Three Ways To Waterproof A Habitable Basement
If you plan to make your basement into a habitable room, you have to ensure that the room is safe and that it's a healthy environment. You shouldn't stick someone down in the basement without those basic assurances. Waterproofing the basement is important in any case, but it becomes doubly so if someone will be living there. Water leaking in can lead to mold growth and horrible odors. Waterproofing can be done in a number of ways, and combining those ways offers the best chance of keeping the basement dry.
Look at the Surrounding Landscaping
One thing you can do is look at the surrounding landscaping. The ground should slope away from the basement walls. If you see it sloping toward the walls, you'll need to redistribute soil; have a landscaping company come in and fix the grading around your home. This allows rainwater to run off away from your house instead of toward the walls, where the wet soil could allow moisture to soak in and eventually penetrate into the basement. Also make sure that plants near the house's walls are not right up against the structure; trim shrubs and remove plants with roots and stalks that are right next to the wall. You need space so that the soil dries out after rain or snow.
Get Solid Window Well Covers
Habitable basements that have windows need window wells, or spaces around the windows that allow the occupants to get fresh air and to escape if needed. However, many people leave these window wells uncovered, thinking that any rain that falls will merely soak into the soil. That doesn't always happen quickly enough to prevent flooding. Window wells need covers that block rain. You'll find a number of covers that are mesh, made to prevent leaves from falling into the well, but you want a solid one that allows rain to run off into soil outside the well area. These come with vents and doors that still allow for ventilation and a quick exit if there's an emergency.
Add Interior Barriers
One of the most important things you can do in terms of waterproofing is to have a barrier added to the walls of the basement. This is something that has to be done professionally by a waterproofing company. The barrier can be inside the wall, or it can be a coating on the exterior of the wall inside the basement. It helps stop moisture that has gotten into the wall from penetrating into the basement space.
Combining all of these strategies gives you the best chance of having a very waterproof basement space that remains a healthy environment. When you have someone living in a basement, you want to be sure that waterproofing and water intrusion are taken care of quickly.
To learn more, contact a resource like J.A. Kilby Enterprises Inc.