Whether your basement gradually developed a musty smell or that smell was already there when you purchased your home, your family may avoid spending time i, it simply due to the bad smell. However, you may not realize that keeping your family out of that basement not only protects their sense of smell, but also their health—a musty smell is a sign of mold growth that is very hazardous to everyone's health. How can you improve the air quality of that basement? Since mold grows in damp places, you must figure out why your basement is harboring so much moisture. Then, you can take steps to keep that moisture out and sanitize your basement to remove the mold. Read on to learn how to determine if the moisture in your basement can be remedied with basement waterproofing and to learn how exterior waterproofing is performed.
Can Basement Waterproofing Remedy Your Musty Basement?
Determining if basement waterproofing can fix your musty basement relies on finding out if the excess moisture in your basement is due to high humidity or if water from outside is seeping through your foundation and small cracks in your basement walls.
Houselogic developed an easy way to determine whether interior high humidity or exterior water is the cause of the basement dampness. They suggest taping a piece of tin foil about one-square foot in size to the interior of a basement wall. Then, after waiting 24 hours, check to see what the tin foil looks like.
If the foil has water on the side facing the interior of the basement, then they suggest that high basement humidity is likely the cause of your problem. If the foil has water on the side that was facing the wall, they suggest that you have a problem with water seeping through your basement walls that basement waterproofing will remedy.
However, realize that this test is not fool-proof; water seeping through your walls can be the cause of the high humidity. If the test does show that high humidity is likely to be the cause, then it can still be a good idea to have an expert examine your basement to help you get to the true root of your problem.
How Exterior Basement Waterproofing is Performed
If even a few water droplets accumulate on the side of the tin foil facing your wall or if an expert examines your basement and finds that the issue is caused by water seeping through the walls, then the only way to remedy the problem is to obtain basement waterproofing. However, you have two types of basement waterproofing to choose from: exterior basement waterproofing and interior basement waterproofing. Read on to learn more about exterior waterproofing and how it is performed.
Exterior Basement Waterproofing: This is the traditional method of waterproofing a basement and was in use many years before interior waterproofing options were developed. It is a relatively simple yet labor-intensive job for a good waterproofing expert. Once the expert finds out where the water is coming from, they can then decide whether only one or two walls need waterproofing or if all of your basement walls do.
The first step to exterior waterproofing is excavating a narrow path in the dirt surrounding your basement (or in front of only the walls that need to be waterproofed) down to your foundation footings. Next, the exposed walls will be thoroughly cleaned to remove all dirt and residue. If your foundation is made of brick, then mortar may be applied to provide a smoother surface to adhere the waterproofing material to. Next, a waterproof membrane will be applied, which is typically made of a mixture of asphalt and polyurethane; this membrane is applied wet, and then allowed to dry. Finally, the excavated soil and grass is put back into place.
Targeted Exterior Waterproofing Options: If water is seeping through all of the pores of your concrete or brick foundation or through many cracks, then having the entire basement sealed off is the best way to stop that water from seeping in. However, if you know and your expert confirms that the cause of your problem is one large crack or a couple of large cracks, then you have the option to only have the cracks sealed. To do that, your waterproofing expert will simply excavate small holes on the exterior of your home and then perform the same steps as they would when waterproofing entire walls, but just on the cracked areas.
If your basement smells musty, then you may think of it as an annoyance, but not realize it is a health hazard to your family. Try this easy way to find out if basement waterproofing will help you get rid of the must problem and use this handy guide to how exterior basement waterproofing is performed to know what to expect if you find out you need it.
For more information, contact a company like John's Waterproofing.