Basement Waterproofing Tips for Homeowners

Every homeowner dream that all parts of their house, including their basement, remain dry at all times. This is vital because the basement is a practical room in any home, it can be used for storage, entertainment, or laundry area.

In addition, this helps ensure your home’s foundation and structure remain sturdy to protect you and your loved ones.

For it to be possible, this necessitates the need for basement waterproofing. 

As a homeowner, basement waterproofing isn’t something that you may have the knowledge and expertise to do, due to the complicated nature of the project. The first thing you need to learn is the basics of basement waterproofing. To have an idea, thoroughly understand the following content: 

What’s Basement Waterproofing? 

Basement waterproofing is a problem-finding process of identifying weaknesses through which water enters your home through the walls and foundation. Without basement waterproofing, excess water might eventually find its way into your home and consequently accumulate in the basement. 

What Causes A Wet Basement? 

To realize the importance of basement waterproofing, you need to start by understanding what causes a wet basement. There are different reasons why water accumulates in your basement, and these includes: 

  • The downspouts and guttering are ineffective in directing water away from your home after heavy rainfall 
  • Poor construction, such as incorrect yard grade, which prevents proper water drainage. 
  • Lack of a drain tile or a blocked drain tile 
  • Prolonged watering of foundation plantings, including bushes and shrubs, which leads the water into the basement through the walls 
  • The sump pump isn’t working properly to drain the rising water levels in the basement 
  • Structural cracks in the basement through which water seeps into the basement. 
  • Roots or soil is blocking the french drains
  • Improper sloping of the ground surrounding your home’s foundation, which makes it flow towards the house instead of away from it. This causes the water to run towards your home’s foundation, where it’ll eventually start accumulating 

Without basement waterproofing, you can’t control the amount of water entering your basement. As a result, you’ll start to notice certain clear indicators that basement waterproofing is needed, such as: 

  • Wet spots or moisture on stored items or on the walls 
  • Pools of water in the basement
  • Interior surfaces, especially the basement corners, are infested with mildew or mold 
  • Visible cracks on the flooring and walls 
  • Concrete cracks along the windows
  • The doors to your home are swollen 
  • A musty smell around your home

These are issues you don’t want to deal with as a homeowner, considering how much sweat you put in to buying your dream home. It’s exactly the reason why basement waterproofing comes in handy. 

Types Of Basement Waterproofing 

Now that you understand basement waterproofing and what necessitates it, the next thing is learning about the different basement waterproofing techniques, including:

Exterior Waterproofing

Prevention is better than cure, and exterior basement waterproofing follows this exact principle by stopping the water from entering your home in the first place.

Exterior waterproofing should ideally be done during your house’s construction. This process entails digging soil away from every side of your home’s structure and coating the basement walls with water-resistant membranes and polymers. 

Exterior waterproofing is the most effective method of preventing water from entering the basement. However, this process is time-consuming and complicated, so you need to hire an expert, which is very costly and you may be required to get a permit from the local building authorities before starting this project. 

You can also employ other exterior waterproofing techniques and this include: 

  • Installing downspouts and gutters
  • Add Window Well Covers 
  • Install a drain mat to ease pressure from your home’s foundation and walls 
  • Add exterior french drains to direct runoff and groundwater away from your home’s foundation

The timing when to do exterior waterproofing is key, and it should ideally be done during the dry season. This is crucial for safety purposes to prevent the contractor from getting trapped in a trench filled with water. 

Interior Waterproofing 

This basement waterproofing technique is employed once the water has already entered the basement. This reactive approach is less disruptive and cheaper than exterior waterproofing but not as effective in preventing water from entering the basement. There are different interior waterproofing techniques, and this include: 

  • Use of water-resistant sealants to coat moist basement floors and walls. 
  • Seal all the cracks in the basement using proper materials and cement. 
  • Use a sump pump to extract water from your basement.
  • Install a dehumidifier to restore the humidity levels to 30 to 50%. 

While interior basement waterproofing prevents water from finding its way into your home, it doesn’t solve the core problem that’s causing this to happen. 

How Much Does Basement Waterproofing Cost 

The cost of basement waterproofing varies considerably. Typically, how much you’ll pay will depend on the basement’s wetness level. Some of the things that determine the extent of labor and repair costs include:  

  • If there’s a need for structural repairs, which means you might end up spending thousands of dollars on your basement waterproofing project. 
  • You’ll need to pay between USD$75 to USD$200 when self-installing a window well and the window well cover. 
  • You’ll spend between USD$50 to USD$200 to complete the interior waterproofing project successfully. 
  • Excavating the basement will cost you between USD$70 to USD$150 per linear foot. 
  • Installing a simple roll-on interior sealant costs USD$50 per 100 square feet if you do this by yourself. 
  • The cost of installing a new drain tile is about USD$100 per foot after the excavation has already been completed. 
  • You’ll need to pay between USD$20 to USD$30 per linear foot if you hire a professional contractor to install the French drains. 

The basement waterproofing costs also vary depending on whether you opt for exterior or interior waterproofing. Likewise, they’ll vary depending on the labor cost, which differs from one area to another.  


The basement is rendered unusable after being filled with standing water and eventually destroys your home’s foundation. When this happens, your home creates a conducive environment for mold growth, which isn’t healthy for you and your loved ones.

Fortunately, you can avoid such issues because of basement waterproofing. This in-depth article has outlined every important piece of information you need to know about basement waterproofing, make it your guide in your decision making.