With good planning and careful construction, you can keep your basement warm and dry – whether you want first-rate storage and utility space or prime living space. Solving moisture or leakage problems is relatively easy during construction and nearly impossible after the house is complete.
Creating a dry basement requires multiple strategies. The first step is to keep surface water away from the foundation with proper grading combined with gutters and downspouts that quickly move hundreds of gallons of rain water away from the foundation.
Next, use granular backfill or drainage board, combined with footing drains, to prevent water buildup around the foundation. Under hydrostatic pressure, water will find its way in through the tiniest crack or construction joint. Use granular fill under the slab for the same purpose.
Next use a layer of waterproofing or waterproofing to create a capillary break at the basement wall. This will prevent water vapor and, in the case of waterproofing, liquid water from passing through the wall. Use a layer of heavy plastic sheeting for a capillary break under the slab.
With the moisture under control, you can now add a layer of insulation on the interior or exterior to complete the project. In addition to keeping the below-grade space comfortable, insulated walls and slab will be less prone to form condensation and the mold, mildew, and musty odors that follow.
Basement Flooding: Drying and Repair
Basement Leakage Cures, Existing Homes
Basement Leakage Cures, New Homes
Basement Vapor Barriers
Buried Debris, Erosion, and Foundation Damage
Buried Rubble, Building On
Expansive Clay Soils and Foundation Damage
Filled Land, Building On
How Much Slope for Good Site Drainage?
Poor Soils, Building On
Soil Washed Away Under Foundation
Walk-Outs, How Much Slope Needed?
Wet Sites, Building On