Owning your own home can be an extremely empowering and a thoroughly rewarding experience. From designing its structure to watching it come alive brick by brick, it is a truly satisfying journey. Of course, owning your own home also brings along with it a particularly unique set of problems. Unlike an apartment or flat, with a house you are responsible for its structural upkeep as well. This means that in order to maintain a healthy home, you need to pay as much attention to external cracks, structural changes and weatherproofing as you would to your home décor.
While external issues are noticed immediately, some of the lesser used areas of the house actually require more of your attention. The most important example of this is the basement; an area in the home that is often used for storage or as an alternate recreational space. Due to the basement’s location—below ground level— it is incredibly susceptible to a whole host of problems.
- The presence of mould and bacteria
- Developing cracks and fissures on the floor and walls
- Water seepage
- Musty smells
- Excessive humidity
Most of these chronic basements problems are caused by a single factor. Incorrect or insufficient waterproofing of the room. Basement waterproofing can help keep most of these problems at bay. It essentially seals off your basement from water leakage and seepage, in turn keeping mould and bacteria and that typical musty smell at bay.
When is the best time to waterproof the basement?
Interior basement waterproofing must be carried out at the time of construction itself. It is important to use durable and waterproof materials to ensure that your structures is strong and impervious to water damage. However, nothing is built to last forever, which is why it is vital to waterproof the basement every few years to ensure the room remains in optimum condition for years to come. Ideally make sure all maintenance waterproofing is completed before the onslaught of the monsoon.
How do you waterproof a basement?
Before you lay down the base of the construction, make sure the bottom pit of the building is completely dry and cement concrete has been laid over the rubble soiling. Choose a natural stone such as flagstone or limestone, which prevents water seepage and is quite a sturdy naturally recurring material.
When it comes to basement waterproofing methods, or for any underground pit such as swimming pools and subways, box type waterproofing is preferred in India. In this method, limestone slabs are placed on the cement concrete in a staggered joint pattern, ensuring space within the joints for a mixture to be poured in. this mixture is usually cement or mortar mixed with a waterproofing compound. By doing this, you tightly seal off the slabs and fill the gaps within with a waterproof sealant.
This box type waterproofing procedure prevents any water leakage or seepage from the sub soil layer. By interlocking each space between the base slabs and filling the gaps with a thick membrane of waterproofing liquid and mortar (building layers upon layers of this) it fully secures the basement from any possible water damage.
Hence a basement waterproofing membrane is the most important thing that safeguards your entire structure.
Alternatively, box type waterproofing implements a simple yet effective system, wherein the waterproofing method creates a box around the whole area, making it impossible for water to seep in, either during the monsoon or from ground water. The area commonly affected by the rising levels of sub-soil, that is the part of the slab which isn’t locked in with by the mortar- waterproofing membrane, is layered with another waterproofing membrane.
This is a meticulous process which should be done perfectly. The corresponding basement walls must be lined with a similar pattern and membrane, locking the entire basement in, before the building begins construction. An improperly drained basement area can spell trouble in the future as you’ll be faced with multiple issues regarding water seeping in through the cracks.
One way to prevent water seepage in the basement is to implement water draining every few years or so as water can seep in through crevices and any cracks in the walls or floor.
What is the cost of waterproofing a basement?
Don’t stress out about basement waterproofing costs. Since this is a common procedure done by almost everyone, the prices are quite competitive. On the other hand, you must ensure that the chemicals that you use are of the best quality. Do your research or consult structural engineers, architects and discuss the different basement waterproofing treatments available.
When it comes to waterproofing your home, whether the basement or the terrace, always make sure that you have the best tools at your disposal in terms of structural engineers, chemicals and knowledge. Be involved in each step of the way and make sure you understand the type of waterproofing treatment for the basement that’s going to be used in your home.