Dry Basement? A Must Have For Every Homeowner

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For many homeowners, home improvement does not begin in the basement.  When selling our homes, we think about improving it, and think a new kitchen and bathroom, or a fresh coat of pain will enhance and increase the value of our homes. But if your basement leaks, the house needs a new roof, or your home needs new gutters installed, those are the first improvements you should do instead of a new granite countertop and white kitchen cabinets.  No matter how pretty the new kitchen is, if your basement has water problems, or if it needs a new roof, the buyer won’t get past those obvious problems and offer to buy a home that obviously needs other expensive repairs.

For more about this and other topics, follow the links below.

7-Step Guide To A Dry Basement

If you’re tired of sharing a bedroom or having to give up the television remote, perhaps it’s time to think about transforming your basement into a new living or entertainment space. A basement is a great investment for any home owner because the extra space will increase the value of your property. But more importantly it makes life easier for families that have to cram into small spaces.

The possibilities of what your basement can become are endless; perhaps a new home office or gym will do the trick, or maybe an extra bedroom to finally give your children their own spaces? How does a man cave with a bar sound? Awesome if you’re a man, but perhaps an extra living room would be more ideal for the ladies?

Either way, before you start dreaming about what to do with your basement, the first thing you need to do is ensure the area is dry, because otherwise this dream may never become a reality.

One of the biggest issues that can impact a basement is moisture damage caused by inadequate drainage, ventilation and/or waterproofing.

One of the biggest issues that can impact a basement is moisture damage caused by inadequate drainage, ventilation and/or waterproofing.

Warning for homeowners

For homeowners who have had a basement waterproofing system installed that includes the installation of drain tile under the basement floor around the perimeter of the basement, you need to consider the following.

Installation of the drain tile requires sections of the concrete basement floor be removed before the drain tile can be installed. Removing the existing floor exposes the dirt underneath the concrete floor, which may or may not cause the release of radon gas into the basement area. When the concrete floor is replaced, most systems leave a small one inch gap between the replaced concrete floor and the basement foundation wall. This open space can become a source for the radon gas to enter your living area.

Any homeowners who have had the perimeter drain tile system installed, it is suggested that you purchase a radon test kit to determine whether you have unhealthy levels of radon gases in their basement areas. For homeowners who are considering installing a drain tile system under their basement floor, it is suggested that you check the radon levels before and after the drain tile is installed. If the radon levels become unhealthy after the drain tile system is installed, it may be a result of the contractor creating the problem.

Capillary Break Coating

Applying a waterproof coating to the top of the footing should block groundwater from wicking into the foundation walls – thereby keeping the basement drier.

Up until now I’ve used membrane-type capillary breaks to block moisture the migrates through the footing from rising into the foundation walls. The membranes are easy to work with provided there is no vertical rebar.   Vertical rebar is hard to cut and piece around. On this foundation there are about 80 vertical rebar sections.

Instead we used a waterproofing coating – ProtectoWrap’s LWM200. It’s primarily used as a waterproof coating in window and door openings on concrete block walls. For us it will block most of the ground moisture from being wicked into the foundation walls. So it will help keep the basement drier.

We poured out a stripe of LWM200 along the footing and Bruce spread it with a roller. I followed behind back-brushing it into rough surface areas, pin-holes and around the vertical rebar. I also lapped up any puddles and spread it elsewhere.


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