Basement Waterproofing with Polyurethane

Answered by Brendan ~ July 22, 2010 ~ No Comments

In our Washington, D.C., neighborhood, the basements were originally treated for moisture with bituminous asphalt. I've read that polyurethane is the right product to use now. I'll need a few coats of painting to do the basement right. Do people still use asphalt?

Karl W. ~ Washington, D.C.

Brendan Fowler

There may be some contractors out there that still use asphalt, but asphalt has almost entirely been replaced with newer waterproofing technologies. The problem with asphalt has been its tendency to lose its elasticity over time and become brittle and crack. One you have a cracked or brittle waterproof membrane, the likelihood of a leak increases dramatically. There are still bituminous membranes out there and they are extremely effective, but they are not intended be an interior finish surface. A paint-on polyurethane product should work great for you, unless you have a serious water problem in your basement, i.e. water is getting through open cracks in the foundation. In this case you will need more than a paint-on solution to stop the water. Good Luck!

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