The Dos & Don'ts of Basement Waterproofing

Since basements are built below grade, wet walls, water puddles, and moisture are very common issues that homeowners with basements face. Before starting a basement waterproofing project, it is crucial to troubleshoot the root cause of your basement's wet walls so you can find a solution ASAP to maintaining your home's integrity.

Your local home repair & remodel experts here at Smardbuild have brought you a few dos and don’ts when starting a basement waterproofing project. Check out the tips below so you can avoid the moisture to the maximum!

Dos of Basement Waterproofing

  • Try to find the cause of the moisture. Track the wet streaks and cracks to see if they reach the sewer pipes or water supply lines which may be causing the wet walls. Once you have determined the root source of the water, the remediation will become so much easier.
  • Look for the cold joints at the base of the basement walls. If you find any cracks, seal them off using hydraulic cement. Hydraulic cement has additives that will expand and make it set instantly. The expansion of the cement pushes it into the cracks deeply to seal the crevices completely. It is recommended to mix the cement in small quantities as it sets within 3 minutes. So only mix an amount that you can use in that time frame, and then mix again if you need more.
  • Seal your basement walls with a waterproof paint if your foil test shows the signs of water soaking the basement walls. You must invest in superior quality paint that has a sealan t in it. This paint will cover up the walls and any holes in it. Let the first coat dry completely before you apply a second coat. This paint will prevent water from seeping into the walls further.

Don’ts of Basement Waterproofing

  • Don’t ever start the repair work in your basement when there is still standing water. Always start the remediation work after removing the water, as the standing water increases the risk of electrocution. It is better that you take caution beforehand. It is also recommended that you turn off the power supply to the basement to be safe.
  • Don't leave the window wells alone. These nasty access points can be a cause for the wet basement walls, particularly if you don't have a drainage system under these wells. Consequently, water pools around the window bottom and eventually starts to seep in. It is recommended to dig the well area deeper and fill it with gravel to allow the water to disperse instead of seeping into the basement. You can also go for a sloped well cover that will direct the rainwater away from the basement.
  • Don’t apply the waterproof paint directly over it existing paint. You will have to remove the original layer of paint first, as the sealer paint adheres to the base walls only. You must get the old paint removed with the help of sandblasters or do it with wire brushing. In case you have concrete walls, remove all signs of efflorescence before applying the sealer.


These do’s and don’ts will help you complete your basement waterproofing project in the right way. And if you think you might need a professional assessment, contact us. Smardbuild is the right choice for affordable and quality home remodeling services in the greater Chicago area!

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