home restoration after a severe storm

How To Waterproof Your Basement So It's Suitable For A Playroom

If you'd like to turn your basement into a play area for your kids, but you can't use the space because it's always damp and wet, then you should look into waterproofing methods. Waterproofing your basement consists of two steps. First, you have to find out why your basement is always getting wet. Then you have to decide if exterior or interior waterproofing is the best way to go. Here are a few things to know.

Determine Why Your Basement Is Always Wet

You may need to hire a contractor to help you figure out the cause of the problem, but there are some simple things you can check yourself. Your wet basement could be caused by leaking gutters or landscaping around the house that holds water against the foundation. Take a look at the perimeter of your home. Water should be able to drain away from your home easily through gravity alone.

That means your yard has to slope away from the house and there shouldn't be any landscaping features that block water and hold it near your home. Check the gutters to make sure water flows through them, out the downspout, and away from your house. Also, spray the basement windows with a garden hose to make sure they are sealed tight and not leaking when it rains.

Figuring out what causes water to seep into your basement helps the contractor know the best way to correct the problem. He or she may need to adjust the slope of your yard or install underground drains to divert water away from your house.

Choose Between Interior And Exterior Waterproofing

There are a couple of methods for waterproofing your basement. One is the installation of drains that route water away from your foundation. These drains can be installed outside or inside. The other method is to put up a barrier to water, such as covering the outside of your basement walls with a waterproof membrane.

An interior drain is the least disruptive way to keep your basement dry. The contractor busts up the concrete floor next to the walls and places a drain there that collects water that seeps into the basement. The water is directed to a well and sump pump that sends the water back outside.

Exterior waterproofing methods are just as effective, but they require the contractor to dig a big trench in your yard and move the earth away from your basement walls. Once the exterior drain is in place, water won't have a chance to seep into your basement and cause problems, especially if the drain is combined with a waterproof wall covering. However, you'll need to replace the plants and sod that are destroyed by digging up your yard.

Waterproofing your basement requires effort and a financial investment, but it's worth it to gain the use of otherwise wasted space. Your kids will have a dry place to play that they can call their own, and you won't have to worry about them being in a damp and moldy environment.