How do I get Rid of Basement Seepage?

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  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2019
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In order to get rid of basement seepage, you will need to perform an inspection of your basement and the area surrounding your home. Begin by examining all gutters and downspouts to make sure they are diverting water away from your home. Next, determine if the moisture problem is being caused by seepage or condensation. This can be determined by performing a simple test inside your basement. If you determine that the moisture problem is being caused by seepage, you will need to apply a waterproof sealant to the floor and interior walls of your basement.

Condensation that occurs on interior walls is often mistaken for basement seepage. The easiest way to determine if seepage or condensation is occurring is to tape a square sheet of aluminum foil to the wall where moisture is usually present. Make sure that the edges of the foil are tightly sealed and leave it in place for a few days. When you remove the foil from the wall, check both sides for moisture. If the side facing the wall is wet, basement seepage is occurring.


When choosing a sealant, it is important to understand the difference between a water-repellent coating and a waterproof sealer. A water-repellent coating is used for above ground, exterior applications to keep masonry from becoming saturated with moisture. It is not designed to prevent basement seepage and is inappropriate this purpose. A waterproof sealer, on the other hand, is designed to form a barrier against moisture entering the basement from the outside of walls and floor. The barrier formed by a waterproof sealant can be the most effective way to get rid of basement seepage.

Before you begin applying the sealer, you will need to decide on the type needed for your basement. If the walls and floor of your basement are made of cement, you should use a fiberglass type sealant that will penetrate holes and cracks for maximum protection. Walls or floors constructed of brick require a sealer that allows the material to breathe while keeping moisture out at the same time. Be sure to sand or scrape painted walls and repair any large cracks with joint filler before applying. You may want to spot-prime repaired areas with sealer prior to applying the final coat.

After you have prepared the surfaces, you can begin applying the sealant. A roller may be used for broad areas, but a brush will be needed for corners and joints to achieve the best level of protection. Be sure to follow the sealant manufacturer’s instructions to avoid spreading the product too thin. Some surfaces may require a second coat to provide maximum protection. Remember to supply plenty of fresh air to the basement while you are applying the sealant.


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Post 3

Sometimes basement seepage is just due to an old pipe that's leaking and requires changing. It's a common problem in older homes. Sometimes homeowners are not aware of all the pipes and a seepage in one area may be due to a leaky pipe in another. When there is seepage, the first step should always be to check the pipes.

Post 2

@SteamLouis-- It does sound like the cavities are causing the condensation. When air and moisture enters those cavities, condensation occurs due to the different in temperature and humidity inside the basement and outside.

You could have the cavities filled in with foam insulation or some other material. Or you could have insulation applied to the walls to prevent condensation. It might be a good idea to have an expert take a look and give you advice for the best treatment that will solve the problem indefinitely. I feel like ignoring those cavities and simply applying materials to the walls may not be a good idea.

Post 1

We have a condensation problem in our basement. We did the aluminum foil test and yes, there was moisture/water on the side facing the wall. So what do we do now? We think the issue is the cavities in the wall. We had a insect terminator inspect the house a few years ago and he told us that there were many cavities.

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