How to Seal Damp Basement Walls

Many homeowners have dark, damp basements that resemble dungeons, except for the washers and dryers. While many people think it's normal to have a damp basement, ignoring such a situation could leave you with an even bigger problem over time. A damp problem can create an environment conducive to mold growth or mask a water leak that can compromise the integrity of your foundation. Sealing damp basement walls keeps the moisture out of this area of your home and creates a barrier, preventing water from penetrating through.

Waterproof paint will be a key material in sealing your basement walls.

Vacuum and dust the basement thoroughly. Rent a dehumidifier and run it in your basement. Allow the dehumidifier to complete several cycles. Allow it to run for at least two full days, or even longer, if you have an especially damp basement.

Put on goggles and a dust mask, and scrape off any loose or crackling paint from the your basement walls. Pour a waterproofing paint into a paint roller pan. The waterproofing paint should be the same type as the paint you just scraped off. For example, if the paint you scraped off was latex-based, your waterproofing paint should also be latex-based.

Apply the waterproofing paint with even, bold strokes. Allow the paint to air-dry for at least a full 24 hours. Apply a second coat, allowing it a full day to dry as well. These two coats will ensure that your basement walls are properly sealed.

Things You Will Need

  • Vacuum
  • Dehumidifier
  • Dust mask
  • Goggles
  • Paint scraper
  • Paint roller pan
  • Waterproof paint
  • Paint roller

About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."

Photo Credits

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