Your basement is more likely to experience problems with dampness and take on water than any other part of your home, largely because of its subterranean position. This is not only unpleasant but can cause a number of issues from peeling paint to increased humidity and mold formation. As such, it can be tempting to try to install waterproofing measures or products by yourself. While we would agree that waterproofing your basement is important, there are some things you just shouldn’t do yourself.
The Dangers of DIY Waterproofing
So, you’re determined to make sure your basement stays dry this winter, and you have some waterproofing projects in mind already. Great! Just be sure you have the skills and tools to undertake the work properly, because if you do not, you could be storing up a whole heap of trouble for yourself. These are the main dangers of DIY waterproofing.
Covering Up Existing Issues
The most pressing concern when it comes to DIY waterproofing is the possibility that you will fail to notice the warning signs of a deeper issue. Dampness can be caused by many things and often has more than one contributing factor. As such, laying down a vapor barrier and installing a dehumidifier may make your home feel less damp, but if there are cracks in your foundation that are letting in water, this issue will only snowball until it is addressed. If this happens, the costs of repairing the damage could be two or three times higher than they would have been if the issue had been spotted and addressed before waterproofing measures were initially taken.
Damage Caused by Poor Installation
While some waterproofing measures may be easy to install alone, others require a little more skill. If you install a sump pump incorrectly, for example, you could be facing serious consequences. First and foremost, you run the risk of damaging the pump itself. Secondly, you could end up with standing water in your basement if the pump is working slowly or not working at all as a result of poor installation. Likewise, if you install a vapor barrier incorrectly you risk trapping dampness in your basement or crawl space and magnifying the issues.
Installing Incorrect or Unsuitable Products
Getting the right products for your home is all-important. If you buy something that does not meet your home’s needs, you could find that dampness and water get into your home and cause damage anyway. In these cases, you will not only have wasted money on unsuitable products, but you will need to replace them and repair any damage that was incurred in order to get your home back into shape. For example, if you choose a vapor barrier that is unsuitable for your home or a dehumidifier that is not powerful enough, you could face expensive repair and replacement costs.
Because of this, and for many more reasons, it is generally best to seek professional advice or help when considering waterproofing measures in your home.
What Can Cause Dampness in a Basement?
If you have existing problems with dampness in your basement, there are a few potential causes. As such, it’s imperative that you have a professional assess your home if you have an issue with dampness. After all, it could be nothing too serious, but if you do have foundational issues or structural damage in your walls, the issue is only likely to increase in severity until it is either repaired or causes a wall to collapse somewhere in your home. Here are some of the most common causes of dampness in a home.
Damage to your property foundation can occur in a number of ways, but once it does, dampness is one of the most common co-occurring issues. This is because of the way water seeps up through cracks in a property foundation, especially after a serious rainfall.
Basement walls can crack as a result of extreme weather, structural instability, and excess hydrostatic pressure, and when they do, the first thing they let in is water. If you have cracked walls, you may find water pooling your basement cove.
Improper or insufficient drainage systems in and around your property can lead to leaks and dampness in many areas of your home, including your basement and roof.
How Professionals Can Help
If you are noticing any of these issues and need repairs such as interior drainage, sump pumps, dehumidifiers, and vapor barriers, don’t hesitate to reach out to the expert team at Mount Valley Foundation Services for assistance. We offer free inspections and repair estimates, and we’ll recommend the best solutions suited to meet your specific repair needs.