You have started to see some signs of moisture in your basement. The air feels a little wetter after a rain. Maybe the fabric on the couch heels a little damp to the touch.
You are confident that your do-it-yourself skills will be able to help you out in this case.
And now you ask the question: is waterproof paint the answer to my wet basement?
The short answer is no, at least not by itself.
What waterproof paint can do
Waterproof paint is designed to keep the surface below it safe from water. that surface water might come from a splash of a nearby sink or bathtub, or from condensation from extremes of heat and cold and humidity.
This is why waterproof paint is frequently used in a bathroom. All of these conditions exist there, and it is important to keep your wood and drywall dry from that moisture, or else it will warp, sag, or crack.
It is good to notice what waterproof paint is excellent for, and what it CAN do. But there is more to the story.
What waterproof paint can’t do
Notice what is NOT happening in the examples above:
- The paint is NOT keeping water out of the room.
- The paint is NOT acting as a barrier for anything more than a small amount of water, from a splash or condensation.
- The paint is NOT holding water at bay for an extended period of time.
In short, waterproof paint is not being asked to be a barrier against standing water.
This is because waterproof paint was not designed for waterproofing a home from outside water. It is designed to add a level of functionality and beauty to a space where water is a concern from periodic, man-made causes of moisture, including long hot showers, splashing from a washing machine drain, or the the flying moisture from an enthusiastic face washing regimen.
For the level of work required to hold back water, you need a sealant. This is a product in a completely different category than waterproof paint. It typically goes on thicker, and it includes compounds found in rubber compounds or caulk.
So if the moisture in your basement has become noticeable oh, don’t waste your time buying a $30 gallon of waterproof paint. while it might make one of your walls look nicer it won’t change the real problem that needs to be addressed right away in your basement.