How to Soundproof a Basement: Laying a Damp-Proof Membrane to Protect Electrical Wires

What You'll Need
Polyethylene damp proof membrane (enough to cover your entire basement walls and floors)
Flashing tape
Waterproof sealants
Drywall screws
Drywall tape
Drywall gun
Dust mask
Drywall saw
Joint compound
Taping knife

Because basements are used popularly as the home theater room, basement soundproofing might be advantageous in the long run. Soundproofing your walls can mean a quieter house, so that a late night movie time in the basement doesn’t wake up the other members of the household.

The best time to soundproof your basement is before it is remodeled or its walls are finished. Most builders leave the basement walls unfinished. The walls are mere wooden frames with a mesh of electrical wires running through them.

As you are soundproofing your basement, you can also damp proof the walls so that your electrical wires are protected against moisture. Basements tend to be damp places because moisture from the soil collects at the bottom of your house and seeps through cracks in your home’s foundation. Follow these steps to damp proof your basement quickly and easily.

Step 1 - Preparing Your Basement

If your family has been using your unfinished basement as a storage space, it is now time to go back downstairs and clean the area.

Step 2 - Decide on Your Soundproofing Method

There are several different ways to soundproof your basement walls. You can use cellulose spray inside your walls once the drywall is in place. The cellulose will thicken inside the walls and block noise.

Another method is to install a double layer of drywall sheets per wall. Another costlier method is to buy lead lined drywall. Whatever you decide, do so before the work commences.

Step 3 - Apply Sealant

Your local hardware store sells waterproofing sealants that you can apply with a brush over your concrete floor and the walls of your basement. Apply sealant and let it dry.

Step 4 - Tape Down Damp Proof Membrane

These plastic-like membranes come in all different sizes. Tape the edges together so that moisture does not seep between them. For floors, ensure that extra plastic laps up the sides of the walls. Use flashing tape to adhere it to the walls.

Likewise, nail damp proof membranes onto wooden frames of the basement walls. These plastic membranes will not protect wires in walls from moisture resulting from air humidity, only from moisture seeping in from the ground.

Step 5 - Put Up Drywall

Whatever type of drywall you choose, install it now. Butt it against the wall (the lead part of drywall should face the studs) and drywall gun it against the wall studs. With your taping knife, apply joint compound between edges of drywall. Press drywall tape over the compound. Cover the tape with a thin layer of compound. Let it dry. Cover compound over the drywall and let it dry. Apply a final finish of compound which has been thinned with water. Let dry.

Your basement floor and walls have now been damp-proofed and soundproofed. Paint the walls once they have dried and install carpeting over the concrete floor.