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Question DetailsAsked on 8/27/2012

If there isn't a vapor barrier under the concrete basement floor, should the concrete be sealed?

We had moisture in basement & discovered the builder did not put visquene under the basement floor. I have been told we need to seal the concrete and also told not to seal the concrete. House is 14 years old. No water, just moisture in the carpet.

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3 Answers


As a former basement water control contractor (inaccurately called waterproofing) my answer is probably not your first responce. I reccoment you purchase a dehumidifier. Consumer Reports (available at your library) has done some recent and old studies of moisture removal so go to them for the model to buy. IF the easy solution doesn't work most will find water is coming in thru the cold joint of the floor or thru the wall as seepage. Start on the outside as well, See articles on my website for gutter leaders, they are essential to control surface water an utimately foundation or floor leakage.

Jim Casper

former President of Central States & B Dry Waterproofing


Answered 8 years ago by jccasper


Angie's List has also published quite a bit about dealing with basement water issues. Here are some of our stories on the topic:

Answered 8 years ago by Member Services


You can also see a lot more suggestions and checklists of how to stop the water before it gets to your basement in the Home > Basement Waterproofing link in Browse Projects, at lower left.

Jim's suggestion is good, but I would personally go a step further with initial water removal before going to energy-consumptive dehumidifier, especially if csarpet is damp because that will not reduce much with a dehumidifier- the same moisture will still be coming through the carpet and dampening the padding at least, even if the dehumidifier dries out the carpet surface. Why risk mildew in the carpet.

Unless you intend to put down a tile/stone or glue-on flooring, or an paint or epoxy or urethane type coating on the floor (which willnot stick to a sealer), then I see no reason not to seal it. Will also reduce dusting and staining if left as bare concrete. Not tough to DIY. Also, at the perimeter joint (if not hidden under a wall), I would clean it out good and seal it with a long-life good brand concrete caulk from Dow, Loctite, DAP or M-D say - comes in regular caulk tubes so easy to apply, and will eliminate minor moisture coming up along the joint, though not true "flows" of water.

If you don't seal, you could at least spread 6 mil or heavier visqueen (polyethylene sheeting) under the carpet - not tough to peel back carpet and underlayment if not glued down. Be sure to seal sheeting seams with waterproof vapor barrier tape. Comes in 6, 10 and 20' wide rolls x 100 feet long, at about 7-10¢/SF.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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