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Question DetailsAsked on 10/30/2014

Waterproofing a basement prior to finishing it.

We are purchasing a house that has a full, unfinished basement that currently has no sump pump in it. This basement has not had much, if any flooding in the last 30 years or so, save for a leak that popped up recently in one corner that was fixed by Permaseal. As soon as we move in we are going to have the basement completely finished off so we have additional space and I cant decide if I should do anything prior to having it done. Everything ive found usually references existing leaks or flooding of which I have none.


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You can find lots of discussions about basement waterproofing issues in the Home > Basement Waterproofing link in Browse Projects at lower left.

If you have no known issues, and no significant moisture vapor issues from the foundation or slab during the wet season, then you are a rare lucky person. My recommendation, though it takes up a bit more space and costs a shade more, is to coat the foundation with a modified cementatious sealer like Thoroseal, then have the walls built with non-rotting plastic or rustproof spacers on the foundation side of the wall studs to hold them 1/4" or so from the foundation so the wall does not get wet if water does come through the wall, then have bottom wall plate (bottom 2x4) made of ground-contact pressure-treated wood with drainage kerfs cut in the bottom to drain any water behind the wall, and retreated on all surface (after kerfing) with copper napthenate/ napthelate solution before use so if any water does get at the base of the wall it is not going to rot easily.

A cheaper but less effective waterproofing (vapor retarder) method is waterproofing paint for the foundation wall.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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