Do you suspect that there is excessive moisture in your basement, including your basement walls? This issue is not something you want to ignore because your basement walls and floor are part of your foundation and water in this area of the house could lead to expensive foundation repairs in some cases. The following article takes a closer look at this important topic.
If you notice that large areas of your basement walls are moist, then conduct the following test to see if the water is coming from the inside of the house or the exterior. Dry off a small section of wall and then tape a piece of aluminum foil over that spot. Leave the foil on the wall for 24 hours and take it off and inspect the side of the foil that touched the wall. If that side of the aluminum foil is dry, then the excessive moisture on the walls is probably condensation, which is usually not too serious. If it is wet, this indicates that the water is originating from the exterior of the some and penetrating the basement walls, generally a more serious problem. If you perform this test and it shows that the moisture is coming for the exterior, it's a good idea to have a foundation repair expert inspect your basement.
Small cracks in your basement walls that are allowing moisture into the space can often be sealed with hydraulic cement, which you can purchase at your local home improvement store. Mix the product with water according to the directions on the label. Work the mixture into the crack with gloved hands or a putty knife. Remove the excess hydraulic cement with the putty knife. A key point to remember is that hydraulic cement sets quickly, so do not mix more of the product than you can use in two or three minutes.
Another way to keep water from the exterior of the home from entering your basement, if the issue is not too serious, is to apply a waterproof sealant to the walls. A note of caution: do not apply the sealant over painted basement walls, as this product is meant to be applied to bare masonry.
If you have severe basement water problems, which are often indicated by a long horizontal crack in your basement walls, a do-it-yourself fix is not possible. For serious issues, talk with a basement foundation repair professional as soon as possible.