Depending on the degree of moisture present, waterproofing basement walls can be as simple as coating wall surfaces with sealer and special waterproof paint or as complex – and expensive – as hiring a contractor to completely revamp the drainage situation of your home and pressure pump water-retarding chemicals into the walls.
State and local building regulations many times obligate builders to the task of waterproofing basement walls (as well as the rest of the home) by installing adequate drainage systems during construction. Despite the best-built drainage systems, however, leaking pipes, the normal settling of a house, outside water pressure resultant from heavy, frequent rains, and other factors can lead to problems. If you find mold, mildew, fungi, or a musty smell, then waterproofing basement walls may very well find its way on your list of to-do items.
Signs of minor damage if you’re considering waterproofing basement walls include slight dampness, a musty smell in the air, or a combination of the two. In this instance, you can most likely resolve the problem with cement sealer and by applying paint specifically designed for waterproofing basement walls and other similar projects where light moisture is a problem.
When waterproofing basement walls proves to be more than what these relatively simple measures can provide help with, be prepared for a major undertaking. One of the most viable methods of waterproofing basement walls on an existing home includes pressure pumping.
Pressure pumping entails the injection of a substance into the earth next to basements walls or under the foundation of the basement or floor via pipe. The opinion of a professional engineer, however, is highly recommended before a measure this drastic is undertaken because of the obvious expense incurred in waterproofing basement walls this way.
Hopefully, waterproofing basement walls in your home does not fall into the category of this last option. With any luck, you will be able to seal any leaky pipes, repair holes or cracks in walls, and alleviate the problem of dampness in your basement with the much simpler solution of sealing and painting.
If in doubt, however, don’t hesitate to acquire a professional to give you expert advice. Even if expensive, waterproofing basement walls is a project you just can’t afford to ignore.