Generally speaking, your basement will be outfitted with waterproofing precautions at the time your home is built. These could include standards and practices like proper grading and drainage (so that water is led away from your home instead of towards it), the inclusion of a vapor barrier, a sump pump to drain any water that may come in, and of course, gutters and downspouts that funnel water away from your foundations. In addition, you can keep the area around your home clear of leafy plants that could cause the soil to retain moisture, add French drains to existing flower beds, or even install Hydroclay to absorb lingering moisture. And you can seal interior surfaces (concrete) with a product like Drylok that expands to fill cracks. But of course, all of this can cost you a pretty penny, and some of it is going to be even more expensive if you have to do it after the structure is built. That said, there are plenty of benefits to be gained from waterproofing your basement. Here are just a few to consider before you risk incoming water.
- Reduce costs. Waterproofing your basement may be expensive up front, especially if you have to correct drainage issues on your property. But the upside is that you’ll avoid costly repairs and renovations that could result from water damage. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that you probably won’t suspect water damage has occurred until it’s been going on for a while. It’s much more likely that water will seep in here and there, unnoticed, until there is major damage than that you’ll experience an outright flood. And since this could affect the integrity of your structure, you will absolutely have to fix it or risk unsafe living conditions and a home that could collapse.
- Increase usable space. Perhaps one of the best reasons to waterproof your basement is in preparation for the area to become a viable living space. Whether you’d like to create a fun hangout for the kids, install a man cave or home theater, or section the space off into extra bedrooms, you’re going to have to make sure, first and foremost, that the area is safe for habitation. This includes not only finishing the basement with drywall, flooring, and fixtures, but also including any measures needed to keep moisture at bay.
- Combat illness. Whenever you have moisture permeating your home over time you’re bound to end up with mold and mildew problems, and this can lead to or exacerbate medical conditions, particularly in regard to respiratory disorders like asthma and allergies. It can also cause skin irritation to those who are exposed to it for an extended period of time. In order to avoid these potential ailments, it’s best to stop the problem before it starts.
- Preserve the value of your home. Water damage can crack concrete, warp wood, and lead to long-term issues like rot and mold. The result could be a space that is not only uninhabitable, but that compromises your whole home. And if you fail to have repairs done, it will certainly affect the value when you choose to sell.
- Sleep at night. Even if you know how to fix a clogged drain in your basement or apply a sealant to concrete walls that have cracked due to water damage, worrying about these issues could cause you undue stress. By putting measures in place to prevent such problems from occurring you can not only save yourself time and money down the road, but you can have the peace of mind that lets you sleep at night, knowing your home is safe and secure.