How expensive and difficult it will be to waterproof a basement will depend on the extent of the water problem and the age and condition of the home. Some homes need only a little patching around the concrete or a quick application of a waterproofing solution. Others require multiple steps both inside the home and out. Professional help may be needed if a basement is wet most of the year and the water runs in fast enough to require a sump pump to operate consistently.
Repairing Exterior Issues
Directing water away from the home is done by making certain gutters are properly installed and that downspouts are angled to areas where the water will not drift back towards the foundation. Very wet yards may need to have a drain installed around the perimeter of the home to keep the moisture away. Waterproofing and patching of the foundation may also be needed once the drainage issue is adequately resolved.
Addressing Interior Problems
One of the first steps for interior basement waterproofing is to make certain that entry areas are properly sealed. This includes any place where pipes were installed in the foundation or where small cracks have formed over time. Usually this is completed by injecting epoxies into the gaps to seal off the openings and hold out the water. Applying sealant to the walls and a french drain (an interior trench) and sump pump may also be required.
Cleaning the Basement
Once the waterproofing has taken place it is important to then clean the basement properly. This does not mean sweeping and dusting, but a thorough basement mold mitigation. A professional service is needed if the problem is extensive. The mold needs to be removed from the entire basement and cleaned out of heating and cooling ducts and vents to prevent regrowth.
Simple solutions like installing or repairing gutters and adding a sealant is often all that is needed in newer homes. Older homes or houses in very wet areas are at risk of more severe problems. Solutions are available for all houses and even those that will never be 100 percent waterproof can become much safer and cleaner with the right repairs.