Some Useful Basement Waterproofing Tips for Home-owners
One of the most unpleasant experiences that a home-owner can face is to go down the basement stairs after a heavy downpour and find it flooded. Leaks through pipes, basements and roofs may be constant concerns. However, a wet and leaking basement always ranks high as the most annoying home improvement problem. Below are some useful basement waterproofing tips for Sydney home-owners.
A key strategy involves using a water proofing coating of high quality. However, even the best such coating can fail to prevent moisture should the block walls not be in a sound condition. It is therefore advisable for a home-owner to brush away broken block and loose mortar. Any grease, dirt, dust as well as other surface contaminants should be removed using a wire-brush. Cracks, joints and holes can be patched using quick-dry cement.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions is recommended. A common error made by home-owners is failure to apply a water-proofing coating with the spread-rate that the manufacturer has specified. A coating that is too thin is unlikely to stop moisture seepage. If there is excessive seepage of water, a second coat may be required. When the coating is being applied, it should be worked into the masonry pores.
Despite some paint manufacturers using the terms water-proofing and water-repellent coatings interchangeably, they are not the same. A water-repellent coat happens to be an exterior coating system meant for above-grade masonry or concrete. It only repels water temporarily, and is not meant to moisture from passing under hydrostatic pressure. Certain repellents are film-forming while others repel by filling surface poles in order to stop moisture movement.
On the other hand, water-proofing coats are meant to prevent water from passing under hydrostatic pressure. Such film-forming are devised for above and below grade, and also for exterior and interior application. Hydrostatic pressure may result from several conditions. The most common causes on a foundation include high water table, rain run-off flowing towards a home, and faulty gutter systems. The most commonly occurring cause of hydrostatic pressure on an above-grade, exterior wall is wind-driven.
Interior condensation can in some cases be mistaken for seepage because of hydrostatic pressure. To discern between the two, a home-owner can tape a piece of aluminium foil on the inner side of a foundation wall. The foil is then removed after a number of days. Should the wall’s side of the foil be wet, then the problem is seepage. If on the other hand it is the room side that is wet, the problem is condensation.