Frankly put, a wet basement can be a significant problem for homeowners. Not only is a wet basement unsightly, but it can also pose significant health and structural problems for homeowners. If moisture is left unchecked in a basement, mold can spawn in cracks and crevices in cracked foundations. Additionally, a leaky foundation can continue to deteriorate, causing significant problems for homeowners down the road. In this post, we would like to educate homeowners on the right way to waterproof a basement and how a professional waterproofing job can protect your home for a lifetime.
What Causes Wet Basements?
Have you ever placed a cardboard box in that storage room in your basement and noticed that, over time, the box starts to disintegrate? You might not have standing water in your basement, but you probably have a significant moisture and humidity problem. You also might notice a damp, musty smell.
During the winter months, you might notice condensation at the top of your basement walls. In spring and summer, this condensation will form near the floor. Here are the three biggest problems that cause a wet basement:
- Basement wall insulation is faulty.
- Cracks in foundation and tie rod holes from older home construction.
- Gradient in your landscape that pushes water towards your home.
There are also other issues that may contribute to a wet basement. For example, your home might have older gutters without extensions. This will cause water to pour directly into the ground around your home. Another common issue that homeowners often see is tie rod holes. These are holes in your foundation walls from older home construction and will leak if it rains. The best way to repair tie rod holes is to use a polyurethane injection method.
Does a Dehumidifier Work?
Dehumidifiers are part of a comprehensive basement waterproofing solution. In Michigan, it is often humid during snow melt and before or after periods of heavy rain. A dehumidifier will help pull moisture out of the air and make sure that your basement stays dry. Remember the example of a cardboard box that disintegrates? This is a situation where a dehumidifier might be a good, short-term investment to eliminate mold growth and excess moisture.
Here are some conditions where you might want to consider a dehumidifier to solve your wet basement problems:
- When you have a moderately damp basement with musty odors in humid weather.
- When you notice damp spots on your walls and floors.
- When you notice seepage and sweating walls.
Remember that a dehumidifier is only a part of a comprehensive wet basement solution.
Drainage Solutions and Waterproofing
There are several things that you need to repair a wet basement once and for all. Many homeowners simply think that a French drain installation and a sump pump will remediate all of your wet basement problems once and for all. That being said, these fixes will remove water from your basement. French drains are great for catching water that seep into your basement. These will connect to a sump pump and channel water away from your basement. However, you will want to address issues such as tie rod holes and cracks in your foundation. There are several waterproofing methods, but polyurethane injection is the best way to make sure that your basement leaks stop once and for all.
Waterproofing and Home Value
You will read a lot of information out there that incorrectly says waterproofing will not increase the sale value of your home. When a realtor shows a potential buyer a home, the first thing that a smart buyer will do is look at the basement. If the basement has moisture and drainage issues, it is highly likely that the buyer will move onto another home. In fact, many realtors prefer homes that have been recently waterproofed.
At the end of the day, older homes need to have a thorough inspection before they are put on the market. If you choose to waterproof your basement before selling your home, you might get a slight bump on your home’s resale value. That investment you make on your basement will add some potential value to your home. Additionally, a waterproofed basement is often one of the biggest deciding factors when a buyer chooses to close on a home.
Professional Solutions for Wet Basements
Ever considered doing your own basement waterproofing work? If you do not have a great deal of expertise or a background in home improvement, you’re going to struggle. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider a professional company for your wet basement needs:
- Most of the time, you will get some type of warranty that you can transfer to the next homeowner. In fact, StayDry® offers a lifetime transferrable warranty.
- A professional waterproofing expert will have construction expertise that most homeowners often lack.
- Waterproofing companies, like StayDry®, have access to equipment and materials at cost.
- It’s also difficult to procure a permit to work on your home depending upon your neighborhood. A professional waterproofing company has a license and can procure all the necessary paperwork to do the job right.
Most Homes Have Some Sort of Wet Basement Problem
According to This Old House, 60% of homeowners have some sort of wet basement problem and another 38% of homeowners have the risk of mold infestation. Even if you don’t have standing water in your basement, you might notice humidity and moisture during peak humidity levels. If you plan on selling your home in the next five years, you might want to consider a solution for your wet basement. Basement waterproofing is a great investment that will pay for itself year over year.