Most homes are sitting on a treasure trove of useful space: the basement. However, many basements in older homes are damp or leaky, and make unsuitable choices for a new rec room or bedroom. Before you can start any basement remodeling project, you have to keep the water out.
- Before beginning a serious basement remodeling project, observe your basement carefully during heavy rainstorms. If you can last a year of weather without any water leaks, you’re probably going to be OK in the future (so long as you keep those gutters clean and take care of your foundation!).
- Note that salt & lime deposits form on concrete blocks as water leaks through them (white staining). This MUST be completely removed before any blocker is used. This is the most common reason why the sealing fails. This is generally done by dousing the wall with muriatic acid and scrubbing. Follow this by rinsing the area very liberally with a water hose, then vacuum it off the floor. This will normally take several applications. You will see the muriatic acid react with the deposits on the wall.
- The construction of a new house is the time to properly seal the house for life. The old standby of plastic wrap and Styrofoam sheeting to protect does work. But it is almost always destroyed during the back-filling of the foundation, causing it to leak. This way of sealing NO LONGER meets the international building code, along with many state, country, or city building codes. The makers of DRYLOK suggest coating the exterior of the foundation with DRYLOK Masonry Waterproofer. Remember the waterproofer is only as good and as sound as the surface. Protect the surface with a wrap before backfilling to protect from rocks and equipment.
- Battery backup sump pumps are available. Search for “basement watchdog.” These are great for sumps that have a steady flow of water into them since you’ll know you have a backup if/when the power goes out or the main pump breaks.
- Regardless of what type of water protection you try to use, FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. Common misapplications of Xypex come from not following the directions, or more specifically, contractors being too cheap to do the job correctly. Xypex is at least a two stage system, with the second applications using a thinner, cheaper coating of different composition. Many contractors are trying to offset the cost of Xypex VS Drylok by only applying the FINISHING coats.
- When cutting into concrete, be sure to tape plastic drop cloths from ceiling to floor to enclose the affected area.