5 Necessary Steps For Sealing Interior Basement Walls Against Moisture

Your basement doesn't have to flood or suffer from a major leak for moisture to be a problem. Often, basement moisture issues stem from the slow seep of dampness through the somewhat porous concrete foundation walls. Fortunately, for minor moisture problems interior sealing can provide an effective and cost-effective solution.   

1. Wall Cleaning

Waterproofing sealants can't adhere well if the wall isn't stripped down to bare concrete. This involves removing both dirt and grime, as well as any paint or finish that has been applied to the wall. The method used for cleaning will vary depending on the circumstances. Plain concrete may only require thorough scrubbing, while painted walls may require pressure washing, chemical paint removers, or scraping. 

2. Moisture Removal

Once the walls are clean, the next necessary step is to dry out any dampness or moisture that is trapped in the cement and in the basement. Your waterproofing service may use industrial fans along with dehumidifiers to evaporate and suck out any excess moisture. How long the drying process takes depends on how damp the basement is. It's often quicker to dry out a basement if you plan to seal the walls during a seasonal dry period. 

3. Crack Patching

Any cracks or small holes in the walls must be repaired. Sealants don't patch over cracks, so moisture can still leak through them after waterproofing if you don't repair them first. Your contractor will fill these small damages with hydraulic cement. This sealant product creates a moisture-tight bond with the concrete foundation walls that won't give way. The cement cures quickly, so the waterproofing process can continue.

4.  Window Caulking

Moisture can also leak in around window frames, which will compromise the efficacy of any waterproofing applied to the basement walls. Fortunately, preventing moisture leaks around basement windows is as simple as preventing them around any other window in the house. Silicone caulking will be applied around the frames so there are no gaps for moisture to find its way in.

5. Sealant Application 

The final step is the application of the waterproof sealant. Sealant is simply painted onto the walls, typically using at least two coats. Extra coverage may be applied in areas with higher risks of leaks, such as in corners or around repaired cracks. The sealant will be left to cure in place for a couple of days, and then you can continue to use the basement as desired.

Contact a basement wall waterproofing service if you need more assistance.