2 Tips To Help You Keep Your Basement Dry And Free Of Moisture Intrusion
As the concrete of your home's foundation cures and ages, it is common for it to form cracks as the concrete shrinks and shifts. Unfortunately, these cracks can allow moisture to leak into your basement and cause moisture damage to any items and finished areas. Here are two steps to help you prevent and remedy any cracks and their associated moisture intrusion problems.
Fill and Repair the Cracks
Cracks that have formed on your foundation and along basement walls can be patched to prevent moisture from seeping through them. For smaller hairline cracks, it is recommended to use a vinyl concrete patching compound, which you can find at most home improvement stores. If the surface of the concrete is wet, you will need to dry out the area with a hair dryer or space heater.
Using a wire brush, be sure to brush clean the crack to remove any dirt and debris, and apply a concrete bonding primer onto the site, which will both help the repair patch to adhere and remain in place. Apply the vinyl patching compound with a trowel and smooth it level to fill the crack.
For wider cracks, it is best to use a flexible concrete caulk made of silicone, latex, or Polyurethane. Once you apply this flexible material into the crack, any movement of the crack and concrete from temperature and moisture changes will not cause the repair to re-crack. Prepare the crack by cleaning with a wire brush. Then apply the concrete caulk into the crack with the tip end. Smooth the repair over with your finger or a trowel to level it.
Divert Exterior Foundation Groundwater
It can often be helpful to keep your basement dry and free of moisture leaks by diverting and exterior moisture that may collect around the exterior of your home's foundation and basement. Check your home's rain gutters to make sure they are working properly to catch and collect water so it does not spill directly onto the soil near your home's foundation. You can check your rain gutters during dry weather by turning on your garden hose upon your roof and watching how the water flows into and through the gutters. If there are any holes or cracks, you should have them repaired.
Also check the downspouts, making sure they have diverters sufficient to carry the water from around the exterior of your foundation. An optimal downspout diverter can deliver water to another area in your yard, avoiding the chance of it saturating the soil around your foundation and basement. You can find downspout diverters at most home improvement stores, which you can easily add yourself. Build up the soil around your home to give the landscaping a slope, which will help water flow away from your home. Use these two tips to help you with foundation repair.