A damp, cold basement is uninviting and a breeding ground for deadly mold and mildew. Waterproofing your basement is not a difficult project. By using the product Drylok, you can eliminate water-related issues and help make the space warm and inviting. Drylok is easily applied with a paint brush and a few supplies. Your basement will then be sealed and ready for entertaining, living and storage.
Before beginning your Drylok waterproofing project, gather your materials and supplies. You don't want to have to stop and find a paint pan or brush. It is best to gather needed supplies at least a day before starting the project. Make sure you have enough gallons of Drylok to cover the walls you want to protect. You will need at least two stiff bristle paint brushes, a paint pan and a wooden paint stick for stirring the chemical. Don't forget the proper protection for yourself—eyes goggles, nose mask, safety goggles, rubber gloves, proper shoes or boots and some long sleeves.
Prepping the walls of your basement is the key for a good application of the Drylok chemical. You don't want to skip on the preparation stage—you need to make sure any cracks, holes and other openings in the walls of your basement are filled with a concrete crack filler or patch. You will then need to clean the walls with a mixture of all-purpose cleaner and warm water. Use a wire brush to scrub the walls and then wipe them down with a rag or shop towel. If mold is present on the walls, use a bleach and water solution to remove it. Use a paint scraper to remove any pealing paint, if present on the walls, as you are cleaning.
Check to make sure there is no seepage of water coming into your basement at the junction of the wall to the floor. Look for efflorescence, a white powdery deposit that is formed when water-soluble salt compounds are drawn to the surface by water coming into the space. To remove efflorescence, use muriatic acid according to the directions on the container.
Applying Drylok to your basement walls is as easy as applying latex paint to a wall. Just pour the Drylok chemical into a paint pan and brush it on the walls of your basement. Before applying, stir the chemical thoroughly. Make sure you work in sections and if you have someone else to help you, the project will be completed sooner. Drylok can only be applied when the surface temperature outside is 50 degrees F or higher. Make sure you check the weather for the day you plan on applying the chemical. You don't want to do it on a day when rain is possible or a dip in temperature. You want to apply thick layers of Drylok to your basement walls. Don't skimp on applying the chemical. After the first coat of Drylok has dried, it will be dry to the touch, apply a second coat. Make sure you follow the recommended drying time on the Drylok container.
Warnings and Cautions
Make sure you open all doors and windows leading into and out of your basement. Proper ventilation is essential. Wear a nose mask and gloves. Do not purposely inhale the Drylok chemical. If your basement has only one or no windows, you may want to consider purchasing the latex-base Drylok waterproofing chemical. If you start to feel lightheaded, step out of the basement and get some fresh air.
Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.