Basement renovations have become a popular home improvement project. Because basements are built below grade (below ground level), they eventually become susceptible to water invasions. If you notice damp walls or standing water, basement waterproofing needs to be done before installing any finishes. There’s another concern, primarily if the home is located in a flood zone (high water table) where seasonal weather conditions can cause severe damage to basements and the home’s structure.
Signs to look for include peeling paint, mold and mildew growth, rotten wood joists, and soiled or damaged items being stored. Over time living routines in the home take a toll, and basement foundations, walls, and structures begin to show signs of deterioration. Stroll around the outside of the home. Is the ground saturated or consistently damp from water? The water has to go somewhere, and the closest object that’s capable of absorbing the wetness is your basement wall. Now, think about the size of the wall and what’s sitting on top of it. Can you imagine the amount of potential damage? Once the water gets inside, it begins to evaporate creating humidity that triggers the growth of mold and mildew with the potential to destroy personal contents or instigate health issues.
If you are planning on remodeling to install basement wall panels, think about what happens when moisture gets locked between the inside basement wall and the mounted finished wall. Here’s where basement waterproofing is going to enhance the home improvement project and put your money to good use by keeping your home protected against invading water sources.
Short Term Versus Long Term Solutions
Work with an experienced professional to get the basement waterproofing done because contractors take necessary steps to maintain building codes when waterproofing basements. Learn about the current and potential future damages that will prevent you from making this space livable and comfortable for the long-term.
Although some homeowners chose high-quality humidifiers to help remove excessive basement humidity, it’s a short-term solution compared to basement waterproofing. The problem with humidifiers is that they may dry the air, but they don’t prevent water from seeping into the basement — that responsibility falls to basement waterproofing. Waterproofing preparation will make the most of the wall panels and creates a more protective environment for the pipes and electrical equipment against destructive moisture.
Maintenance and Property Design Practices
Nowadays, basements are being used for additional living spaces, family rooms, home offices, or guest quarters. It’s another reason basement waterproofing has gained popularity as a pre-construction process to expanding a home’s living areas. You’ll still find utility rooms for furnaces, laundry areas, and storage in the basement. Depending on the homeowner’s wish list, interior waterproofing and wall panel installation can be reinforced with a few exterior (outside of the home) changes.
For example, consider clearing away plants or flowerbeds near the foundation walls to help reduce the water seepage. Take a look at the guttering systems to redirect the excess water away from the home. Sometimes, exterior excavating around the home needs to be done to apply a waterproof membrane to the outside foundation wall with a drainage system to reduce or eliminate basement water problems. This task needs a professional.
Words of Caution Before Installing Wall Panels
Follow the water trail and your basement wall will tell a true story. Any type of water damage is bad for the house, so be sure to check the corners of the windows for leaks, look for cracks and breaks in the wall’s mortar joints, and pipe damages near the wet wall. Get a detailed professional site inspection to determine the source of the leak, ask questions about the findings and the best solutions for waterproofing wet basement walls.
If the walls are consistently wet, water could be seeping in from the outside. If the moisture is periodic, it could be originating from somewhere else other than the basement. In either case, it needs to be repaired to prevent ongoing damage to the basement walls, and the home improvement finishes. Standing water near a wall is dangerous. It’s a sign of an open crack in the perimeter wall, and it could eventually break into a flood. If electrical equipment or wiring is anywhere close to the puddle, call a professional immediately to inspect and waterproof the basement walls.
Waterproofing the walls will stop the water from entering through the foundation walls. The gaps between the wall and the basement floor are separate conditions that need to be sealed to stop the surface water that seeps into the ground surrounding the home and makes its way into the basement.
Not all Wall Panels are the Same
Remember, basement waterproofing is a separate service from installing wall panels and the final room finishes. Finishing should not happen until the waterproofing is complete. Once the waterproofing is done, the next step creates the barrier between the exterior basement wall and the room’s interior wall. When you’re choosing wall panels, you want moisture-resistant material with built-in insulation; both help with the room’s acoustics, keep the walls dry, and the room warm.
Waterproof basement wall systems are composed of non-organic materials compared to tradition drywall material that attracts mold growth. This feature allows the panel to dry quickly in the event of home accidents; they are durable and designed to work with basement conditions for the long-term. The built-in insulation works to moderate the basement and underground temperatures with its insulating properties.
It’s crucial that you understand which panel system works best and why. Whether you’re upgrading an existing basement or restoring the room from water damages. It’s worth the effort and money to solve these water problems so you can complete the finishes and enjoy your basement for years.
Are you in the planning stages for renovating your basement? Or are you going through water intrusions and have no clue where to start? There are workable solutions to keeping your home safe and preventing further water damages. Call our office and talk with professionals.