If you plan on buying or selling a home, water damage is one of the most concerning for both home buyer’s and seller’s. Basements are typically the area of a structure that is at greatest risk for water damage because they are located below grade and surrounded by soil. The land releases the water it has absorbed during the rain or when the snow melts, and the water can be drained in the basement by leaks and cracks. Water can even migrate through solid concrete walls via capillary absorption, which is a phenomenon through which the liquid rises spontaneously in a narrow space, such as a thin tube, or via porous materials. Wet basements can cause problems that include chipping, toxic mold contamination, building rot, foundation crumbling and termite damage.
Properly waterproofing a basement will reduce the risk of damage caused by moisture and save a lot of money in basement water damage repair costs.. Owners will want to be aware of what they can do to keep their basements dry and safe from damage. Inspectors can also benefit from being aware of those basic strategies to prevent leaks and flooding.
Prevent the ingress of water by diverting it away from the foundation.
Preventing water from entering the basement by ensuring that it is diverted away from the foundation is of prime interest. Poor roof drainage and surface liquid residue due to gutter defects and improper site classification may be the most common cause of wet basements. Addressing those issues will go a long way toward ensuring that the water does not dare the basement.
Here are some steps to divert water away from the foundation:
Install and maintain gutters and drain pipes so that they send all the rainwater and melted snow far enough away from the walls of the structure. At least 10 feet (3.05 m) of the building is better, and at the point where the water is left the drain pipe, the water should be able to flow freely away from the foundation instead of back to it, and Should not accumulate in ponds.
The final grade should be tilted away from the building by 10 or 15 feet . Low places that can cause ponds should be leveled to prevent the possibility of standing water near the foundation.
Shallow ditches called swales (drainage channels) should be used in conditions where one or more sides of the building covers an ascending slope. A swale should descend far from the building by 10 or 15 feet which is when it can be emptied to the other swale that guides the water down the side of the building, guiding it away from the building. Foundation.
Arrange all cracks and holes.
If leaks or leaks are occurring inside the basement, it is more likely that water and moisture are entering through cracks and small holes. Cracks or holes can be the result of many things. A lack of professional skill during the original construction may be making itself apparent in the form of cracks or holes. The water pressure from the outside may be accumulating, forcing water through the walls. The house could have been accommodated, causing cracks in the floor or walls. Fixing all cracks and small holes will help prevent leaks and flooding.
Here are some steps to take if you suspect that water is entering the basement through cracks and holes:
Identify areas where water may be entering through cracks or holes with moisture check, leaks or discoloration. Each square inch of the basement should be examined, especially in cases where the escape or flood has not been obvious, but the build up of moisture is very apparent.
A blend of epoxy resin and latex cement can be used to fill in fine cracks and small holes. This is a waterproof formula that can help ensure moisture and water do not penetrate basement walls. This is effective primarily for cracks and very small holes.
Any crack larger than about 1/8 inch (0.32cm) should be filled with mortar made from one part cement and two parts fine sand, with enough water just to make an evenly hard mortar. It should be firmly tightened to all parts of the larger cracks and holes to be sure there are no bubbles or air shafts. As long as the water is not being forced through the basement walls due to pressure from the outside, applying mortar with a standard vane will suffice if special attention is given to completely fill all cracks.
If water is being forced by outside pressure, a slightly different method of mortar patch can be used. The surface areas of the walls or cracked soils should be first chiselled a little at the mouth of the crack and along its length. Using a chisel and hammer or a chisel, cut a dovetail groove along the mouth of each crack that is to be filled, and then apply the mortar meticulously. The dovetail groove, once filled, should be strong enough to withstand the force of the pressure that was pushing the water through the crack.
Apply the sodium silicate sealant to the walls and floor.
Once all the liquid residue has been meticulously diverted away from the foundation, and all cracks and holes have been fixed and no leakage is occurring, a waterproof sealant can be applied as a final measure.
Sodium silicate is a water-based blend that will even penetrate the substrate by up to 4 inches (10.16cm). Concrete, concrete block and masonry have lime as a natural component of their composition, which reacts with sodium silicate to produce a solid, crystalline structure, which fills all cracks, holes and microscopic pores of the substrate. No steam or water gas will be able to penetrate via capillary absorption because concrete and masonry have already become harder and denser by sodium silicate.
Here are some steps and tips for your application:
Special attention should be paid when applying sodium silicate. This is an alkaline substance, such as, it can burn the skin and eyes if it comes in contact with them. Inhalation may also cause irritation to the respiratory tract.
Sodium silicate should be applied only to bare concrete, concrete block or masonry that has been meticulously cleaned and free of any dust, oil, adhesive, paint and grease. This will ensure that the sodium silicate penetrates the substrate correctly and fills all microscopic cracks. This can be applied using a garden sprayer, roller or brush to a surface that has first been lightly moistened with a mop or brush. Apply two to three layers to the concrete, waiting 10 to 20 minutes between each application. The concrete block and masonry will be taken from three to four layers, with the same 10 to 20 minutes between applications. Any excess should be cleaned later. Sodium silicate should not be over-applied or will not be completely absorbed by the substrate,
The paint can then be applied without fear that the water vapor will be trapped between the paint and the wall, which could eventually cause corrosion and chipping. Adhesives for the tile or floor covering can also be used more effectively, once the substrate has already been sealed.
Diverting water away from foundations so that it does not build up outside walls and basement floors is a key element in preventing flooding and water damage. In addition, ensuring that any water that is near the outside of the basement can not get in through holes or cracks is important, and sealing with a waterproof compound will also help prevent steam or water gas from penetrating. By following those procedures, the risk of water-related problems in basement interiors can be greatly reduced, protecting the building from damage such as foundation rot, mold growth, and chipping, as well as improving quality Of the indoor air by blocking the transmission of the earth’s gases outside.