Waterproofing a basement is important to keep your home dry and mold free especially if you plan on remodeling your basement. There are many different basement waterproofing systems and methods. The requirements on every home vary depending on if you have a wet or dry basement. The moisture issues most commonly found in older homes are on the inside of the foundation walls or floor. Most new construction uses some type of exterior foundation waterproofing that usually keeps the basements fairly dry. If your building a new home I would definitely recommend some type of foundation wall moisture barrier. Before you begin with you interior fix make sure you check that your gutters & downspouts are clear all the way out to the curb.
If your downspouts stop at the foundation you'll need to get an extension to divert the water away from the foundation. Make sure the grade around the foundation slopes away from the house. Check for more tips at The National Association of Waterproofing. When fixing interior walls one cheap and easy solution is a paint product called DRYLOCK made by UGL. You can just use a brush and heavy nap roller to apply the product to the masonry walls. They have many different products available depending on your situation.
You can see if this product is right for you by taping a 12inx12in piece of aluminum foil to the suspected wall. leave it for a few days. When you come back if there is moisture on the room side you have a condensation problem. If its wet on the inside that was facing the wall you have a seepage problem. Remember both problems can occur at the same time. If you have a condensation problem a dehumidifier should help. If your basement is fairly dry and you just have a few damp spots or walls you might get by with the latex Drylock masonry waterproofer.
You can buy it by the quart or the gallon. This formula is for waterproofing all interior, exterior, above or below grade masonry walls, cinder and concrete blocks, stucco, brick, retaining walls, basements, concrete swimming pools and foundations. No pre-mixing or pre-wetting necessary. You can even tint it to colors if you'd like. If your basement walls are moist or leaky you might want to consider the Drylock Extreme Masonry Paint. This contains synthetic rubber and Portland cement which helps give the walls a much tougher barrier. It is a little more expensive and the fumes are much more intense.
You'll want to wear a respirator when using this stuff. Both products can be applied to damp surfaces. First you want to make sure the walls are clean from rust, dirt, grease, or oil. Then make sure there are no Efflorescence, a (white, powdery, crystal-like deposit on the masonry surface). This must be removed with a wire brush and sometimes an acid wash. You will also need to patch any cracks or holes in the wall joints or floor. For this you can use DRYLOK® FAST PLUG a fast setting hydraulic cement. Make sure you dampen the area before applying the fast plug for a stronger patch. After thats all done your ready to paint. The coverage of the Drylock is about 50-75 sq ft per gallon. Ex. An eight foot tall wall that is 10 ft long is 80sq ft and would likely use more than one gallon.
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