- How to Seal a Leaking Basement Without Digging
- How to Install Paneling over Cement Walls
- How to Get Rid of Moisture on Block Basement Walls
- How to Prep a Dirt Basement Before Pouring Concrete
- How to Raise a Basement Floor
- How to Calculate Yards of Concrete for a Basement
- How to Treat Basement Walls for Moisture
- How to Install Rigid Foam Insulation on an Interior Concrete Block Wall
- How to Cover Concrete Basement Walls
- How to Install Styrofoam Basement Forms
A wet basement can cause a lot of problems. Excessive moisture buildup may cause mold to appear along the walls. Also, water can cause concrete in the basement to crack. Although there are some drain solutions that can reduce water buildup in the basement, these solutions require digging, which can be time consuming and costly. There are several moisture solutions available that do not require a lot of digging or extra expense that will seal your basement.
Add a sloped leader pipe to the end of your current downspouts for the rain gutters on the home so that they extend 10 feet away from the home foundation.
Tape a large piece of aluminum foil on the wall. Leave it there for a few days. Moisture collecting on the wall side of the aluminum foil means water is coming through the wall. Moisture on the side facing into your basement means the moisture is coming from inside.
Chisel out all cracks in the basement with a chisel and hammer. Clean out the holes with a stiff brush and vacuum.
Mix a bucket of hydraulic cement according to the instructions on the side of the packaging. Press the hydraulic cement into the cracks using a trowel or a gloved hand.
Apply foil tape to all dryer vent joints to prevent moisture from the dryer from entering the basement.
Cover cold water pipes with pipe insulation.
Apply a moisture sealer to the walls of the basement according to the package instructions. Moisture sealer is available from most hardware stores and is applied with a brush.
Prepare the Walls
Make sure the walls are properly sealed. This is perhaps the most important step to successfully installing paneling on concrete walls. If the walls are in the basement, this is even more critical because there is more of a chance they will leak.
Check the outside of the house and channel any water away from the house by digging trenches or putting in drains. Make sure there is nowhere for water to puddle next to the wall.
Clean the interior walls, making sure any mold or mildew is removed.
Paint a specially formulated concrete wall sealer on all walls and let dry for the recommended amount of time.
Attach Furring Strips
Cut the furring strips to fit horizontally along the top and bottom of the wall and attach using concrete screws.
Cut the remaining furring strips to fit vertically between the top and bottom strips at 16-inch intervals. Attach with adhesive.
If you are using insulation, install it in between the vertical furring strips with staples or adhesive according the manufacturer's instructions.
Cut the paneling to size as you go, cutting the larger pieces with the table saw and the smaller cuts, like for electrical sockets, with the jig saw.
Apply the adhesive to the furring strips only on the areas where you will work with immediately.
Nail the paneling into the top furring strip to hold it in place.
Push the paneling up against the adhesive then pull it away for a minute or two to allow the adhesive to become sticky.
Press the paneling firmly into the adhesive. Continue with the rest of the paneling.
When the walls are completely paneled, you can apply corner trim and baseboards with paneling nails or adhesive.
Install the home’s dryer vent in such a way as to allow all of the heat from the unit to go directly outside. Any heat that is directed into the basement can cause condensation to form on the walls.
Remove any wet carpeting, flooring or standing water from the basement floors. The moisture from these can form on the walls, which eventually can lead to mold and mildew problems.
Install gutters and downspouts on the roof. Make sure that the spouts are directed away from the home and are kept clean, as any spouting overflow can make its way into the basement and lead to moisture issues on the walls.
Place desiccant packs, such as silica gel packets, throughout the basement. These packets will soak up any moisture found in the air of the basement, which will reduce moisture on the walls.
Install an exhaust fan in the basement. The fan can be installed by the home’s owner or with assistance of a professional and will draw any moist air out of the basement that can lead to condensation on walls.
Cover any surfaces in the basement, such as metal piping and duct work and the walls themselves with insulation. This will prevent these cool surfaces from forming condensation when exposed to moist air.
Level out the dirt on the basement floor as much as possible with a shovel and a garden rake. Scrape off the surface of high areas and fill in the low areas. Work right up to the edge of the walls for a straight surface.
Bring in 2 to 4 inches of gravel or sand to top off the dirt, forming a surface that it easier to level. Check with your local building codes to see what the requirements are for your area. Drag a 2-by-4 over the layer to level it out.
Cover the aggregate with a sheet of the 6mm or thicker polyethylene to form a moisture barrier between the ground and the concrete slab. The sheets must overlap by 6 inches at all the seams and at the edges.
Space the No. 4 reinforcement bars every 18 inches across the floor to add extra rigidity to the slab and reduce the chance of cracking over time.
Thoroughly clean the basement floor by sweeping and vacuuming with a shop vac.
Lay the 6 mil thick plastic on the basement floor. The plastic should also go up the walls by about 4 to 6 inches. Use construction adhesive to adhere the plastic to the foundation walls. If it is necessary to piece together enough plastic to fit the room, secure the seams with construction adhesive.
Install pressure-treated 2-by-4 lumber on their wide, flat side around the perimeter of the room. Secure them to the concrete floor using a powder actuated nail gun.
Lay out the pressure-treated 2-by-4 lumber with the larger side face down on the concrete. Space the 2 by 4's 16 inches apart on center. This means that it should measure exactly 16 inches from the center of one 2 by 4 to the center of the next 2 by 4. Use shims under any boards where the concrete floor is lower than the surrounding area. Periodically use a carpenter's level to ensure that the grid of 2-by-4 lumber is level.
Install rigid foam insulation between the 2 by 4's.
Install oriented strand board as your new, higher basement floor. Attach the OSB to the 2 by 4's using the nail gun.
Measure the length of all the footings required for the basement project. Footings are the poured concrete base of the basement and ultimately the house. Measure the width of the footings, in inches, and the depth of the footings, also in inches. The width will be consistent as the distance between the forms. The depth will vary depending on the excavation. Average the depths of the forms. Multiply the length of the footings, in inches, times the width. Multiply the product of this by the average depth, also in inches, to determine the total cubic inches of concrete necessary for the footings. Divide this by 46,656, the number of cubic inches in a cubic yard for the number of yards of concrete necessary for the footings.
Calculate the yards of concrete necessary for the concrete basement floor. Multiply the width of the floor, in inches, times the length of the floor. Multiply this by the thickness of the planned slab. Divide the total cubic inches of the floor slab by 46,656 to determine the yards of cement needed to pour a concrete basement floor.
Calculate the amount of concrete necessary for the walls, if necessary. This step isn't performed if block or treated lumber walls will be used in the basement. Measure the total length of basement walls, in inches. Multiply this times the planned height of the walls, also in inches. Multiply that answer by the width of the concrete walls. Divide the total by 46,656 to determine the yards of concrete necessary for concrete walls.
Clean the basement walls. Remove any loose or cracked paint. Scrape down the wall with a wire brush to clear debris away from cracks or holes in the wall.
Vacuum the entire wall with a wet/dry vacuum. This will remove dirt and dust, as well as excess moisture, from the wall. You want the wall to be as dry as possible when treating against moisture.
Inspect the surface for efflorescence, a white powdery substance that forms when water leaks through the walls. If you find any, scrub the area with a scrub brush and masonry cleaner or a diluted mixture of muriatic acid. Rinse the wall well and vacuum again to remove cleaning solution and moisture.
Mix a concrete patch or hydraulic cement with water per specific product details. Fill in any cracks or holes in the basement wall with a trowel or putty knife. Allow the patchwork to dry completely before continuing.
Seal the walls with masonry sealer. Follow specific product instructions regarding necessary dilution or priming, if there is any. Coat the walls with sealant using a paintbrush or paint roller. These sealants work into the pores of the basement walls and provide a barrier to water.
Wash any dirt off of the walls with a power washer. Allow the walls to dry for 24 hours.
Cut the first foam board insulation panel to fit onto the wall by scoring a cut line in the board. Do this by running a utility knife against a straightedge. The first row of boards will be stacked vertically so keep this in mind as you make the necessary cuts.
Cover the back of the first board with Styrofoam adhesive.
Push the panel firmly against the wall in the corner. Install the board vertically.
Install panels along the rest of the wall, repeating the process for installing the first panel.
Add a second row of boards on top of the first row if necessary. Lay the boards in the second row horizontally, positioning them so that the vertical joints between the boards in the second row are staggered with the vertical joints in the first row.
Apply installation tape over the seam joints where the boards meet.
Clean the basement walls with a good degreasing cleanser. Rinse them thoroughly and allow them to dry completely 24 to 48 hours.
Lightly sand rough or uneven areas on the walls and rinse away the resulting dust. Fill cracks with siliconized latex caulk and any larger damaged areas with vinyl concrete patch. Wait 48 hours while the walls and the repairs dry.
Use a long-handled paint roller to apply a thin coat of concrete bonding agent over the first wall. Allow the bonding agent to rest for about three minutes so that it becomes tacky. Trowel on about 3/8-inch thick layer of the new concrete over the bonding agent.
Apply bonding agent to the rest of the walls, one at a time, and skim coat each one with fresh concrete. Move back to the first wall. Trowel on a second, slightly thicker layer of the prepared concrete.
Smooth the surface of the new concrete with the face of the metal trowel. Continue applying concrete to the rest of the walls, working in the same order in which you bonded and skim coated them. Allow the concrete to cure for five days.
Stack the Styrofoam basement forms into the shape of an exterior basement wall. This structure is stronger than traditional wood framing.
Reinforce the Styrofoam forms with steel rebar. The forms come with rebar already attached to the side walls. You must place rebar rods that run through the blocks vertically.
Leave open space for any doors and windows.
Wedge 2-by-4 boards up against the Styrofoam blocks to provide support braces before pouring. You will need a scaffold for higher wall construction.
Pour concrete into the Styrofoam block forms until they are filled. Use a concrete mixer truck with a pour spout. Once the concrete is cured, remove the scaffold and the bracing.