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Five waterproof errors that will cost the DIY enthusiast

In my last post, I discussed how to waterproof basement walls, and described waterproofing techniques for internal and external walls. Unfortunately, I’ve visited people’s homes where DIY waterproofing hasn’t been effective. This has meant starting over and a more expensive repair.

In this article, I describe the five most common mistakes made when waterproofing a basement.

1.    Waiting too long before waterproofing

If you don’t act fast enough, a wet basement could turn into a home for mold. It takes only 24 hours for mold to grow. If this happens in your basement, you’ll be cultivating a health hazard and have an extra job on your hands: exterminating mold from your basement walls.

2.    Draining the basement too fast

It’s tempting to pump water out of your basement as fast as possible after a flood. But if the flood has been caused by weather or a burst river bank, the pressure of the water against the walls on the inside of your basement could be stopping them from collapsing. Drain the water too fast, and the external pressure could prove too much for your basement walls.

3.    Not drying out the basement thoroughly

If your basement has been flooded, you must remove all affected material. Wet Sheetrock will have been weakened. Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the basement before attempting to waterproof the walls.

4.    Fixing leaks with the wrong material, and relying on waterproof paint

In their haste to waterproof a basement, many people don’t take the time to make sure they are using the correct materials to fix cracks in the foundations. Instead of using epoxy or polyurethane materials on cracks in concrete, they use a cheap and easy filler. Do this, and it won’t be long before the leak returns, and the crack will be even worse.

Similarly, relying on waterproof paint or black tar to keep your basement dry is a catastrophe waiting to happen unless you have also ensured that the exterior drainage is fit for purpose.

5.    Ignoring the basement drainage

To make your basement completely waterproof, you must make sure that the basement drainage is man enough to do the job it is supposed to – divert water away from your basement and help preserve your basement walls. You’ll need to hire a professional waterproofing contractor to fix all your drainage issues in and around your house.

If you don’t fix your drainage problems and ensure your French drains are good to go, flooding in the future is not only more likely, but will probably be worse.

If your basement is damp, you’ve probably got a leak or drainage system that doesn’t work. The sooner you contact Porter's Cleaning, the easier and cheaper the solution to your problems will be. We’ll assess the problem, and tell you what course of action is likely to provide the most cost-effective and long-lasting solution – so you don’t have to worry about making a single mistake.

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