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Do’s And Don’ts Of Basement Waterproofing

Knowing what to do when you see water in your basement can help save you time and money down the road.

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Basements can have a number of issues.

One common basement problem is moisture. Whether it be puddles, moist walls, or full floods when it rains, wet basements can result in peeling paint, mold and mildew growth, rotted wood, and damage to stored items. Water build up on the exterior could also be getting into your home and ruining your foundation.

Depending on the severity of the moisture, the fix could be a simple do-it-yourself remedy or may need the assistance of a professional contractor or foundation repair expert.

Here are a few things to do, and a few not to do, if you find water in your basement.


1. Find the Source of Water

Different problems require different solutions. Discovering where the water is coming from will help you decide whether you can fix it yourself or if you need a professional. Basement waterproofing companies can help with long-term solutions. If identified as a plumbing problem, you will need to call your local plumber.

Confirming where the water is coming from (and assessing how much moisture is coming through) will you save you time finding the right solution.

2. Address Window Wells

Below-grade window wells are a common source of basement wall leaks because they tend to retain water if not properly drained. This can lead to water pooling around the bottom of a basement window and seeping into the home.

Replacing and covering your below-ground window wells can protect your basement from water damage, and can brighten up the space.

3. Keep Water Away from the Foundation

Inspect and repair gutters and downspouts to ensure they are directing water away from your home. Make sure your yard is graded away from the foundation.You can also try an exterior waterproofing system installed by a contractor. Exterior systems are more disruptive to your home and come with a  hefty price.


1. Don’t Make Repairs with Standing Water in the Basement

Before making any kind of repairs, remove all of the standing water in the basement. Working in standing water can increase risk of electrical shock. Turn off the power in the basement, and use outlets upstairs to pump the water out.

Then you can look toward repairing the wall cracks or other sources of trouble.

2. Don’t Apply Sealer Over Painted Walls or Efflorescence

If you or a previous homeowner painted the basement walls, you’ll have to remove the paint before applying sealer. Sealer works most effectively when applied to bare masonry.

Efflorescence may also be on damp basement walls. Efflorescence are white deposits that form on the surface of concrete walls. Removing this is also important before applying sealer.

We don’t recommend painting, because it is a short-term fix to a serious problem that will eventually re-surface. Unfortunately, moisture problems in a basement will only get worse over time.

3. Don’t Forget Interior Drainage Solutions

Having a waterproofing professional install a drainage system below the floor in the basement is the best solution to ensure that water does not damage your home or your personal belongings.

Interior repairs are less messy and intrusive compared to exterior drainage repair. Another plus of an interior system is that you can finish your basement with peace of mind.

Knowing what to do when you see water in your basement can help save you time and money down the road. Acting fast with clear goals in mind will help you decide on your next steps.If you need a certified waterproofing specialist to accomplish the repair, contact Baker’s Waterproofing for a no-obligation inspection.

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