Basement waterproofing sealers are commonly used to seal pores and capillary tracts of concrete to prevent water from entering. A basement waterproofing sealer is needed anytime a basement is built at ground level or below ground level where ground water can build up in the soil, raise the water table and thus travel through the concrete. The higher the water table the more at risk the basement will be to hydrostatic pressure exerting itself to basement floors and walls. Hydrostatic pressure causes water to travel through cracks, joint openings and pores. Hydrostatic pressure can also cause mold, mildew and other moisture related problems in basements. By using a basement waterproofing sealer that can resist hydrostatic pressure the moisture and water are unable to cause damage to the concrete foundation.
Most Popular Basement Waterproofing Sealers:
Behr Basement & Masonry Waterproofer: This product works great and looks great at first until the first sign of heavy rain. When the product comes into contact with moisture it starts to peel up since it is not a breathable sealer. Thinner consistency than paint but if moisture is present or if the basement is exposed to a high water table the product fails. Readily available at The Home Depot.
Ghostshield 9500: This product is not a waterproofing paint but an invisible sealer that will not peel or delaminate if water is present. Through densification and hydrophobicity the product is able to put an end to water and moisture migration through a cementitious substrate. It is also an economical option since it is concentrated and makes 5 gallons. Readily available at The Home Depot.
UGL DryLok: Product claims to resist 10lbs of hydrostatic pressure with a 10 year warranty. Since this product is latex based is is worse than the Behr product at peeling up when it comes into contact with moisture. It is not breathable and states that it does not help to resist or reduce efflorscence. Readily available at The Home Depot.
Basements are known for water, moisture, mold and mildew problems. Since basement foundations are underground they are usually in close proximity to the water table. This creates a problem since water tends to mitigate towards the walls of the basement; especially during rainy seasons and during springs inevitable snow melting. There are many companies out there that offer basement waterproofing solutions but only a handful that truly live up to their claims. Over the years we have found the best way to prevent basement moisture and water damage is early prevention. By sealing a homes foundation when it is first poured is the best kept secrete when it comes to basement waterproofing.
When looking for a sealer look for a penetrating, waterproofing sealer. Acrylics, epoxies and urethanes will all peel up and will not adhere at the first sign of water. Silicates alone are marketed as waterproofers but do not effectively complete the job. Silicates are known densifiers; however if the sealer is a silicate/siliconate blend you are in luck since the smaller silicate molecule will densify and the larger siliconate molecule will chemically react and waterproof your basement. Silane/Siloxane sealers are excellent choices for basement concrete block and/or cinderblock walls. They are really the only effective solutions for waterproofing basement concrete block and cinderblock walls. And whatever you do, despite their claims, do not use DryLok to waterproof your basement. You will have numerous and countless adhesion problems since DryLok is latex based.