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How to Waterproof a Basement Yourself

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This step-by-step installation guide details how to waterproof a basement yourself with the DIY SquidGee Dry System. This hollow baseboard gutter collects and channels water seepage to your sump pump or floor drain. You need one tube of SealOnce Adhesive per 4-foot 6-inch SquidGee Dry main section. Calculate the cost to waterproof your basement in seconds and see how much you will save by waterproofing your wet basement with the SquidGee Dry System.

Getting Started: Clean the basement floor along the walls free of paint, dirt and residues with plain warm water. Do not use any paint thinners or chemicals to remove paints or glues, as it my react negatively with the SealOnce Adhesive. SquidGee Dry Systm can be installed when the floor is wet or dry, avoid installing the system in standing water. You do not need to prep the walls, as the top of the system is left open allowing water seepage from the face of the walls to drain down behind the system.

Tools Needed: Sponge, bucket, drill and 1/2" to 5/8" masonary drill bit (only for block wall foundation), tin snips or hacksaw, and standard 10 oz. manual caulking gun.

Step 1:
Relieve hydrostatic pressure

Relieve hydrostatic pressure

Drill 1/2" or 5/8" weep holes into the cells of each block (4" to 6" in from each mortar joint) at the point where the floor and wall meet. Solid poured concrete, brick and stone walls have no cavities, so you don't drill weep holes.

Step 2:
Prepare the surface

Prepare the surface

To properly bond and seal the system to the concrete floor, the floor area along the wall approximately 3" wide must be stripped to bare concrete. To remove all paint or tile adhesive, use a 3M metal paint stripper-wheel with your electric drill. Do not use paint strippers! (The drill attachment above is called a wire power stripper.)

Step 3:
Clean the basement floor

clean the basement floor

Important Step! Clean the bare concrete floor by washing with clear water and sponge to remove all dirt and dust. When finished feel the area with your fingers for any loose grit left behind. If the surface is free of grit, move onto the next step. If not, repeat this step until clean.

Step 4:
Cut & fit the main sections

Cut & fit the main sections

Now you are read to cut and trial fit the main sections along the basement walls.

Use an empty box as a work station.

Quick Tip:
Use an empty box as a work station.

Step 5:
Placing corners

Placing corners

Begin by placing the pre-molded corners into all the corners of the basement. Mark the floor in front of the corners showing where the main sections will stop.

Step 6:
Layout the system

Layout the system

Place full main sections end-to-end along the wall between the corners marked on the floor. Use a tin snips, hack saw or miter to cut main sections as needed. Layout the SquidGee Dry System just as it will be permanently installed.

Step 7:
SealOnce Adhesive

Relieve hydrostatic pressure

Angle cut the tip under the cone-shaped end. This will give the large opening needed for applying SealOnce to all surfaces. (When installing the SquidGee Dry System, you will need one tube of SealOnce Adhesive per 4' 6" main section.)

Step 8:
Apply bottom bead of adhesive

Apply bottom bead of adhesive

Important Step! Turn a main section over and apply a tall, thick bead of SealOnce Adhesive to the bottom f the main section. Turn the main section over and set in place. Press in place gently for about 30 seconds!

Use an empty box as a work station.

Quick Tip:
Use an empty box as a work station.

Step 9:
Prep main sections for butt-joints

Prep main sections for butt-joints

You will get a much better bond if you use a coarse sandpaper to rough up any vinyl-to-vinyl surfaces. Do this to both sides of the joining main sections and butt-joint. Follow sanding by wiping the main section gently free of dust.

Step 10:
Applying butt-joints

Cut & fit the main sections

Apply SealOnce Adhesive on both sides of the seam. Hook the butt-joint at the bottom and "snap" in place at the top. It's okay if the butt-joint doesn't make a snapping noise when in place. The floor may be unlevel or baseboards may not line up exactly.

Step 11:
Seal edges of butt-joints

Seal edges of butt-joints

Sealing the edges of the butt-joints and caulking the bottom will ensure there are no leaks.

Step 12:
Install corners and seal edges

Install corners and seal edges

Inside corners are easy to install when dropped down from the top. Use a coarse sandpaper to rough up vinyl-to-vinyl surfaces. Apply SealOnce Adhesive on both main sections and the bottom of the corners. Seal the corner's edges and caulk the bottom for a leak-free bond.

Step 13:
Apply finishing seal

Apply finishing seal

Important Step! Working with one main section at a time, caulk the floor joint with enough pressure to force some of the SealOnce Adhesive under the system. Immediately follow to step 14...

Step 14:
Slick down finishing seal

Slick down finishing seal

Important Step! As soon as you caulk each section, slick down the finishing bead of adhesive using a cornering tool or your fingers. Dip your fingers into liquid soap and slick down the seal, feathering it out onto the floor and up onto the system (household liquid dish or laundry soap will work).

Step 15:
Installing end caps

Installing end caps

Apply SealOnce Adhesive across the bottom, up the wall and down the edge of the main section. Set end cap in place and caulk all joining surfaces again.

Step 16:
Draining the system

Cut & fit the main sections

There are two options when draining the SquidGee Dry System, you can drain into a sump pump or basement floor drain....

1. Purchase a 2" round PVC pipe from your local hardware center.
2. Cut the round PVC pipe lengthwise creating a half-round shape.
3. Glue the opening of the half-round PVC pipe to the floor, directing the water from the system into the top of the sump pump or floor drain.

(Draining to a sump pump in most communities is the proper method of disposing of ground water. Be sure to check your local building codes before draining to a floor drain.)

Optional Step 17:
Finishing the basement

Finishing the basement

It's easy to finish your basement once the SquidGee Dry System is installed! Finishing your basement will create additional living spaces and add value to your home!

Learn how to finish your basement >