Can I Do Basement Waterproofing Myself?
Do it yourself basement waterproofing is usually done when a basement is still in earlier stages of water damage. Homeowners thinking about doing it themselves should concentrate first and foremost on understanding their problem. Normally everyone does this step by going to the local library or hardware store and doing research. A do it yourselfer doesn’t want to become a professional; they just want to fix their wet basement. Waterproofing the basement yourself is easy, once you know the scale of the problem and what really needs to be taken care of. Stopping leaks, repairing cracks and holes, closing those under pressure, waterproofing patches and repairs and packing joints are all things that you can do yourself. Some do it yourselfers have a lot of enthusiasm and willpower, those people who just love using their bodies.
Those kind of people will go all out to find the source of a leak and fix it directly, even if that means digging up the foundation around the basement walls and putting in liners, resins, vinyl, and even catch systems that reroute the water pressure under the foundations corners. Others will take a go at leaking gutters or useless sewage drains and replace or repair them directly, while still the more sensible suffer from surface water infiltration will just backfill the foundation to give it a nice backward drop flowing water away from the problem. Finding the origin of the problem is easy and fixing it directly is the first step in doing it yourself basement waterproofing.
Once the problem itself has been taken care of, those annoying holes, hairline cracks and bending walls need to be repaired. This means filling them with some kind of epoxy, resin, or latex cement for mortaring. The “glue” you use can be recommended by the hardware store attendant once he knows what the problem is, plus the instructions on the bucket will have nice little drawings and pictures so you always know exactly what you are buying. You don’t need those expensive injectors for filling cracks, those are for holes, but if the hardware store guy tries to push tools you won’t need, just buy what you need, and “if” you see later you really will need something, then YOU DECIDE to buy it (salesmen always want the innocent do it yourselfer to be over-prepared for some reason).
Supplies and tools in hand go to it with the mortaring. It’s better than playing with finger paints in kindergarten, but it can be just as messy, so get some old grubs (besides, once they are dirty you can reminisce the days when you fixed the basement water seepage “all by yourself!” What better way to bring pride to a house project.
Third stage is basically just like the second, but you get to play with too! Waterproofing is the last step, because once the initial problem is fixed, the walls and floors repaired, the last thing to do is make absolute sure the water never comes back. Some people do this externally others internally, It just depends on how gung-ho you are about the whole thing. A sump pump, sump ditch, pipe and sealant will finish off the process. In the case of on going problems, the sump pump system will relieve hydrostatic water pressure that is constantly building up and causing the problem (usually ground water).
Just place a strategic hole in the wall exactly in the closest most subtle place in the wall (usually a corner) and mortar it well as in the second stage, dig a ditch to settle the water coming from the pipe and buy (or improvise) a water pump that just sits in the sump ditch and drains the water to another location (more pipe line YEAH!!), feel like a plumber yet? Ok, then wet the walls, cracks, floors, and everything down and pass a special waterproofing sealer in a uniform fashion to make sure that any wanna-be hairline cracks have to think twice about it.
So in the end do it yourself basement waterproofing can be an adventure and full of excitement, if we choose to see it that way, and offer and excellent opportunity to learn (if nothing else at least a little soul filling humility). Find the problem and fix it, repair all the holes and cracks, then waterproof away, and the basement has just been fully waterproofed by who else if not none other than you… yourself. Basement Waterproofing