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7 Easy Steps to Sealing Your Basement Walls

7 Easy Steps to Sealing Your Basement Walls

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August 4, 2010

Are the walls in your basement always a little damp after it rains? Are you confronted with the smell of mildew and mold when you walk down the basement stairs? Sealing your basement walls can help with the moisture problems and offer a good start to your basement remodeling project.

How to Seal Your Basement Walls

Sealing your basement walls is not a difficult job, but it is time consuming. If you have serious problems with moisture, such as standing water in your basement, leave the sealing job to a professional. If your problems are only occasional and minor, read on!

  1. Clear everything out of the basement and scrub the walls. Read the instructions on the sealant you choose, and if a special cleaner is required before application, use it exactly as directed.
  2. Chip away loose paint, use special cleaners to remove grease stains, and wash away salt deposits with a ten percent solution of muriatic acid. The surface must be as smooth as you can make it!
  3. Repair chips and cracks with a cement filler. It helps if you can chisel the cracks into smooth openings, undercutting them a bit so the outside of the hole is smaller than the inside. This allows more support for the filler. Most fillers need at least a week to dry.
  4. When the filler is dry, sand the area down until it is level with the rest of the wall. Thoroughly vacuum up any dust and debris when the job is done.
  5. Now it's time to apply the sealant! If you choose a liquid sealant, your walls must be completely dry. Powder sealants, on the other hand, require damp walls in order to work properly.
  6. If there are areas around your cement filler or in corners that are a bit rough, don't gloss over them! Use a stiff brush to get the waterproofing sealant into even the toughest areas. You are sure to be glad you performed this step during the next heavy rain!
  7. Take your time in applying the sealant according to the manufacturer's directions--don't miss even the tiniest spot. Let the first coat dry thoroughly, and then apply a second coat. Apply a third if necessary.

When your sealant is dry, it should be good for several years. However, always be on the lookout for signs of moisture. If your sealant doesn't do the trick and water continues to come into your basement, it's time to call a professional contractor to help you with the problem.

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