Waterproofing a Basement
How much is it going to cost you? It really depends on the amount of damage. The first step is to determine how well your basement walls are holding up. Hire a home inspector who specializes in water problems to inspect your basement and offer his or her recommendations. Cost Helper advises that this move can save the expense of unneeded work or warn you against attempting a DIY job that really should be left to the pros.
Many sources of basement leakage are obvious even to nonprofessionals. One of the most visible signs of basement leakage is efflorescence in the form of white lime deposits in concrete. Efflorescence is caused by moisture leaching through the masonry.
Check the mortar joints of walls lined with masonry bricks for crumbling and deterioration - a repair job that definitely requires a professional. Vertical and horizontal cracks on the walls and on the concrete slab floor, especially those surrounded by efflorescence, are another potential source of trouble. Check the joints where the walls and floor meet carefully. Insects and water often enter through gaps in these areas.
The area where the frame of the house rests on the foundation wall is another potential trouble spot. Mortar joints around the conduit and piping that enter the basement below grade may also leak. Condensation around pipes can ruin basement ceiling tiles and should be sealed. Any gaps, cracks or dampness should be sealed with caulk, grout, sealing epoxy, waterproof paint or another waterproofing material.
Solving the most extreme leakage problems requires digging up the foundation from the outside and coating the exposed foundation walls with waterproof material, representing significant expense and destruction of surrounding landscaping. Dampness in basements caused by groundwater or underground springs often requires additional treatment.
One solution to leakage originating from beneath a basement involves digging a trench in the basement floor near the foundation walls lined with drain tiles to divert water away from the basement into a sump pump or drain, filling the trench with gravel, and resealing the floor with concrete. According to Vulcan Basement Waterproofing, this type of pressure relief system does not require digging up outside walls, .