Water enters into a basement through the pores of the concrete and through concrete cracks. To waterproof a basement and stop seepage issues, you need to use the appropriate repair and sealing materials.
Step 1: Repair Cracks
The first step to sealing a basement is to repair any and all cracks:
Wall cracks - For cracks that are actively leaking or have let in water, consider a hydrophobic polyurethane injection grout like the Armor HPI repair kit. For cracks that have never leaked but are in need of structural repair, consider an epoxy injection kit.
Floor cracks - For cracks that are actively leaking or have let in water, consider a hydrophobic polyurethane injection grout like the Armor HPI repair kit. For floor cracks that are not wet or actively leaking, you want to use a urethane injection kit like the Armor FS90 or Armor JFX35.
Coveseam cracks (where the floor meets the walls) - For coveseams that are actively leaking or have let in water, consider a hydrophobic polyurethane injection grout like the Armor HPI repair kit. For coveseam cracks that are not wet or actively leaking, you want to use the Armor JFX35.
Cracks around doors and windows - For cracks around doors and windows you can use a silicone based repair material, or a product like the Armor JFX35.
Cracks and openings around tie rods and pipe penetrations - For cracks around tie rods and pipe penetrations you want to use a silicone based repair material, or a product like the Armor JFX35.
Step 2: Use a Sealer
There are two sealers that can be used to seal basement walls and floors:
Armor S2000: The Armor S2000 penetrates into the concrete and chemically reacts to form a permanent crystalline barrier within the pores. It is designed to increase the strength and density of the concrete. By increasing the density, the movement of water and moisture through the pores of the concrete is reduces. The size of the CSH structure formed from the application of the S2000 isn't predictable because it is dependent on several factors including the amount of free lime and calcium present in the concrete, the size of the pores, the presence of water and moisture during the time of application, the amount of S2000 applied and how the S2000 was applied. While 2 coats of the S2000 are typical for preventing moisture, more coats may be required for basements with exising water or mositure issues.
Armor SX5000: The Armor SX5000 is a penetrating water repellent designed to stop the absorption of water through a concrete surface. While its primary use is as a water repellent, it can also be used to reduce the movement of moisture through the pores. In ideal circumstances, the Armor SX5000 can reduce anywhere from 1-10 lbs of moisture in two coats.
The Armor S2000 and Armor SX5000 can be used as part of a system. The S2000 should be applied first and the SX5000 next, 5-7 days later. The S2000 will reduce the size of the pores, helping with the movement of water and the SX5000 will repel moisture where the S2000 can't.
The S2000 can take up to 90 days to react and the SX5000 can take up to 7 days. How much moisture can be reduced by using this system can't be controlled or predicted. If you have severe water or moisture issues, a sealer may not be the answer. Some situations can only be fixed by resolving issues with drainage, construction, or other barrier systems.
If you have Radon it is important to understand that while sealers may slightly reduce Radon, they are incapable of stopping Radon. Radon is a gas that can penetrate most any material. The only safe way to reduce Radon is with a Radon mitigation system. Do not fall for false product claims or warranties on manufacturer websites. Radon is a gas and the mitigation of Radon should be taken seriously.
Basement Floor Coatings
If you are looking to enhance the appearance of your concrete floor or wall, Foundation Armor manufactures several products that can be used. Why use a coating instead of a paint? Coatings will last longer and perform better than a paint.
Armor UTN60: Chemical, acid, oil and gas, stain and scratch resistant coating for poured concrete floors.
Armor AE Fusion: Water based epoxy infused acrylic coating for concrete floors and walls. Offers the durability and life of an epoxy with the look of an acrylic. Easy to apply, long lasting.
Armor Epoxy System: 2-Part water based epoxy coating system that can reduce moisture down to as low as 3 LBS.