Home Improvement

Why Is Basement Waterproofing Necessary?

When most people think about basements, they think about a dark, dreary, and unusable part of the home. That doesn’t have to be the case. The basement is more than just an area under the home where we do laundry or store unimportant items. Basements can be used for many different purposes, including clean, dry storage, or even providing some additional living space. Of course, the basement isn’t going to turn from one into the other without basement waterproofing.  

In this article, we will review why basement waterproofing is very important for your home, how water in a basement can be a sign of a bigger problem that can affect your home’s structural integrity, and more.

waterproof basement

Why You Don’t Want Water In a Basement

Mold and Mildew Growth

The last thing a homeowner wants to deal with is mold. It is a problem that can affect you and your family on many different levels. Some people have allergic reactions to mold; even if you manage to kill it, people will still have an allergic reaction to the dead mold. Your best choice is to eliminate the mold, which means you must eliminate the water.

waterproof basement

Hydrostatic Pressure Pushing Against the Foundation

Water in the basement often indicates poor drainage around the foundation. Poor drainage can cause hydrostatic pressure to build up and push against the foundation walls. Over time, hydrostatic pressure can wreak havoc on the foundation, leading to basement walls that bow inward and even crack.  

Poor Air Quality and Respiratory Problems

Due to the stack effect, about 50% of the air you breathe in your home originates from the basement. The stack effect occurs when warm air rises to the ceiling and escapes through the roof. This leaves a vacuum, and air is pulled from the basement into your home’s living area. In other words, if the air in the basement is unhealthy, the air you breathe in your living room, kitchen, and bedroom is going to be unhealthy as well. This can cause allergies and respiratory problems for anyone living in the home. 

Old House Smell

This is a problem that you may not recognize because, when you live in a home, you get accustomed to its smell. However, a close friend may tell you that your home has an old house smell, which is a sign that you could be having basement problems. The old house smell is caused by a volatile organic compound from the breakdown of mold and bacteria. In other words, it isn’t only smelly, it’s unhealthy.

Higher Energy Bills

Higher energy bills are another, often overlooked issue associated with high humidity. We tend to blame the power company when our energy bills go up, but it may be a problem with the basement. Moisture in the basement means higher humidity throughout the home. Humid air is harder to heat and cool, and this could increase your energy bills in summer and winter.

waterproof basement

Water in The Basement: A Sign of Bigger Problems

Typically, if you have water in the basement, you also have water in the ground outside the basement walls. You have a problem with poor drainage, in other words. Poor drainage can cause hydrostatic pressure to build up and push against foundation walls. If the pressure isn’t relieved, foundation walls can bow inward and even crack. Cracks that form in basement walls due to hydrostatic pressure open the way for water to enter. Hydrostatic pressure pushes the water through the crack, and before you know it, you have water in the basement. 

Preparing the Basement for Waterproofing

Repairs may be necessary before a basement can be waterproofed. This can include repairing structural cracks, installing a drain tile system to improve drainage, getting rid of mold, and foundation underpinning to correct differential settlement.

If you want basement waterproofing before making necessary repairs, you may see some short-term benefits from the waterproofing, but the damage will still be happening in the background and will eventually catch up with you.

Having a clean, dry basement is a real benefit to you and your family. You can use it for long-term storage or as an additional living space. Best of all, waterproofing the basement eliminates the possibility of further damage that could reduce your home’s livability.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button