Your most valuable asset is usually your home
One of those threats can be unseen, and the first sign of it may be a puddle in your cellar or a mildew damp smell. Perhaps even mold on your cellar walls. You may have to waterproof cellar which can be quite expensive, but cannot be ignored.
Depending on the severity of the water the costs can range from a few dollars for a tube of spray foam or thousands of dollars for digging out the perimeter of your cellar and putting in drainage.
Lets start off with the cheapest solution first. Should you discover a crack in your cellar wall that is letting in moisture after heavy rains, wait until a dry period and apply a can of spray foam. The instructions are on the can but just make sure that you wear eye protection and gloves.
A lot of us use the cellar for washing and drying clothes. Because there is a lack of airflow in a cellar any drying of clothes can quickly build up condensation which leads to water running down the walls. A dehumidifier will fix the problem and set you back around $250.
If your cellar is below ground level and you discover a larger crack in the cellar floor or walls it can be caused by the water table raising and exerting extreme pressure, thereby causing a crack. You may need to chisel this wider with a concrete chisel. If possible make a v shape when chiseling. When finished make sure the crack is clean and dry then make up some Hydraulic Cement. This is very fast setting so only do in small batches with protective clothing. This product is extremely good as sets like concrete.
When you have more serious leakage you may need to waterproof your cellar with drain tiles. This can be done internally or externally but is best externally. Externally, is not always a practical solution, as you cannot always get access to the sides of your cellar to dig out enough ground to house the drain.
So, your cellar is leaking and you need to attack waterproofing cellar from the inside. If say, two walls are damp you need to jackhammer the concrete floor at the base of those two walls. Take out enough concrete to house a drain tile. The drain tile itself is about 6 inches wide and 6 inches deep so you will have to take out more concrete than that, especially deep, as it needs to sit on a bed of gravel.
I won't go into the working of a drain tile here but they are very effective. Weep holes need to be drilled into the base of the concrete block walls. Water will run down the walls, out the weep holes and into the drain tile. That water will then flow around the wall and out into a sump pump which you will have to install. When the water level in the sump pump gets to a certain height, the pump will come on and pump the water out through piping you will have to install. This piping will go up the cellar wall, out through a point higher than ground level and drain away to somewhere friendly that you prepared outside.
On the next page we will talk about waterproofing your cellar externally.