If you've ever had a damp and musty basement due to a small leak, you know it's not a pleasant experience dealing with. When that troublesome small leak becomes something bigger, or your basement is letting in more than just a little water each time it rains, then it's time to take immediate action.
With the right industrial coating from ArmorThane, you can take matters into your own hands.
Not All Walls Are Built The Same
The kind of walls you have in your basement will determine how and why it leaks. Let's look at the different types of walls you may have in your basement.
Poured concrete walls - These normally leak along the joint within the floor and the wall. High hydrostatic pressure outside the foundation can cause seepage into even the most solid concrete walls. It can also force rainwater into the basement along the crack between the floor and the walls.
Concrete block walls - Like poured concrete walls, these will also leak along the floor/wall joint. The mortar joints within individual concrete blocks also possess the potential to leak. If there's pressure on a concrete block foundation, it can weaken the mortar joints. This creates cracks that allow for water infiltration.
Clay tile walls - Clay tiles are seldom found on historic houses, and the most common position for a leak is the floor/wall joint. The mortar joints between clay tiles are also a common place for seepage.
Like concrete blocks, clay tiles also have hollow cores that can swell with water. This can form a reservoir of water that can seep into the basement over time.
It should be noted that clay tile is fragile and more easily damaged than other masonry materials, so special care needs to be taken when operating on this type of wall.
Waterproofing basements may seem difficult.
However, it is probably not as laborious as you think. Using a polyurea coating is your greatest line of defense in drying out your damp basement and can be accomplished in just a few easy steps:
Prepare the surface
Getting the best possible results is dependant on this step.
Run a test patch first in an area that others won't see. That way, you'll know there will be proper adhesion and drying so that you'll be happy with the outcome.
The wall surface needs to be clean and dry. Sand down irregular wood surfaces and expel loose or peeling paint with a wire brush.
If you're working with concrete surfaces, you can prepare them employing a tool such as a disc grinder. Or you can always sandblast them.
If the concrete is loose or breaking, fix it and allow it to cure fully. If there's mold or mildew, you'll need to give it a power wash. And if it's new concrete, allow it to cure for at least 30 days before you apply any coatings.
Prime the surface, fill any cracks, also apply seam tape.
Pack them with a trowel grade coating and filler if any joints or cracks are broader than 1/8 inch. To evade future cracking or leaking, you'll need to seam tape all joints and cracks. Use self-adhesive contouring seam tape pliable, so it is simple enough to shape with your fingers.
Mask delicate areas before beginning.
Drying the basement wall out thoroughly before beginning is essential. Waterproofing basements when they are damp will not be effective.
Remember, low temperature and high humidity may require prolonged drying and curing time.
Application - regular and heavy-duty.
Your polyurea coating from ArmorThane will be sprayed on. Ensure you follow the directions accurately, so the chemicals are properly mixed.
Apply the coating until you have a constant, unbroken seal across the entire surface, at least 30mils thick (about the thickness of a dime).
Applying two coats will cover and waterproof all of the surfaces in your basement.
If you've had success waterproofing your basement using polyurea, please feel free to share your story!