Winter’s Coming, is Your Basement Ready?

Damaged window wells

Winter is coming and one of the biggest issues homeowners worry about is their basement?s concrete floors. Concrete can easily absorb water, because it?s porous. To protect it from absorbing moisture that can cause damage over time, you need to protect it with floor sealing to make it waterproof.

When considering floor sealing for your basement you need to know that there are two kinds of sealants: penetrating sealers and film sealers. Penetrating sealant fills the pores of the concrete, preventing it from absorbing water, while the film kind forms a barrier to keep water out of the concrete.

Applying floor sealing to the basement may help prevent mold from forming, by keeping indoor humidity below 60% and ideally between 30 and 50%. You want to keep that humidity out, because wet basement cleanup can cost $500 to $10,000 or more, depending on the size of the area affected, the depth of the flooding and the type of water involved: clean, gray wastewater, or black/toxic.

A standard sump pump is powerful enough to remove 1,800 to 2,200 gallons an hour, with 1/3 horsepower; for volumes greater than this a 1/2 horsepower pump may be needed. A backup power source should be available for all sump pumps in case the electricity goes out. If your sump pump is more than 10 years old, or you notice that the pump in your basement isn?t coming on when water levels rise, it’s time to replace it.

Approximately 23% of all homeowner property losses, from 2007 to 2009, were water caused, costing $9.1 billion in yearly homeowner policy property losses, and the average insurance claim for water damage in the U.S. in 2012 was $4,925. Interior basement waterproofing can help prevent some of that damage and property loss before it even happens. Floor sealing and basement sealing products can help deter so much of this damage.

Regularly cleaning downspouts and making sure that they direct water at least 10 feet away from the foundations of your home and making sure the ground surface around the house has a positive gradation away from the foundation walls will help to prevent flooding. Repair costs to foundation damage, which is typically caused by drainage problems, usually range from $5,000 to $50,000.

Remember when it comes to your basement, floods, and damp, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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