Applying Hydraulic Cement to Damp Basements

Damp basements cause structural damage and allow the propagation of mold, which is harmful to any occupant’s health. Water seeps in through the walls of your basement and results in the formation of molds and rust. Water leakage is caused by cracks in the basement floor and walls. You can use hydraulic cement to prevent issues such as this, because its a water resistant product. Following the direction below, applying hydraulic cement will be an easy do it yourself job.

Hydraulic cement is known to dry extremely quickly, therefore, only mix a small portion for each application. Hydraulic cement is also caustic, and the dust it produces causes irritation. You must wear a dust mask and gloves while you are working with this material. Also, be sure to work in a well-ventilated area, and use fans if necessary. If you are using acids to remove debris from the surface, follow all the manufacturer’s instructions.

The first step to applying this cement is to prepare the surface you are applying it to. Wash the walls or floor to remove loose mortar, dirt, mold, grease, and any other debris. To kill mold, use detergent with an added capful of bleach. To remove the white powdery substance commonly called efflorescence, use muriatic acid and a wire brush. If the surface has oil-based paint, you must remove this paint as well.

Before patching the crack, open it up with a hammer and chisel. While you are making the crack, remember to undercut the crack in such a way that the crack’s inside opening is wider than the opening of the surface. This is very important, as it will help in locking in the hydraulic cement inside as it becomes hard. Once you have opened the crack, clean it well by using a brush to remove any possible pieces of concrete or dust.

When you are prepared to apply the cement, mix up a small amount with water in a bucket. You must carefully follow the instructions on the packaging for the proper mixture and consistency. Use a trowel to combine and mix up the cement and water in the bucket.

Before the application, use a spray bottle or a bucket of water to dampen the crack as cement will adhere better to the wet surface. Next, apply a layer of hydraulic cement into the crack in such a way that the cement is about .5 inches below the base of the crack surface. Use a trowel to apply another layer of cement to the crack, then smooth the layer, and let it dry for 24 hours before proceeding to paint the surface. Later, paint over the surface in the desired color.