Before finishing the basement, protect your remodeling investment and prevent future costly repairs. Moisture-related problems are the most common complaint of homeowners and elevated radon levels effect one out of five homes. As concrete ages, it becomes more porous, which causes water seepage, condensation, sweating walls, molds and mildew, and musty odors. Covering up the walls and floors traps the moisture. Dehumidifiers increase the migration of moisture through the concrete, speeding up its deterioration. Once the basement is finished, there usually is little alternative to costly exterior repairs to the foundations and concrete.
You can prevent or solve moisture and radon problems with RadonSeal Penetrating Concrete Sealer. It provides basement waterproofing, damp proofing, radon mitigation, and concrete preservation in one easy spray-on treatment. Unlike surface sealers, RadonSeal penetrates deep inside concrete (up to 4") and leaves no surface film that could peel. It seals the pores inside concrete against water, vapor, and radon. RadonSeal also strengthens the concrete against cracking and extends the life of surface paints or tile adhesives. And, most importantly, the results are permanent!
The concrete may be new or the basement may appear dry, but moisture is getting in. Concrete is very porous and lets in soil gas and moisture from the ground. In addition, the pores draw in water from the ground by capillary action like a wick. The average basement absorbs 18 gallons of water each day! It normally evaporates due to good ventilation, higher temperatures, and lower pressure. Water carries chemicals or minerals from inside the concrete and the ground, as well as dissolved radon. The continuous water flow leaches out the concrete and makes it more porous, which increases the intake of moisture.
When you cover the floor and walls, the moisture naturally migrating through the concrete gets trapped. Increased humidity promotes molds, mildew, dust mites, and biological air contaminants, which cause allergies, asthma, or other health problems. A musty smell may develop. Molds thrive in carpeting, upholstered furniture, drywall, and wood. The furnishings have to be discarded and the source of moisture removed.
Extensive waterproofing repairs (costing $5,000 - $12,000) may be required. There are cheaper interior systems, which channel water seeping through the walls to a sump pump. But this does nothing to reduce moisture migration through the floor, dampness, or efflorescence ("white powder") and often opens up new pathways to radon.
Several years after finishing the basement, you may discover that radon concentration has reached unacceptable levels and must be reduced to make the house marketable. Or, you may wish to reduce radon to a minimum to protect the health of your family, particularly, if your children are spending lots of time in the basement.
But the concrete has been covered and it may be impractical to simply seal the concrete with RadonSeal. Fan-based radon mitigation systems cost on average $1,200 (EPA) and the piping does not enhance the decor.
The unreacted chemicals from inside concrete are carried by water to its surface, where they attack all paints or adhesives, floor covering, and even the concrete surface itself. You may paint the concrete with a special paint or surface sealer, but sooner or later, it starts to peel or it blisters due to efflorescence. Regular cleaning, surface preparation, and repainting would be needed. You may install floor tiles, sheet vinyl, linoleum, glue-on wall panels or furring, but they start to peel as the adhesive degrades into a white powder because of alkalis from the concrete ("saponification"). Hardwood floors are particularly susceptible to moisture and mildew, but the plastic sheet used to block moisture will accumulate it underneath.
RadonSeal concrete sealer penetrates deep inside concrete, reacts with harmful chemicals, expands into even microscopic pores, and hardens. The result is a denser and stronger concrete, resistant to deterioration. It seals the concrete permanently against water seepage, water vapor, and radon. RadonSeal improves the adhesion of paints or adhesives by deep-cleaning the surface and protects them by neutralizing the chemicals inside concrete and stopping water migration.
At a cost comparable to painting the concrete, RadonSeal combines radon mitigation, waterproofing and damp proofing into one treatment. It emits no fumes or noxious odors and leaves no film or color on the surface. The spray-on application is quick and easy for remodeling contractors or homeowners.