Keeping all of your home's concrete surfaces free of water damage is very important, as this damage can result in cracks, leaks, spalling, and even chunks of the concrete breaking away. In a basement, water damage to the walls and floor can mean a softening of the home's foundation, and the home may then settle and shift. This results in even more damage to the home's framework, walls, and ceilings. To avoid all this damage, note a few tips for keeping your home's basement protected.
Seal the windows
If you never open the basement windows and no one lives in the basement so that you need a means of egress, replace slider windows with glass block. These blocks are less likely to allow water to seep into the basement, from around the window frame.
If you do decide to keep slider windows in the basement, check them every year or even more frequently for any signs of potential leaks; this include drops of water inside the windows or condensation on the glass. Seal the windows with a waterproof sealant, or have them replaced with something that fits more snugly in the frame.
Slope your property
You may not think that how your property is sloped affects the basement, but if the soil outside your home is not graded toward the street, this can allow for moisture to collect around the home's foundation. In turn, this moisture can seep into the basement, softening both the walls and the floor. Along with ensuring the property is graded properly, be sure you have solid downspouts that extend several inches or centimetres away from the house to direct rainwater toward the street.
Add a waterproof membrane
A waterproof membrane can be put over the basement walls and floors to help avoid water damage. This type of membrane is available in several forms; some are very thick and resemble a type of concrete and may need mixing and application with a trowel. These are good for filling in pits and pockets that have formed on the concrete surface. Other membranes are like a thick paint and are applied with a roller. This offers protection against the concrete absorbing moisture and humidity in the air, and these can also help improve the appearance of spalling and peeling concrete. Opt for a thick latex variety for the best adhesion over a painted concrete surface, and note that the membrane may need to be reapplied over the years for maximum protection.