Any homeowner fears the term “wet basement,” and according to the American Society of Home Inspectors, more than 1/2 the homes have this issue. Groundwater swelling, condensation, runoff, are among the leading causes of the problem, and solutions (depending on the cause) can range from using a dehumidifier to installing drain systems around the home’s perimeter. Dampness or a musty odor in the basement, can be a tell tale sign that damage might be soon following.

What to Consider:

You never want to ignore a constant/persistent smell, in addition to this:

  • Find out the causes behind the problem in your home.
  • Before attempting to DIY the issue, seek out guidance from licensed professionals.
  • Check your local municipality for changes in water tables.

Condensation occurs when moist air, hits the cool, dry walls and foundation; if you notice wet spots on walls, this might be a sign of condensation forming. A simple test to check it is to apply tape on a damp area and sealing it for a few days, if moisture appears, it is a leak, if moisture is on the exterior it is condensation.

If you allow the condensation to persist it can cause major damage to your home. A dehumidifier, or keeping the windows open, might be the ideal solution if this problem persists, and can save you a great deal of money and headaches into the future.


Melted snow or rain water is the most common cause of this problem. Hydrostatic pressure forces water through the cracks causing damage; you can avoid this by checking for slopes around the home’s perimeter. Make sure no pooling is occurring around the perimeter of your home. Mold and algae growth can occur if this problem isn’t immediately taken care of.

Groundwater swelling:  

When the water table exceeds its high point, this is when swelling occurs. Since the soil around your home can’t hold the extra water it runs off. If your basement is wet because of this, it can cause bubbling on the walls, and damage to the flooring and foundation of your home. Many homes don’t have the protection for this high table, and to install it is very costly. But it is going to be cheaper than having to deal with repairs in the future.

How to combat a wet basement:

Whether used as a storage space or extra room, you have to make sure your basement is properly sealed and protected to avoid structural damage to your home. There are plenty solutions for dealing with a wet basement. The first being to determine the problem you are dealing with. You will next check the grounding, check for pooling, or other areas of concern around the home’s perimeter. Fix the problems as you encounter them. Fix leaks, fill cracks, repair damaged cement; don’t let these problems pile up as they will require more work into the future, and are going to end up costing you more money to do the repair work in the future, as opposed to doing the work as you encounter the issues.

Concrete sealer application:

You can find sealers to coat basement walls and floors and offer a quick and simple waterproofing solution. Manufacturer guidelines on the bottle will tell you how to apply them, and the process is typically quick and simple. You can even apply them to damp surfaces but make sure you first remove any standing water or pooling water you notice prior to applying the sealer.

Polyurethane Membrane: 

This is an epoxy coating which is an alternative to the sealer. It will hold water back but you might have to install a sump pump in order to hold water back and prevent any pooling or condensation issues in the area you apply this membrane to. It is important to ensure you measure the entire area to which you plan on applying this membrane to, in order to ensure you coat the entire perimeter, and to ensure water will not seep in through the sides. Once measured, you will apply it to the area in the basement you are going to seal or coat, in the manner described on the manufacturer’s label. Installation is quick and easy, and typically provides a solution to the “wet” basement problem homeowner’s want to prevent.

Rainbow Waterproofing has been serving NY and Long Island since 1987.  Give us a call today at 631-473-3707 for your Free Estimate.