What is the best waterproofing paint for basements? Should you use one in your unit? We will be discussing these issues today.
At some point or the other, homeowners would have had to deal with moisture problems in their basements.
Waterproofing Paint For Basement
Leaking pipes and groundwater can cause water seepages through your basement walls, ceilings, and floor. And this has to be attended to before the situation gets worse.
When the surfaces in your basement absorb and store water, it will promote the growth of mold, mildew, and efflorescence. Besides making your surfaces look terrible, mold can also cause severe health problems.
Thankfully, you can use waterproof basement paint to help ease the problem. And in this article, we’ll be discussing what they are, and how to use them.
What Is A Basement Sealer Paint?
Basement waterproofing paints aren’t the regular wall paints, as they are made specially to prevent water from passing through the pores in your concrete from one end to the other.
They are thicker than regular paint, and they contain extra additives that go deep and fill up the pores in your concrete, which creates a barrier that prevents water from seeping through. They also protect your basement interior from vapor.
There are many brands of water sealant paint for basements to choose from, and they can be bought from most home improvement stores.
There’s more good news, you can use basement floor waterproofing paint on the concrete walls too, so you won’t need to buy extras.
Advantages Of Using Basement Waterproofing Paints
While basement sealing paints don’t entirely solve the water problem, they can help keep it under control.
Below are some of the advantages of using them.
It can reduce musty smells: If there is mold growth within the pores of your concrete walls, then it will surely produce a musty smell. Remember, the mold doesn’t have to grow on the surface of the wall before you perceive the smell.
Waterproofing paints have the ability to go deep into the pores of concrete walls and dry inside. This will help conceal the musty smell coming from within.
It can limit mold growth: When the waterproofing paint penetrates the pores of your concrete surfaces, it blocks off moisture, and by doing so making the environment unconducive for mold to grow.
It can reduce humidity: During the hot summer seasons, outdoor moisture can easily be transferred into your basement through the walls. However, using waterproofing paint can stop that from happening.
This too will help prevent mold growth and the musty smell that comes with it.
It keeps the surface of your basement walls looking clean: Water seeping through your basement walls can leave unpleasant marks behind. Since waterproofing paints stop moisture from passing through to the inner surface of your basement walls, it helps to retain its beautiful looks.
It is cheap: This has to be one of the biggest advantages of using waterproofing paints. It is cheap and easy to find.
You can walk into any home improvement store around your neighborhood and buy one. You can also apply the paint yourself without the help of a professional.
Disadvantages Of Using Basement Waterproofing Paints
Is it ok to paint basements?
As helpful as waterproofing paints may be, they aren’t perfect and have their fair share of downsides.
Let’s take a look at them one by one.
It is not the ultimate waterproofing solution: If you’re serious about keeping moisture out of your basement, then waterproofing paint isn’t the ultimate solution.
It can indeed help keep moisture out, but you still need to take extra measures to be sure your basement is 100% moisture-free.
Professional waterproofers are fond of calling waterproofing paints a misleading product. This is because some homeowners assume that once they’ve applied the paint on their walls and floors, that the moisture problem is automatically solved.
Professionals advise that you seal your foundation so that water doesn’t even come close to your foundation in the first place. They also advise that you install good drainage systems that will guide water away from the foundation.
Basically, waterproofing paints only act as a barrier that keeps water from passing through from one side of the wall to the other, but it doesn’t stop the moisture from entering the wall in the first place.
It causes flaking: One of the major downsides to using waterproofing paints is that they can flake and peel off later on. This is more common when there is a significant amount of water seeping through the walls.
Flaking paint isn’t what you would enjoy looking at on the surface of your basement walls.
This further goes to prove that waterproofing paints aren’t exactly a “waterproofing” solution, they are more of water-resistant materials.
It can increase wall pressure: Several wall materials can increase wall pressure when they contain water. Waterproofing paint is one of such materials, as it creates bubbles that hold water pressure in a single place.
This can potentially damage your home, and that’s a bad look if you’re planning on selling.
Should I Use Waterproof Paint?
Considering all the advantages waterproofing paint has, you would agree that applying it to your basement walls isn’t a bad idea. However, it does have some cons.
That being said, you can use waterproofing paint if you wish, just keep it at the back of your mind that it isn’t an all-in-one solution, and must be used alongside other waterproofing measures for best results.
How To Apply Waterproof Paint
If you have made up your mind that waterproofing paint is what you need, then you can either apply it yourself or hire a painter to do it for you.
Although the latter will cost you a decent amount of money. However, if you decide to do the painting yourself, you’d be saving yourself some money. And why not? Painting isn’t a difficult task at all.
If you’ve never painted before, then follow the tips below to get started.
Step 1: Remove Excess Mortar
Just like other paints, waterproofing paints also require a clean, smooth surface so they can adhere properly. This is why you need to ensure that all loose mortar has been removed before you begin the application.
Grab your stiff brush and chip away any chunks of mortar that seem to be loose or crumbling of the concrete. You can then use the hose attachment on the vacuum to run across the mortar lines.
The vacuum’s suction will help you get rid of the smaller pieces which you may have previously missed.
Step 2: Patching
The purpose of applying waterproof paint on a surface is to keep water from seeping through from one end to the other. This can only be possible if the paint is applied evenly across a smooth surface.
If there are patches on the surface, then you wouldn’t be able to achieve your aim. For this reason, ensure that you patch up any gaps on the surface before you begin to apply the paint.
You can mix small amounts of mortar and use it to fill up the holes on the surface until the plane is leveled. The amount of mortar you will need depends on the amount and size of holes you are dealing with.
Be sure to mix the adequate amount, but in small batches, just so it doesn’t dry out before you need to apply.
After you have patched up the holes with the mortar, use a trowel to scrape off the excesses, then leave it to cure completely.
If you want the mortar to dry faster, then you can use a hairdryer to speed up the process.
Step 3: Remove the Moisture
Moisture is the last thing you need when applying waterproof paint. For the paint to adhere properly, you will need to have a dry surface.
You can use a dehumidifier to achieve this. Run it for a few days before you paint until all the moisture is gone from the air and surface you plan to paint on.
If you are painting on the outside of the basement, be sure to use a primer before you apply your waterproof paint.
Step 4: Begin painting
Now that the surface has been prepared, you can begin applying the waterproof paint. A quick reminder – Always use painter’s tape on the edges before painting to avoid getting paint over unwanted areas.
Applying waterproofing paint is just the same as applying regular paint – Dip your roller in the paint and apply as necessary over the surface until you have a smooth finish.
You can use a paintbrush afterward to go over the areas where the roller might have missed. It would be wise to apply a second layer of the waterproof paint, and possibly a third.
Basement waterproofing paints can help protect the surface of your wall from being affected by water, but that doesn’t make it the ultimate waterproofing solution.
Professional waterproofers advise that you only use waterproofing paints as a backup option, which must be supported by other waterproofing approaches for best results.
I hope this article has been informative. Thanks for reading!