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Waterproofing Your Basement The Right Way

waterproof basement flooring
waterproof basement flooring

Ever walked through your basement after a heavy rain and felt that slight, unmistakable clamminess underfoot? If so, you’re not alone. Basement waterproofing and choosing the right flooring isn’t just about keeping things dry—it’s about transforming a space that’s often underutilized and overlooked into an area that’s comfortable and inviting.

We’re diving deep into the world of waterproofing and basement flooring to help you better understand what it takes to protect and beautify this foundational space in your home. From the basics of basement waterproofing to the aesthetics and durability of various flooring solutions, we’ll explore the full spectrum to reveal the best options for your needs.

How Water Affects the Basement and Foundation Walls

Water in the basement is a significant problem. Therefore, if you notice water in your basement, it needs to be addressed immediately, and you must determine why the water is there so it doesn’t happen in the future.

Even though water inside the basement is problematic, the water you don’t see around the basement in the soil is the real problem. Excessive water in the soil outside the foundation walls and under the slab can cause significant damage.

Excess moisture in the ground around the foundation causes hydrostatic pressure to build up and push against the foundation walls. In some cases, the hydrostatic pressure may build up to the point where it cracks the foundation wall. That is one of the issues that could allow water to seep into the basement.

Hydrostatic pressure is strong enough to push water through invisible cracks in the wall and into your basement.

The water damage experienced from water around the foundation is often gradual. Small cracks may appear, allowing small amounts of water to enter. As the pressure continues, the foundation can weaken, and more water can enter. This problem may take months or even years to occur, but eventually, it could cause significant damage to the foundation.

Hydrostatic pressure can be addressed with a drain tile system. If foundation damage has already occurred, The Real Seal can provide the correct repair solution. After that, your basement waterproofing project can proceed.

What Is the Most Effective Way to Waterproof a Basement?

Waterproofing a basement can be broken down into three separate categories:

drain tile system. This system collects water from the soil around the home and carries it away from the foundation before release.

Collect/Channel Excess Groundwater: If excess water is in the soil outside the foundation walls or under the basement slab, it will eventually find its way into the home. Therefore, unless you live in a highly arid region, your basement could benefit from installing a drain tile system. This system collects water from the soil around the home and carries it away from the foundation before release.

Preventing Moisture Seepage: It is sometimes possible for moisture to seep through the basement walls and into the basement area. This can either occur quickly or slowly, but in either case, it can cause high humidity levels and possible damage to anything in the basement. This issue can be prevented by installing a vapor barrier that will help prevent moisture from entering the basement through the walls.

Waterproofing the basement is not typically something that can be done as a DIY project. In many cases, it involves a significant amount of construction, repair, and work that must be done correctly for the job to be effective.

Waterproof Basement Flooring Options

After you waterproof your basement, you should also consider waterproof flooring options. These include:

Ceramic Tile: Installing ceramic tile provides a durable, waterproof finish with many options for personal style. Since ceramic tile is non-porous, it will not be damaged by water. It will also last for many years.

Concrete Sealing: As long as the slab has cured for at least a month, concrete sealer can be applied to protect it from staining and surface damage. Many sealers add an impermeable layer to the slab. Others will seal the pores in the concrete so water is not as easily absorbed.

Vinyl Flooring: Vinyl is made from PVC, so it is a waterproof material that can safely be installed on the basement floor. It’s an often overlooked waterproof basement flooring option that is available in a wide range of colors and styles.

Are Repairs Needed Before Basement Waterproofing?

One of the reasons why DIY basement waterproofing projects are often unsuccessful is because they cover over any damage rather than repair it. Repairs typically must occur first for a basement waterproofing project to be effective. Some possible repairs include the following:

epoxy injections

Honeycomb Pockets: If the concrete wall is experiencing honeycombing or has rock pockets, this area could allow moisture to enter. These issues must be fixed by filling them in with epoxy.

Window Wells: It is important to have window wells, as the local building code often requires them. Window wells can be problematic, but having a proper drainage system and a protective cover will help limit any possible problems.

Foundation Crack Repair: If there are nonstructural cracks in the foundation wall, these can be filled with epoxy injections that fill the crack permanently. Carbon fiber staples can be used to stabilize structural cracks.

Downspout Extensions: If the gutter downspouts empty near the foundation walls, it could contribute to the water in the nearby soil and lead to hydrostatic pressure. Downspout extensions and discharge lines take the water from the roof runoff and carry it away from the foundation.

If you think your Chicagoland home might need basement waterproofing, contact The Real Seal today to schedule a free evaluation and receive an estimate.


Austin Werner

Austin Werner is the Owner of The Real Seal LLC, a basement waterproofing and foundation repair company. Austin believes that having a highly trained and happy team is the key to success. This is reflected through hundreds of 5 star customer reviews his company has received online.

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