Basements can provide some extra living space in your home. You can also use it for storage and as a workspace (depending on the type of work you do).
However, they are located at the bottom, and you know what this means – It has great potential to attract water!
Basement Waterproofing Sealer Pros, Products & Application Guide
Removing water is one thing, but stopping it from coming in is another. Thankfully, you can use a basement waterproofing sealant to do this.
The use of sealants takes the preventive approach to keep basements dry, so if you don’t want the headache of dealing with seeping water, then it is something you should do.
In this article, we’ll be talking about basement waterproofing sealants and how to use them.
What Is The Difference Between Waterproof Concrete Crack Sealants And Waterproofer?
Many homeowners are confused as to what the difference is between a concrete waterproofer and a crack sealant is.
To keep it simple, a concrete waterproofer works by penetrating deep into the concrete pours, and this is where the protective layer will form.
As for the concrete sealant, it forms the protective layer on top of the surface and not inside.
They both perform the same function of keeping water from passing through a surface and popping up on the other side. Both can be used according to the unique situation you’re dealing with.
Do Basement Sealants Work?
The answer to this is yes and no, depending on the application and the surface you are applying the sealant.
In a case where you have fine cracks that seep at a slow pace, then an interior sealant can work perfectly. Keep in mind that many interior sealants only work on an unpainted concrete surface.
This means if you’re using the sealant on a painted wall, it won’t be able to make the best contact with the surface and the result will be poor.
Advantages Of Using Basement Waterproofing Sealants
Basement waterproofing sealants can work wonders if used the right way. Generally, they help prevent water from seeping through the foundation walls and into the basement.
That aside, many other advantages come along with using waterproofing sealers.
Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Reduction in Cost of Insurance Claims
In the United States, water damage makes up for approximately one-fifth of all homeowners insurance claims.
A flooded basement usually involves cracks in the building’s foundation, damage to the wood, drywall, as well as other materials that can shoot up the price of the claims.
Heavy storms and floods aren’t the only sources of extreme water damage in your basement. A leak can also cause significant damage if left unattended.
That being said, when you invest a small sum of money on waterproof sealants, you can help prevent basement flooding, which will reduce water damage, and in turn, save you tons of money on related insurance claims.
It Can Prevent Basement Flooding
Basement floods have the potential to damage the property you have stored inside.
These can cost you thousands of dollars in repair and replacement, which is why investing in basement waterproofing sealants is a wise choice.
When you seal the cracks in the foundation, you have automatically limited water from seeping through. You can even install a sump pump and a French drain system as backup, just in case.
It Helps Maintain A Healthy Home Environment
When there is excess water in your basement, it will only be a matter of time before mold starts to gather around the moist areas.
As you must have heard, mold is hazardous to health, especially to those who have pre-existing respiratory illnesses like asthma.
There are some basement mold species whose spores can travel in the air, and contaminate kids and pets.
Mold can also cause other forms of allergic reactions, and some of these allergies can even lead to death.
The worst part is, mold can spread very fast, so preventing them from ever appearing in your basement is by far better than having to deal with them later on.
Sealing the foundation and basement walls with a basement waterproofer helps to keep the space dry, and mold cannot grow in dry conditions.
It Helps Lower Heating and Cooling Costs
In a case where the air around your home is humid, it means your HVAC system will have to double up to cool or heat your home. This would ultimately mean more energy usage, which can only equate to a higher electricity bill.
If you think this is insignificant, wait until you hear the numbers.
An overworking HVAC system can spike your power bills by as high as 15% every year, and this is going by research figures in American homes.
However, when you use a waterproofing sealant to guard against moisture, you will effectively reduce humidity at the same time. Thus, keeping your cooling and heating bills at very manageable levels.
It Protects Your Basement Floors
Usually, basements are built with concrete floors that span 2 to 4 inches thick. This isn’t so impressive, and that is why they are vulnerable when put under pressure from groundwater.
As the groundwater swells, it pushes up against the concrete layer and eventually leads to cracks in the floors. Once this happens, your basement has automatically been put at risk of seepage and damaging floods.
But, who says that has to happen? You can install rubber flooring with a moisture barrier to guard against such an occurrence.
It Reduces The Load Off The Sump Pump
We can’t underestimate how important the sump pump is in the basement.
It can collect water and pump it away once it gets to an unacceptable level. If your basement is always getting soaked, then your sump pump will have to do more work than it has to.
However, a basement waterproofing sealant can ensure that the sump pump has far less, or no water at all to deal with. When the sealants are in place, the chances of flooding will be reduced, and the sump pump can take a breather.
To add to that, the sump pump will not work at all if there is a power outage, which is why the extra protective measure of using a waterproofing sealant is a wise choice.
Prevention of Structural Damage
Once water keeps seeping through the foundation of your home, then it will lead to some structural damage in your home.
The joints and flooring where the walls meet will be affected, and there will be cracks in the foundation. All these combined are threats to the structural integrity of your home.
The worst part is, a lot of this damage happens blindly, meaning you don’t get to see them until it is too late. By then the damage would have already been done and the value of the property would have reduced.
Waterproofing sealants can help protect the joints and edges of your home against damage.
Taking out the time and money to use a basement waterproof sealant can save you money in the short and long run. It can also help you maintain a healthier living space, as there will no mold or mildew growing in your basement.
How To Apply A Basement Waterproofing Sealant
Applying a basement waterproofing sealant is something you can do yourself.
It’s not a difficult task, all you need to do is follow the steps we will list out below.
Step 1: Prepare the surface
Before you apply the waterproofing sealant, be sure to prepare the area first. This involves cleaning the surface with a broom or brush, depending on the type of debris and dirt you’re trying to get rid of.
Step 2: Apply the sealant
After you have leaned the surface, you can then apply the waterproofing sealant. Make sure you apply a thick coating of the sealant for the best results. If need be, you can apply one or two extra coatings.
You can apply the sealant with a roller or brush (depending on which works best for you).
An extra tip is to use a spread rate of 250 sq. Ft. Per gallon. You should also use the sealant when the air and surface temperatures are between 50 to 90° Fahrenheit.
Also, you shouldn’t apply the sealant in direct sunlight or on wet surfaces.
If the forecast says it’s going to rain in the next 24 hours, then do not apply the sealant yet. It needs about 48 hours to fully cure after application, so you would need at least two whole days of clear skies.
Step 3: Wipe off the excesses
As you should expect, there would be some excesses left over after the sealant has been applied. To make your finish look nicer, be sure to wipe it off with a clean cloth.
That’s it guys, all you need to know about basement waterproofing sealants and how to apply them yourself.
Remember, preventing seepage now will save you a lot tomorrow.