I am buying a pre-built new home with a basement. What can I expect as
far as waterproofing? What can I do inside the basement to help assure
I wont have water problems? I want to carpet it and use it for a rec
room and home office.
Thanks in advance!!
I treated the basement floor of my 35 y/o house with "Ultra Guard". In the
USA I think the brand name is Xypex. It's a liquid with some chemical
elements that sucks itself down into the concrete and seals the pours. Even
with the older concrete in my house I notice much less moisture and
efflorescence on the surface. I'm in a very sandy area with a high water
table. The house has no other moisture barrier. Xypex won't seal cracks
where water is seeping and I don't thinks it's meant for walls.
Which brings up a "waterproofing" issue of sorts sometimes overlooked
when it comes to seepy basements: Proper grading and drainage. Such as
keeping your gutters clean and having downspouts that carry water at
least 6' away from the foundation. Such as repairing any cracks in
asphalt or concrete sidewalks and driveways near and next to the
foundation; same for any gaps/cracks where concrete porches or patios
meet house wall. Such as making sure the ground along your foundations
is graded well enough to carry water from rain or snowmelt away from the
foundation instead of having it puddle up or run toward the foundation.
Stuff like that. Making surface water run away from your house is the
only way to keep it from running at your house.
Take it from someone who has a seepy basement and a friend who's a
structural engineer: Nothing you do can assure you 100% that you will
never have water problems in the future. Nature itself sees to this
because all concrete cracks eventually, water moves and pushes under
pressure, and water finds its own level. And man-made remedies like
French drains can clog or be badly built, waterproofing membrane and
sealant applications can fail over time or not be properly applied, etc.
and etc. Doing something is certainly always better than doing nothing,
but it's not an iron-clad guarantee for forever, let alone for 5 or 20
Best thing you can do, then, is to minimize the potential for damage to
your carpeting and furnishings because, as someone pointed out in this
forum a few days ago, when it comes to basements and water, it's a
matter of when, not if. Perhaps the easiest thing to do is to build a
subfloor that's raised a few inches off the concrete floor. You can do
this by laying plywood over a base of pressure-treated 2x3 or 2x4 studs
anchored into the concrete floor, or using plastic-bottomed raised tiles
such as DryCor -- which would eliminate the need for studs and let any
seepage have a way to get to the floor drains if you have them instead
of getting trapped by the studs and start presenting rot and mold
Like someone else posted here a few days ago, with basements it's a
matter of when, not if.
Contact the builder to see what exterior steps were taken, and what soil
condition was . Does it have a french drain [ drain tile system] and
dedicated pump. where is the water table. A furnace return in the
basement will help in summer to pull out humid air. That Zypez product
someone mentioned is interesting as a base coat. An oil coat on walls
and floors as a top coat will reduce vapor migration. Plan on a
separate Dehumidifier as soon as spring thaw occurs.
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