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What Are Porous Concrete Basement Walls?: What You Need to Know

Damp concrete block wall.

Surprisingly, those sturdy concrete walls in your basement might not be as waterproof as you think. In fact, concrete is porous, meaning moisture can seep through easily and cause all sorts of problems for your home.

In this guide, we’ll explore more about porous concrete walls, discovering why they’re a concern and what you can do to protect your basement.

Why Is Concrete Porous?

All concrete has tiny holes that you can’t see with your eyes. These holes let water and air pass through the concrete.

When builders make concrete, they mix cement, sand, and water. As it dries, some of the water evaporates, leaving behind these tiny spaces. Over time, these spaces can get bigger, especially when water keeps making contact with the concrete.

Being porous doesn’t make concrete walls weak. They’re still strong enough to hold up your house. But being porous means they can let moisture seep through, which can cause issues in your basement.

The Dangers of Water in Your Basement

Moldy concrete wall.

Water in your basement can cause big problems. It can make your basement walls wet and create wall cracks that weaken your home’s structural stability.

It can also lead to mold and musty odors which are bad for your health. You might even notice high humidity in your basement (or throughout your entire home).

How to Waterproof a Basement

Waterproofing your basement is the best way to fight back against porous concrete. With professional help, you can turn your basement into a dry and controlled environment.

AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists installs a world-class basement waterproofing system. Here are the main parts of that system that keep the whole basement dry: 

Interior Drainage System 

Perimeter drainage at the bottom of a basement wall.

An interior drainage system collects water in your basement and moves it out using a series of drains and pumps, as well as the grading of the basement.  

The system is clog-free, so it doesn’t get backed up by small debris or other objects that may end up in the drains with the water. This means less maintenance for you.

Sump Pump 

Man installing a sump pump.

A sump pump is a vital part of any basement waterproofing system, especially in areas with heavy rain. Installed in the home’s lowest point, a sump pit, it collects and pumps out excess water, preventing flooding.

If any water gets through the concrete walls, the sump pump will collect it and pump it out of the basement. Consider a battery-powered backup sump pump in case of power outages.

Wall Vapor Barrier  

Men installing a wall vapor barrier.

Vapor barriers attach to the walls of your basement. They create a seal around the porous concrete to stop moisture from getting through to your basement. With a drainage system installed alongside a vapor barrier, the blocked moisture is moved away from the basement quickly and efficiently.

Basement Dehumidifier 

Dehumidifier with vent attachment.

Humid air can be a source of many health problems and in the long run, it can damage wooden construction and basement walls themselves. Installing a dehumidifier in a basement stops these issues. They also clean and filter the air, helping to reduce mold and mildew in the process.

Waterproof Your Basement With AFS

AFS crewman attaching vapor barrier to basement wall.

Porous concrete may end up damaging your basement, preventing it from being a functional space. That’s why it’s essential to waterproof your basement as soon as possible.

AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists is the Southeast’s leading basement waterproofing team. Contact us today to schedule a free inspection and repair quote today and put basement water back in its place!

Porous Concrete Walls FAQs

Unfortunately, no. Addressing them effectively requires a professional solution like interior basement waterproofing.

Sealing cracks can be a temporary solution, but won’t address overall moisture issues. Without proper waterproofing, the problem will keep coming back.

Even in dry climates, occasional rain or high humidity can cause moisture problems with porous walls.

Related Resources

Ted Dryce

Ted Dryce

Content Writer

Ted is an SEO Content Writer who has been with Groundworks since 2021. He’s covered home repair topics ranging from crawl space encapsulation to regional soil conditions. When he’s not working, Ted is performing improv comedy and working on his own creative projects.

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