Ultimate DIY Guide to Exterior Basement Foundation Waterproofing

Or How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Water damage in your basement? Cracks in your block wall? Lack of social weekend social engagements? With a bit of planning, a modest amount of money for materials, and a whole lot of time and labor, you too can excavate, dampproof, waterproof, insulate, and backfill your foundation.

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Stop the Draft by Air Sealing your Baseboards

My 1961 bi-level home has all original hardwood flooring on the top-level. Where the floorboards meet the wall they’re covered by baseboard and quarter round, which in some instances masks a board that’s just a little too short. It’s within these gaps that outside air infiltrates the house.

The air that sneaks in creates a draft and in our house it’s most pronounced in the rooms directly above the garage. It’s here where I began pulling the quarter round from the baseboard. In doing so I confirmed the gaps that were allowing outdoor air into the house.

With the culprit in sight it was then time to remove the rest of the quarter round and fill in those gaps!

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Fill the Gap Between a Concrete Patio and House

We’ve noticed water damage in our sunroom, which is bordered on one side by our concrete patio. After a quick investigation we believe that water has entered the gap between the patio and the foundation. If we’re right then that hopefully accounts for the water damage.

The gap in question was previously filled with either fiberboard or concrete crack sealant, but enough of it has deteriorated to conceivably allow moisture in.

To remedy this issue I installed backer rod in the gap that I then covered with concrete crack sealant. This will hopefully be the fix that keeps that wall of the sunroom nice and dry.

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Part VI: Insulate and Air Seal your Attic Hatch for Energy Savings

Of the many prerequisite tasks to adding blown-in insulation to an attic, perhaps one of the most important is having an air tight and well insulated hatch to limit air infiltration.

What follows are the steps I took to increase the insulation and ensure a good seal between the unconditioned attic above and the conditioned room below.

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Replace your Door’s Weatherstrip to Keep the Elements Outside

The bottom seal on our external sunroom door had been slowly pulling apart for the past year. This was allowing small bugs and the occasional water to enter into our sunroom. It was also unsightly with the tangled rubber strips laying about the floor. Something had to be done!

The (pretty easy) fix was to replace the door bottom with a new seal so that the weatherstrip would again sit flush with the threshold. No longer would insects and worms have easy entry to the sunroom. Also the bottom of the door looks a lot better too.

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