5 Tips For Protecting Your Basement Against Water Damage
Do you have a ‘man cave’ in your basement, complete with gaming and entertainment systems? Do you use your basement as a DIY workshop for carpentry, electronics, arts and craft, or amateur chemistry? Do you simply use your basement as storage for old furniture, tools, clothes and other personal items?
Whatever your purpose is for your basement, you should never neglect to protect it from flooding or from moisture from the ground. Water can damage your belongings, making them rot or corrode. Moist surfaces are also conducive to fungal and bacterial growth, which can potentially harm your health and that of your family.
To help prevent these things from happening, here are some tips that can help you protect your basement against water or moisture damage:
1. Identify the possible sources of water leak or moisture
The first thing that you should do is to identify the potential sources of leaks or moisture in your basement. They can be any of the following:
- Exposed windows
- Water pipes on the walls
- HVAC air ducts
Once you have identified the possible conduits, you can determine how you can prevent further leaks and moisture with the help of a specialist.
2. Seal the windows and walls
Since basements are constructed below ground level, they are typically at risk of flooding. Heavy rains can cause flooding if the windows and walls are not properly sealed. You must also make sure that the drainage system is working.
You can use rubber seals for the windows to prevent water seepage from the rain. You may also apply epoxy paint on the walls to make them waterproof.
3. Fix and paint the water pipes
If the water pipes are already old, you may need to replace them. Hire a professional plumber to replace the old pipes. You may then paint the new pipes to prevent corrosion. You should repaint at least once every two years or as often as necessary.
You should also make sure that proper pressure is maintained to prevent pipe seals from bursting. The weather conditions outside and the internal components like the water heater and valve positions affect water pressure.
4. Seal or replace old air ducts
Moisture can accumulate inside the air ducts and vents if the air conditioning system is constantly switched on. The moisture can leak outside the air ducts and may contribute to the humidity of the basement. Water may also drip between the duct joints and into the floor or furniture.
You should reseal or replace the old air ducts to prevent moisture from dripping. You may need to replace most of the HVAC components in order to do this. To be safe, hire a professional HVAC contractor to replace any old HVAC components.
5. Apply epoxy seals on the basement floor
If you are planning to install wood flooring or carpet on your basement floor, you should first seal it by applying epoxy protective layers. They will serve as a waterproofing agent that will prevent ground moisture from seeping through the concrete, thereby protecting the carpet or wood flooring from water damage.
On the other hand, you may use decorative and colored epoxy sealants for the basement floor as the final floor finish. You can select from a paint contractor catalogue to find a hue to best complement the space. Some of the commonly used colors are brown, red, ivory and green. You may also create patterns on the floor by combining different colors.
The bottom line
You can protect your basement by applying protective coatings on the floor and paint coatings on the walls, pipes, and ceiling. You may look for professional contractors like plumbers, carpenters and painting contractors to avoid the hassle of trial error in improving your basement.
Whatever type of wall or floor finish you prefer, whether it is hardwood, carpet, rubber, vinyl or ceramic tiles, you should always first apply a protective coating.
The concrete floor should be sealed with various layers of waterproofing coats. All other sources of possible water leaks or moisture must also be sealed or replaced when they are already too old and damaged.
About the Author
Ralph El Eid is the Business Development Manager at COLORTEK – Wall & Floor Fashion. EQUIPAINT is the franchise owner of COLORTEK in Dubai (U.A.E.) and Doha (Qatar); an international paints manufacturer specializing in the widest range of decorative paints and seamless concrete & resin flooring, with a unique showroom concept, and thus an ideal destination for homeowners, consultants, architects, interior designers and paint applicators.