I am wanting to insulate my basement walls. I do from time to time have moisture that seeps thru some cracks. What are the recommended steps and products of choice? I plan on finishing out the basement in the future.
The best bet for controlling basement moisture is always to fix it from outside. The down-side to this is that it can be difficult and expensive to dig out and seal a foundation. But, there are a few other things you can do:
1. Check all your gutters and downspouts. Make sure that all are clear and running in the right direction without cloging or holding water in low spots. Extend downspouts so that they direct water at least 10' from your foundation
2. Seal thru-wall areas like water line supply.
3. Look for other trouble areas - like concrete walkways or patios that may have settled so that they slope towards the house. Not an easy fix for this but must be fixed if it's directing water towards your foundation.
4. After the above, then seal the foundation from the inside with a capillary action type interior waterproofer.
5. A good test would be that once you have done some combination of the above is to leave the basement exposed and wait for a good rainstorm. If the walls remain dry then you are likely OK to finish off the basement. However, if there is any water or moisture present then adding interior walls will only cover up the problem.
One method we have used to avoid dampness being trapped behind finished walls is to frame the basement walls with a small space between the foundation wall and the new framed wall. Then, we'll install a dehumidifier in a closet that draws it's air from this behind-the-wall cavity. This keeps the foundation dry and will cover any slight moisture that may enter this area. It is not good enough for an active water leak though.
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