Do you have an unfinished basement? Is water getting through the walls? Even the smallest leaks in a basement can eventually cause big problems. As water accumulates around your home's foundation, it can start to seep through the porous concrete. That can develop cracks and, over time, those cracks could get larger. After big rainstorms, you might find that there's enough water in your basement to cover the floor or even damage your belongings. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to seal your basement and prevent water damage. Here are three different ways to protect your basement:
Concrete sealant. There are a number of sealants out there that you can simply apply to your basement's concrete walls. The sealants prevent water from leaking into the basement, but they don't stop water from getting into the concrete from the outside. So, even with a sealant, your walls could still develop cracks due to moisture. Some sealants, like waterproof coatings, are transparent and won't change the appearance of your basement walls. Others, like waterproof paint, come in a variety of colors, so you can also use them as a design element.
Concrete sealant is an affordable solution and is relatively easy to apply. However, it may not be a permanent solution. You may have to regularly reapply the sealant to keep the walls waterproofed.
Internal barriers and drainage. Another solution is to put a physical barrier, such as a plastic sheet up over the entire wall. That won't stop water from coming through your walls, but it will prevent the water from entering the rest of your basement. You'll also likely need to install an interior drainage system. This would be a series of drains located in between the physical barrier and the walls.
As water comes through the wall, it accumulates on the inside of the barrier. It then rolls down into a drain, which carries the water to a sump pump. The sump pump pushes the water back outside. This can also be an affordable option and can be a good choice if you're finishing your basement. You can put the barrier and drainage system behind the drywall to keep the area dry.
External drainage. If you absolutely want to keep water out of your basement, this is probably your best option. It may cost more than the other options, but it will be effective in keeping water from ever reaching your basement walls. This is simply a drainage system that is installed in a trench around the perimeter of your foundation. As water accumulates in the soil around your home, it drains into the trench. Pipes in the trench then direct the water to a drainage area located far from your foundation. This whole process happens underground, so the trench won't be visible around your home.
For more information, contact a basement waterproofing company (such as Sohan and Sons) in your area. They can inspect your basement and make a recommendation based on your needs and budget.