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How Waterproof Flooring Works

There’s nothing worse than finding that your basement has been flooded following a series of storms or unusual rainfall. People in flood-prone areas may find themselves investing in waterproof flooring to keep out the tides, or at least to keep the overall cost of the damages down. But how does waterproof flooring work? Does it actually keep water out, or does it just protect your floors from water damage?

If you choose waterproof flooring for your basement, you’ll have to consider different personal factors than you would while furnishing other areas of the home. Basements are more prone to moisture, so even if you’re not in a flood-prone area, you may find excess moisture is damaging your structural integrity. Waterproof floors are a good choice for easy basement maintenance.

There are two main options for waterproof flooring: sealed concrete and epoxy paint. Both are affordable and durable options.

Epoxy Paint

Epoxy paint is, as the name implies, a paint. Unlike other paints, though, it dries hard and thick on the surfaces it’s applied to. This provides an increased measure of durability when you maintain your basement floor. Epoxy paint is often used in basements that are used as workshops or recreation areas rather than bedrooms.

The three types of epoxy paint are as follows:

  • 100 percent solid
  • Water-based
  • Solvent-based

The paints also come in a wide range of colors including red, brown, and ivory. This means you have a broad range of color and texture that you might use for your floors.

Sealed Concrete

Most basements are made with a concrete foundation. Whether you’re just building your house or finishing an older basement, you have the option to seal the concrete floor. This places a waterproof coating over the concrete so that water can’t get in. Even if moisture and water do get into the house, you’ll have an easier time draining it and avoiding water damage.

Sealed concrete will keep water from coming up through cracks in the concrete. You’ll use a waterproof sealing paint to do the job. Most of these sealing paints are clear. If you want your floor to have some kind of character, you might stain or dye the concrete before you seal it. This can make the difference between a stylish room and a room that looks like a dungeon.

Other Forms of Basement Waterproofing

If you’re concerned about flood damage or moisture, the floor isn’t the only place that you can waterproof. There are other materials and techniques you can utilize to make your basement safe from water damage. In addition to your floor waterproofing, you might consider the following:

  • Sealing the interior walls
  • Adding drainage
  • Adding waterproof paint to the walls
  • Filling any cracks in the foundation

You should fill any foundation cracks before you attempt any kind of waterproof flooring in your basement. Sealing and waterproofing the walls at the same time is a good idea. If you only waterproof the floor, moisture might still enter the basement through the walls. But if you waterproof the walls, moisture will have a much harder time finding a way to enter.

How Waterproofing Material Works

Both epoxy paint and concrete sealing act in similar ways. The paints and seals both harden into thick coats. Once they’re dry, they cannot be penetrated by water. If moisture gathers on top of them, it hovers on top rather than sinking into the material itself. Sealing paints don’t allow water absorption. This means that you can more easily drain moisture. It also means that your walls and floor won’t incur any water damage.

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