Basement waterproofing Detroit is best left to the professionals Honestly, basement waterproofing isn’t a simple job. There are many elements and issues that make it more complicated than your average DIY home improvement project. The biggest problem is an average homeowner’s access to the right materials and equipment. While you can rent tools that can help you do the job, it is hard to get access to some of the professional-grade waterproofing products that the waterproofing contractors use.
Beyond that we put together some of the most common mistakes homeowners make when trying to tackle basement waterproofing Detroit themselves.
Draining the basement flood too fast
The first mistake we see quite often is when a homeowner tries to drain the basement after a serious basement flood. Let’s say there is a massive storm and the town is practically flooded. If you have two feet of water in the basement, the first thing a typical homeowner wants to do is drain it as fast as he can. The problem with that is the pressure from the water on the inside of the basement wall and the pressure in the water in the soil on the outside of the wall will create a disaster if the inside water is drained too quickly. The walls can actually collapse from the pressure of the water.
Not completely drying out the basement after a flood
Another common basement waterproofing Detroit issue after a flood is not drying out the basement completely. If you have a basement flood make sure that you take out any sheetrock that got wet. Sheetrock is basically no good if it has gotten wet. It is just a breeding ground for mold within the wall. Cut and remove the sheetrock where the water level was. It is no use trying to save or dry out. As for the rest of the basement, do the best you can to dry it out with fans and dehumidifiers to completely dry it out. It can take days. Usually, three to five days depending on how bad the water problem was or is.
Using caulking material to fix leaking cracks
The common caulking material is not going to fix leaking foundation cracks. Just get that out of your head. This is probably the most common DIY basement waterproofing Detroit mistake. A concrete crack needs to be injected with epoxy or waterproof polyurethane material that bonds to the concrete and completely fills the crack. Any surface treatment is a very temporary fix. Especially if fixing the concrete cracks is all you do. If you don’t also install a basement drainage system to control the water problems, then this is just a mask for the symptom and the crack will start to leak again very soon.
Falling for the “black tar” or “waterproof paint” solution
Black tar and waterproof paint is not the solution. Sure, it may keep some water out but the old black tar solution is more of a damp proofing than it is a waterproofing solution. Builders use it on the outside of the foundation but again this without the proper basement drainage system is just a damp proofing material. This is not a good option for interior basement waterproofing Detroit. What you are probably looking for is a basement waterproofing membrane. The professional grade membranes are typically not sold directly to homeowners because they need to be installed correctly to work. These are reserved for contractors who have been through the manufacturer’s training to install it correctly. Plus, membranes are usually installed on the exterior wall of the foundation. That means on an existing house the soil around the foundation is excavated and waterproofing membrane is installed on the outside foundation wall. Excavating your foundation is not a good idea for the typical homeowner, especially considering the risks associated with trenching and excavating a foundation. Please don’t do this at home!
Not dealing with outside drainage issues
Another common mistake homeowners make in their basement waterproofing attempts is just fixing part of the problem. While a sump pump will do a great job pumping out any water that enters the house, a professional basement waterproofing contractor will address all the drainage issues in and around the house inside and out. Make sure to not neglect the drainage issues outside the house too. Not handling outside drainage issues will make your interior basement drainage system work over time. A system working too hard will fail sooner and need to be replaced more often. Make sure your basement waterproofing system is safe guarded by the common outside drainage system: working gutters and downspouts, proper field drainage, French drains, landscaping drainage, and proper yard grade sloping away from the foundation wall.