With over thirty years of experience in the basement waterproofing business, it’s easy for us to say that we’ve seen it all. Unfortunately for our clients, part of “seeing it all” means that we’ve seen all kinds of basement flooding disasters. Surprisingly, the majority of these disasters could have been avoided quite easily if the homeowner had only taken some precautions. Below you will find the five most common mistakes homeowners make that lead to basement flooding:
1. Not Planning for Proper Draining
Many people choose to finish their basement as a way to increase the amount of usable space in their home. This is certainly a wise choice. The reason that many homeowners encounter problems, though, is that they often forget to include a drain in the floor when they install their flooring.
A floor drain is critical for preventing basement flooding, and when you install your floors, it’s important that you work around the drain. If you lay flooring over the drain, not only will water have no place to go in the event of a flood, but you will also have to face the time and expense involved with replacing your floors.
2. Applying Waterproof Paint to Your Walls
Many homeowners view waterproof paint as a quick and easy way to inexpensively waterproof their walls. Unfortunately, waterproof paint can actually cost you more in the long run. This is because after you paint your concrete walls, the lime in the concrete can cause efflorescence between the wall and the paint.
This then causes the paint to flake off, and with the concrete yet again exposed, moisture has an easy way back into your basement. As a result, most experts recommend against using waterproof paint as a basement waterproofing solution.
3. Pouring a Concrete Cove
The cove, the space where the basement wall meets the floor, is very often a problem area in terms of moisture. Many well-meaning homeowners choose to pour concrete in this area to prevent moisture, but this can actually cause additional problems.
First, a concrete-on-concrete patch very rarely succeeds in creating a waterproof barrier. What’s more, this concrete covering also creates increased hydrostatic pressure in the saturated ground outside of the basement, which can create significant structural problems.
4. Underestimating Costs
When finishing or renovating your basement, it’s important to be realistic about the cost of such an undertaking. With labor, materials, and other costs taken into account, it’s very easy for the final cost to be more than you anticipated. This doesn’t mean that you should skimp on waterproofing, however, as doing so can cost you significantly in the long run in terms of repair bills.
5. Overestimating Your Skills
Everyone takes pride in their home, and everyone likes to think that they can rely on themselves to make their own repairs. However, no matter your skill level, be sure you don’t overestimate your ability when it comes time to renovate your basement, because basements are one area of the home that often come with unforeseen problems. If your instincts tell you that the job might be too much for you to handle, don’t hesitate to contact the experts for help.
Ameri-Dry Basement Waterproofing
With over 30 years of basement waterproofing experience, Ameri-Dry offers patented, permanently dry systems that are backed by a full lifetime warranty. For more information about Ameri-Dry and Ameri-Dry Guy, visit their website at ameri-dry.com.