Sealing Basement Walls to Reduce Water Intrusion
If you're concerned about water on your basement walls, there are many great resources available online to help you diagnose and determine a solution to the problem. We've broken down the basic steps to determine the source of moisture intrusion and some possible solutions.
Water in the basement is caused by many reasons, but water on the walls is one of two things: Water seeping through the concrete, or moisture in the basement condensing on the cooler wall surface. Pros agree that the most trusted method for determining the source of water in the basement, specifically on the walls, is to dry a patch of wall throughly and then cover with a piece of foil for a couple of days. Make sure the patch of foil is at least 6 inches x 6 inches so that you get a good sample size. SEAL the foil completely with duct tape to prevent any moisture from crossing the barrier either way. After a couple of days, remove the foil and if there is moisture behind the foil, water is seeping in through the concrete. If the moisture droplets are only on the outside of the foil, it's likely just condensation from humidity in the basement.
If you have excessive humidity INSIDE the basement, check your dryer vent to see if it's leaking moist warm air during a cycle. This is a common source of humidity in the basement. Another solution is a de-humidifier in the basement but be sure to follow instructions for properly draining and disposing of the resulting condensed water. Additionally, condensation on the water pipes running through the basement is another possible source of water in your basement. Covering the pipes with insulation will help keep moist air away from the pipes and prevent condensation.
Water seeping in through the basement walls can be the result of too much moisture in the soil in contact with the foundation and basement walls of your home. Make sure down spouts are sending water well away from the perimeter. Ten feet is the typically acceptable length for downspouts to channel water away from your structure. Another reason water may be seeping through the basement walls is that the soil around your home has settled and is no longer draining moisture away from the structure. Keeping water-loving plants out of borders is a good idea so that the soil directly in contact with the structure is not perpetually wet.
The most important thing to to if you've got water in your basement is to extract the water as rapidly as possible. Before any repairs or improvements can be made to prevent further water intrusion, the conditions in the basement need to be safe. If you're experiencing trouble with water in your basement and need water extracted immediately, contact David for professional water damage services. 580-233-8941.
For more information about Basement Water Intrusion Bob Vila has a fantastic article on his site