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basement wall leaking

Are You Planning to Use Basement Wall Sealant? You May Want to Rethink Your Decision

Have you been struggling with a wet basement for the longest time? You’re not alone. The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that more than 60% of basements experience moisture and water seepage. What will differentiate you from the rest is how you deal with the problem.

How effective are sealants?

When confronted with a wet basement on their own, many people in Columbia, SC, opt for wall sealants. After all, they’re a cheaper, hassle-free and convenient fix to leaky basements. However, here’s what people may not know. Even the best wall sealant on the market (polyurethane) can’t permanently stop water from entering your basement. 

A waterproofing sealant will keep moisture out of your basement for as long as it lasts. The sealer is applied to the affected surface area using a standard caulk gun. After a while, it dries up, forming an insulating layer that is impermeable to moisture. However, efflorescence can weaken their bond, and water can cause the sealant to peel off.

If you’re thinking of using sealants, you should consider combining it with other basement waterproofing techniques to be effective. Otherwise, they will stop seepage for a short period before the basement starts leaking again. The point of a DIY basement waterproofing project is to save money. If, however, it isn’t done right the first time, it can definitely yield unsatisfactory results. Your best bet is professional basement waterproofing. 

Why you should avoid basement wall sealants

It doesn’t help that sealants like wall paint won’t adhere to the concrete wall if the crack is wet. And if a previous crack reopens or fails, re-applying sealants won’t help either as residual material will stop the new sealant from welding up the crack.

Some homeowners try repairing basement leaking using caulking or hydraulic cement, but these methods often fail. And the reason is they no longer have access to the original crack. Minerals or mud could have accumulated in and around the crack, and the adjacent concrete may be damaged by water that’s trapped inside.

While people view the short curing time of sealants as positive, they also happen to be its weakest link. The reason is the success of some sealants depends on their containment within the crevice until it cures, something that takes a couple of hours.

Containment relies on soil compaction. If the soil is poorly compacted, if damp-proofing membranes have air gaps, or if the resin has low viscosity, it’s likely the epoxy will get into the soil. When bleeding occurs, the injection will fail as the resin won’t fill up the crack completely.

Another reason you’d want to reconsider using sealants is the inflexibility of their application. They don’t accommodate crack movements. Shifting soil and hydrostatic pressure could exert pressure on the walls, tearing sections near the crack.

Why opt for a professional basement waterproofing company?

Hiring a professional basement waterproofing contractor in Columbia, SC, might seem expensive if you’re used to fixing issues around the home on your own. And this is primarily why people opt for DIY. While you may initially save some money, your attempt to seal up cracks on your own could be futile in the long run. The best policy is to seek a professional basement waterproofing company and let them handle crack repairs.

Aside from diagnosing the underlying issues, a basement contractor will recommend lasting solutions to address those problems. This is the most important aspect of basement repairs. And it’s something many people miss or overlook when they go the DIY route by using temporary fixes.

Here’s another important thing. Your basement contractor will not only seal the cracks in your basement, but they’ll also address the underlying issues and apply the most appropriate fix. Sometimes, they might install standard interior drainage and a sump pump to prevent flooding or excavate the exterior down to the footers to waterproof your basement from the outside. 

Repairing concrete cracks isn’t something you’d want to take upon yourself, considering how time-consuming it is. Don’t let DIY tutorials and videos mislead you. The process of applying a sealant is slow and tiring. And it requires some level of skill and knowledge to pull off a successful repair. 

Plus, any mistakes during quick fixes might cost you extra money and extra repairs. It’s best to let the professionals take care of it. Basement contractors can handle the demands of the job as they have the experience and knowledge to deal with cracks and leaks.

Another reason you should hire professionals is they offer warranties for basement repairs. In other words, they will come and fix any cracks that reopen or leaks that occur before the basement is due for repairs again. This way, you won’t cough up any money to fix the problem.Because sealants are unreliable in the long term, your best strategy is to deploy prevention and control measures. If you need help fixing basement cracks or waterproofing your moisture prone damage, get in touch with Mount Valley Foundation Services. We’re happy to perform a free basement waterproofing inspection to uncover the issues you’re facing and recommend appropriate solutions to fix them.