Fall and winter can bring dampness and moisture to your home. Protecting your home from moisture is critical to protecting foundations and any personal belongings you have stored. So how can you make sure your home is moisture proof as the seasons change? Two ways are through waterproofing your wood and sealing your basements. Both of these can be do-it-yourself projects.
More than half of US homes have an issue with moisture in their basements. Some common causes of moisture in the basement include condensation, runoff, and leaks. The most important thing to do is identify any sources of moisture problems you may have in your basement. You can often tell there is an issue by the presence of a persistent musty odor. Moisture commonly gets into basements by condensation, runoff, and leaks. Once you have identified the source of any problems, get them corrected immediately! Once all the issues have been repaired, you can apply your sealant. Sealants coat basement walls and floors for quick waterproofing that can also be decorated! You may need to apply more than 1 coat depending on the size and condition of your walls and floors.
Wood is one of the most common building materials in the world. By not protecting your wood you are leaving your home open for damage from both moisture and pests like termites. So how should you waterproof your wood? That all depends on whether or not the wood is inside or outside and whether it is dark grained or light grained.
There are 3 common methods to waterproofing wood. Hand rubbed oils or stains are most commonly used on dark grained woods like mahogany and walnut. These stains are rubbed on by hand so they can take longer to apply than others. They can also leave behind a sticky residue. You can combine the oil with other products to make them dry quicker or to get rid of the sticky residue. You can also buy them pre-blended or mix your own if you’re feeling more creative.
Sealants are a second method of waterproofing wood. The most common sealant types are varnish, lacquer, and polyurethane. All of these sealants have waterproofing properties. They are applied by spraying or brushing so they are much easier to install than traditional stains. They do, however, contain dangerous fumes and so require ventilation when they are being installed.
A third method of waterproofing combines the first two in a stain/sealant combo. These products are good for larger projects like wood decks. By combining a stain and a sealant, you can add color to your wood while also waterproofing it in one easy step. These products need to be reapplied every 1 to 2 years for continued protection.