Waterproofing Your Basement Walls? Follow These Tips

If your basement has been a little moist, you may want to consider waterproofing your basement walls. This approach to indoor waterproofing, especially when paired with exterior measures like improving your gutters, can go a long way towards keeping your basement dry and free from mold. However, there are a few tips you'll want to follow in the process.

Set up a dehumidifier first

Presumably, there is a lot of moisture in the air in your basement right now. This will keep any waterproofing agent you apply to the walls from drying very promptly. So, you'll want to set up a dehumidifier a few days before you apply the waterproofing agent. Let it run continually and remove as much moisture from the air as possible. Keep it running while the waterproofer is drying. With the air less humid, the moisture from the waterproofing agent will evaporate much more quickly.

Etch the surface

Waterproofers don't always stick well if there is any sort of oily residue or efflorescence on the surface they are applied to. Luckily, you can remove all of these impurities by etching the wall. Usually, this is done with muriatic acid. The acid burns off anything that would keep the waterproofer from sticking. Just keep in mind that muriatic acid does give off unpleasant fumes. You'll need to ventilate the space well and wear a respirator when you're applying it.

Patch cracks first

Waterproofers are not designed to be used as a crack filler. So, if there are any cracks in your basement walls, you should fill them or have them filled before you apply the crack filler. Generally, you'll use mortar or concrete for this purpose. Let it dry completely before using the waterproofer over it.

Opt for several thin coats rather than one thick coat

Unless the instructions that come with your waterproofer instruct otherwise, you want to apply several thin coats of waterproofer instead of one thick one. A coat that is too thick is at risk of sloughing off, leaving parts of the wall exposed. Waterproofing works best when it is continuous, and the best way to achieve that is with several thin coats. Let each coat dry thoroughly before applying another one.

Waterproofing your basement walls can be a good way to keep moisture out. Just make sure you adhere to the tips above as you do so. Consider hiring an interior basement waterproofing professional if this job feels too in-depth for you.