plumbing issues. Upstairs leaks and those that are occurring inside of walls are often hard to diagnose and can appear as basement waterproofing issues since water flows down and tends to accumulate in unpredictable places. A professional plumber should be consulted where this may be in question.
5. Check your gutters at the roofline to make sure that the downspouts are fitted correctly and are fully sealed. Leaks can occur at the roof and water can sometimes find its way up underneath the shingles and down through the walls of the home. That will often find its way down to the basement’s footing wall joint and appear as basement seepage.
6. Control your interior airspace by closing and sealing any wall cracks or places that are exposed to the outside. Clean and dehumidify the basement’s air quality with a high-performance unit.
7. Make sure the exterior soil level outside the home is below the top of the wall on the inside of the basement. That is otherwise known as where the sill plate is. If the outside mulch bed is higher than the top of the inside basement wall, water can seep through and wash down over the wall. Telltale signs are mulch-colored stains on the inside walls.
8. Expose any finished basement wall sections that are showing signs of water damage. This could be spotted on wooden baseboards or on the drywall itself. Another sign of problems with finished basements is bad smells. Insulation can absorb water and lead to mold issues behind finished walls that don’t have sealed vapor barriers and proper drainage prior to their installation. Identifying bad sections should be done by a professional if there is any doubt at all.
9. Create a curtain drain in the yard where water is accumulating. This is a non-warranted job by professionals because they nearly always become clogged after a time. They can provide temporary relief of basement water issues by collecting and diverting the marshy wet places to lower sections of the yard.
10. The construction of a new house is the time to properly seal the house for life. The old standby of plastic wrap and Styrofoam sheeting to protect can work, but it is almost always destroyed during the back-filling of the foundation, causing it to leak. This way of sealing no longer meets the international building code, along with many state, county, or city building codes. If you’re building a new home, it’s wise to have a good interior and exterior drain system put in place during the initial building process.
Disclaimer… The above information is intended for informational purposes only. Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing does not warrant or imply that these basement waterproofing tips will solve the common issues described. A professional waterproofing expert is always recommended before attempting any remediation work.