Waterproofing Foundations - You Can Do That
Copyright 2006 Dennis Watson If your basement smells musty it's because of water seeping through the concrete which causes mold and mildew. Once mold spores settle in your basement all it needs is moisture to begin growing and digesting whatever it is growing on. The majority of common molds are not a concern to someone who is healthy. If you have allergies or asthma, molds can cause skin rash, eye irritation, cough, running nose, congestion, and aggravation of your asthma. It is very important to make sure your basement is waterproofed. If you are building a new house or have an older house talk to a company in your area that specializes in waterproofing foundations.
That can be costly so you may consider doing it yourself. I will list some import information below that can help you out. Once the foundation is exposed apply to the foundation a rubberized asphalt sealer, I list a few types below. Before the application dries, cover the foundation with R-10 insulating panels. These products can be found at stores like home depot.
Always run drain tiles around the outside of the footings to keep water from collecting at the bottom of the panels and then back fill around the foundation. Also it is important to make sure you have gutters and the downspouts divert the water away from your house. Choosing a Product: Liquid Membranes: You apply a liquid membrane by spray, roller, or trowel. The liquid cures into a rubbery coating on the wall. Sheet Membranes: There is a product that has a self-adhering rubberized asphalt membranes. They are composed of rubberized asphalt laminated to a waterproof polyethylene film. Cementitious Waterproofing: Mix this product and use a long handled brush to apply, buy acrylic additive (a white, milky liquid) to mix in with the cement product. You'll get better bonding and a more solid, durable coating. Built-up Systems: This is an asphalt-and-felt built-up system. With these systems, you first apply a concrete primer.
You then mop on a coating of hot tar (which is heated in a large asphalt kettle), followed immediately by application of a sheet of perforated felt, extending the system right out onto the footing. You keep staggering the felt sheets until you have three layers of felt with a final coating of tar. Surface Preparation: Make sure you have a clean wall. Dry off all footings, sweep standing water off with a broom, then dry the damp spot with the torch and scrape off excess and loose material from walls and footings. Pay special attention to the footing. Quite often, puddles of congealed slurry form on the footing when the wall is poured. Sweep off the walls and especially the footings. Waterproofing materials won't stick to a dirty surface. Waterproofing Curing Time: Check the manufacturer's requirements for concrete curing time. Concrete must be cured a minimum of seven days and sometimes up to 14 days before membrane application.
This is because the concrete will continue to dry long after it's poured. I didn't get into great detail on how to go about this project I recommend that you find someone that has experience with waterproofing to help you and provide guidance. If you are building a house the dirt will already be away from the foundation, older homes will require you to rent a backhoe which will require a little more skill on your part. This project is doable so get out there and give it a go. Good luck with your project.