A basement extension is a great way to add extra space to your home. Sometimes it can be the only option if you live in a place that isn’t too big and can’t be extended in another way. Property prices in the UK are quite high, therefore, it’s often better to add another room instead of moving. A well-converted basement can make a cosy bedroom or leisure area, it can turn into a functional office, playroom, gym or even a wine cellar. Maybe one of your children is growing and doesn’t want to share a bedroom anymore? Or maybe you’re going to work from home and need an office? Extending an attic may not always be a good idea as it’s quite far from living spaces and can be mostly used for bedrooms or bathrooms. That’s why so many people decide to convert their basement.
If you have a basement in your house you may want to prevent water from penetrating it.
Waterproofing a basement is a good idea, however, does it really work?
Waterproofing a basement that is below ground level, can require some serious steps before we can say it works.
Reasons why, water leaks in or seepage
Before we say anything on how to prevent water penetrating our basement, we should take a look at reasons why water leaks in or what causes seepage. Usually, this occurs over a long period of time and it can be caused by numerous factors, like:
- When pockets of air are not appropriately removed in the concrete or the mixture doesn`t seem to cure properly, the concrete may crack, which will allow water to come through the wall and flood our basement.
- When foundation walls are too narrow or are not laid deep enough, they are susceptible to movement caused by soil erosion.
- Ground saturation is another common form of basement leaks.
- The water that builds up inside window wells, after a heavy rain or snow, can lead to leaks through window seams.
- Improperly installed gutters or gutters that are too clogged to function will cause water to drain around your foundation, rather than away from it.
However, sometimes we have warning signs in our basement that something is about to happen, for example:
- cracked walls
- buckling walls
- peeling paint
Noticing these warning signs early enough will allow you to prevent water from entering your basement. To do that we have to waterproof the basement.
Only a professional can provide advice on which method you should use in order to waterproof your basement because every home is different. Here are several methods on how to prevent water from penetrating your basement or what to do once water has penetrated a foundation:
- Foundation crack injections are used to seal cracks.
- Exterior waterproofing which requires excavation of the soil surrounding the foundation, after that a waterproof sealant can be applied to the exterior walls. This is the only method the International Building Code recognizes as adequate to prevent structural damage caused by water intrusion.
- Interior waterproofing it uses coats that watertight and seals any cracks or holes in your basement walls.
- Interior water drainage, collects any water entering the basement and drains it to an internally placed sump pump system, which will then pump the water out of the basement. Pipes are fastened to the foundation wall and extend over the new drainage to guide any moisture down into the system.
- Interior wall and floor sealers
- Exterior drainage
You can choose from any of the methods above, however, if you are building a home you may want to keep in mind that these accidents happen and choose a method that can function in case of a power outage.
Which method is right for you?
It’s always better to prevent something from happening than repairing it later. Water damage causes lots of problems, resulting in costly repairs.
Saving money sounds tempting in the beginning, however, waiting with waterproofing your basement may lead to even bigger costs in the future.
As you can see the above methods can vary, so you must do your research to figure out what method is right for you. If you are not sure how to do it or don’t know what method may be the best in your situation, contacting a professional will solve the problem.
Does it work?
Yes, waterproofing a basement does work. A lot of us think that water seepage, flooding, or water damage probably won’t happen to us, so why waste time and money? Waterproofing and drainage considerations are especially important in cases where groundwater is likely to build up in the soil or where there is a high water table. Water in the soil causes hydrostatic pressure to be exerted underneath basement floors and walls. This hydrostatic pressure can force water in through cracks, which can cause significant structural damage.