If you have a leaky basement, you undoubtedly have been in the market for basement sealers. But, making sense of the many different types and brands of basement sealers can be somewhat overwhelming. Determining your personal needs and your long term plans for your basement is beneficial in choosing the best basement sealers for the job.
Identifying the Problem
The first step in choosing from among the many available basement sealers is to identify the source of the basement moisture problem. Most basements begin leaking water within the first 10 to 15 years of being built. In fact, approximately 60% of homes have a wet basement and about 33% have mold and mildew.
This can be caused by condensation or by a crack in the homes foundation. A musty odor is generally the first sign of problems with moisture. Finishing the basement without sealing it only serves to further trap the moisture and encourage mold and mildew to grow.
Silicate Basement Sealers
Silicate basement sealers are meant to penetrate up to 4 inches into concrete. These basement sealers work by reacting with the lime and alkalis in the cement to form a permanent seal. This seal not only eliminates the crack, it strengthens the concrete and helps reduce the amount of cracking that takes place in the future.
Silicate basement sealers seal the concrete against water, water vapor, and even radon gas. They also help reduce the amount of condensation that develops on the concrete and help prevent molds, fungi, and mildew from forming. In addition, a seal created with a silicate basement sealer is capable of withstanding high water pressure from either side.
Silicate basement sealers are ideal for use before painting the concrete. They are even great for curing fresh concrete and for hardening the surface. They can be used indoors and out on surfaces such as stucco, concrete, porous brick, limestone, and cementitious materials. In addition, spilled silicate basement sealers can be washed off easily.
Polysiloxane Blend Basement Sealers
Polysiloxane blend basement sealers bond to the substrate in order to form a water repellent subsurface. While these forms of basement sealers are also water repellent and prevent mold, algae, and mildew from forming, polysiloxane basement sealers are still permeable to vapor and gases and leaves the surface unable to be painted.
In addition, these basement sealers are only able to penetrate up to ¾ inches in concrete. Polysiloxane blend basement sealers are, however, resistant to UV rays and are long lasting.