Brick is a strong and durable material. It is also quite attractive and easy to maintain. It is therefore not surprising that many homeowners used brick for their floors in the past. Many people still opt for brick floors in their basements. This is not just for its durability but also for the strong rustic aesthetic it lends to the construction.
If you have an older home with a brick floor in the basement, you may want to consider basement waterproofing as soon as possible. Many older homes were not built with consideration for waterproofing. The brick floor was installed directly on bare ground. This means that your basement is vulnerable to flooding and the effects of water damage.
How to waterproof your basement
- Install a dehumidifier
Moisture damage is one of the most common problems in basements with brick floors. However, it is an easy one to fix. If you spot condensation on the floor of your basement, it is likely that the environment in the basement is humid. You will have to determine whether the moisture is coming from above the basement or below the basement floor. You can do this by applying tinfoil to the surfaces that have moisture on them. Check the foil after a day or two to see which side the moisture has accumulated on.
If the moisture is above the foil, you are dealing with high humidity levels. If it is below the foil, you may be dealing with moisture penetration through that specific surface.
High humidity levels can be controlled by installing a dehumidifier. If the moisture is coming through the ground, you have more work to do.
- Install a vapor barrier
As mentioned earlier, many older homes have brick floors that were installed directly on the bare earth. If this is the case in your basement, your floor will have to be removed and two inches of gravel installed. The vapor barrier can be installed above this before returning the floor.
If there is a concrete subfloor underneath the break, you’re in luck. All that has to be done is to install the vapor barrier above the concrete subfloor then return the brick.
- Deal with sources of water
This is one of the most important parts of basement waterproofing. You will otherwise continue having problems in your basement. Check downspouts and gutters to ensure proper capturing and draining of runoff. Check the slope of the land to ensure proper grading. Clear any trees or bushes growing near the foundation. Have a French drain installed to deal with excess water.