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Basement Waterproofing DIY – Is it Worth the Time and Money?

This article is not a sales pitch or a scare tactic to try to persuade you from attempting a basement waterproofing DIY project.  Our goal here is for educational purposes only.  I’m about to say something that no other basement waterproofing company will tell you.  Just because your basement is damp doesn’t mean that it needs waterproofed.  We do not want to sell you something you don’t need.  So, are there basement waterproofing DIY methods you can try as a homeowner?  Absolutely.  Are there a few DIY products you should avoid?  Most definitely.

Steps to Take

First of all, there are measures you can take to ensure that the dampness in your basement isn’t caused by preventable sources.  You can read about some things to look for in our blog about basement moisture control.  Many basements that we visit simply have a problem with gutters and downspouts leaking.  In fact, you can spend thousands of dollars on a basement waterproofing system, but if your gutters are not draining properly, basement waterproofing isn’t going to keep the water out.  Make sure gutters are clean and draining effectively.

If your basement is persistently damp, you may want to consider a basement dehumidifier.  This can help if your problem is minor dampness not caused by surface or ground water.

What About Waterproofing Products?

What about basement waterproofing paints and sealers?  How effective are they?  One brand of sealant claims to be “the only basement waterproofing product scientifically proven to work permanently.”  If such a claim were true, waterproofing companies would have all gone out of business years ago.  Another product’s label directly states that the product can cause mold growth!  The truth of the matter is that applying a coat of paint or sealer is merely covering the problem with a bandaid.  Water will still seep in, and it will still have no where to go.  These products use fancy words such as “elastipoxy” or “extreme masonry waterproofer.”  But painting a sealer on your basement walls is a short term solution at best.

What about crack sealants or crack repair kits?  This method will fill an existing crack and may even prevent a small amount of water from coming through.  Also, it can make the appearance of a crack look a bit less unsightly.  However, if your foundation is cracking because it is settling or sinking, sealing the crack isn’t going to prevent further movement.  These products treat the symptoms but not the cause of the problem.

basement waterproofing DIY

The other option that some homeowners consider is basement waterproofing kits.  These kits involve a drainage system that is installed around the perimeter of the basement floor.  These systems can be complicated and costly.  They are also ineffective because your basement floor is level.  A certain amount of pitch is needed in order for water to flow properly.

Keep in mind that if you ever intend to sell your home, these products may cause a measure of devaluation.  They indicate that there is a water seepage problem that hasn’t been resolved.  Additionally, they do not have a warranty that can be passed on to potential buyers.

When You Have Tried Everything Else

If you have taken reasonable measures to prevent water seepage in your basement but it hasn’t fixed your problem, consider calling in an expert to evaluate the situation.  We offer free consultations for homeowners.  We can help you to determine first and foremost if there is a problem, and if so, how to fix it.  Pioneer Basement Solutions is locally owned and operated and we have been in business since 1979.  Feel free to explore our website to learn more about us.

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Author: Ron Lee

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