Basements are prone to humidity and water leaks. It’s a problem that can cause damage to the walls and the structural integrity of the basement itself and require expensive repairs. At the same time, leaky and humid basements can cause health problems for the occupants, especially if they spend a lot of time in the room.
This happens because concrete walls tend to be porous and many homeowners don’t plan for it, falsely thinking that the concrete is a safe material and that nothing can go through. It’s best to react and find draining solutions as soon as you notice a problem with the walls and water in your basement.
Why Does This Happen?
From the outside, concrete walls appear to be perfectly sturdy and even, but, in reality, they are filled with small holes from which the water pours into the basement and further into your home. When the concrete is poured, it’s still wet and the excess water from it will evaporate within days.
This leads to the wall being full of small pores that can store water and from which water can come into your home. Cement also contains calcium. That’s the main ingredient of the paste that will keep the wall together. Calcium is dissolved in water over time, meaning that the wall will become more porous as it comes into contact with more water.
What Should You Do?
There are things that a homeowner needs to do as soon as they notice that there’s water in their basement. It’s not enough to remove the water itself, it’s also necessary to create a drainage system that will remove the water as soon as it enters the home without damaging the foundation or the walls.
Install an Interior Drainage System
An interior drainage system is a key part of a modern home, especially so if you’re living in an area that has a lot of humidity and rainfall.
It should be installed below the surface of a home, running underneath the floor and along the perimeter of the basement. Its purpose is to collect water and move it away from the basement where it can’t cause any damage. There should be a slant that will lead the water flow in the right direction, which is usually to a sump pump system.
A good drainage system can greatly increase the value of your home. That’s not just because it will keep the walls and the structure of the home in better shape. It will also make the property better, healthier, and more comfortable to live in.
Invest in a Sump Pump
A sump pump is a machine that’s used to pump out the water gathered in your interior drainage system. The water is pumped out through drainage pipes and directed to discharge far away from your home so it cannot damage the walls. It’s especially useful when you’re having a heavy rainfall or when your home is positioned so that the water can’t be moved away from the basement and the foundation.
A sump pump is best placed in a sump pump pit so that it maximizes its capacity. A sump pit is the lowest point of the property, meaning that all the water will be collected and pumped out of it. The pit will also protect the sump pump from debris and other small items that may damage it.
It’s also useful to have a backup pump that won’t be powered by an electrical grid. That way, your home will be safe even when the heavy rain and bad weather end up damaging the power supply. A homeowner should take the time to inspect and maintain these pumps over time.
Consider Using A Vapor Barrier
Once the water is drained away from the home, it’s best to start thinking about how to protect the basement further and prevent small amounts of water and humidity from entering the property. There are a lot of ways to do so, but installing a vapor barrier is probably the most efficient.
Barriers are attached to the walls and they create a new level of waterproofing that will lead the excess amounts of water towards the drainage system.
Think About Dehumidification
There are dehumidifiers out there that are used to lower the humidity in your home and they can be purchased in most stores. However, those kinds of humidifiers won’t work in a basement if it is too humid and big. There are dehumidifier systems that are specially designed to be used in basements and they are a key component of a comprehensive drainage system.
A good dehumidifier can also purify the air and help prevent mildew and mold that can build up in the basement air over time. At the same time, these dehumidifiers will route the water toward the drainage system and direct it outside of the home. A concrete wall can be porous due to the material from which it’s made and that’s why a home needs a drainage system to keep below-grade levels dry and structurally sound. It’s best to start with a free inspection from your local basement waterproofing professionals at Tar Heel Basement Systems. An expert will help you find a drainage system that’s best suited to your basement and the level of humidity you’re dealing with.