More people than ever are attempting do-it-yourself home repairs. While the majority of improvements completed by homeowners are usually in the realm of carpentry, there need not be anxiety about working on other areas of the house. Even for the uninitiated, repairs on damp or wet basements can be competently accomplished by the do-it-yourselfer.
Begin with the Outside – A dry basement always begins with the roof. Install gutters and downspouts to draw rain away from the house. Check them a few times a year for any clogs that might cause water to flow into the basement.Be sure that the ground around the foundation slopes 6 inches for every 10 feet. It is a good idea to put a layer of clay under the topsoil or lawn to stop water absorption. If your slope does not meet standards, regrading can be avoided by digging a shallow trench, called a swale, to redirect water away from the home. In addition, always install clear plastic domes over cellar window wells to stop water from seeping in.
All Wet – A hair dryer, duct tape, and a piece of plastic sheathing can help a DIY homeowner determine the source of moisture in a basement. With the hair dryer, dry out a 16-inch square section of interior cellar wall. Tape a 12 inch square piece of plastic in the center, and check it after two days. If the underside is wet, moisture is seeping through from the outside. If the outside is wet, the culprit is condensation from the inside.You can cut cellar condensation by adding insulation to the cold-water pipes and air-conditioning vents. Also, install an outside vent for the clothes dryer, and use a dehumidifier in the warm seasons. Placing a fan in the basement is beneficial as well.
Joints and Cracks – Basement leaks naturally occur along joints where the patio or porch meet the foundation. Fill the joints with silicone to ward off the wetness.Cracks along the concrete floor or wide vertical cracks in the cellar wall can mean problems with the footings under the foundation. Professional help is then required. Minor leaks seeping in from thin wall cracks can be repaired, however, by the homeowner. Undercut the crack with a chisel, remove debris, and dampen the area. Apply hydraulic cement with a trowel, slightly overfilling the hole, and then smooth. As the hydraulic cement cures, it will create a good bond, even under water.
Paint or Pump – Repair all leaks before painting or sealing basement walls. Oil-based epoxy sealants are the best. Two coats of oil paint can also provide a decent seal. Of course, if you live in an area with a high water table, a sump pump is a necessity. Buy the largest one you can afford, dig a small hole in the basement floor, and place it in. It is wise to install a wire mesh around the pump so dirt and debris do not float into and clog the mechanism. Many homeowners have found that having an extra sump pump on hand in case of emergencies has saved them thousands of dollars.
If you get in over your head, be sure to seek help from a reliable company to finish the job. Link: help from a reliable compan