How to Waterproof a Basement

Securing a home from the potential risk of water infiltration involves an essential measure: basement waterproofing. This is a fundamental initial action to take prior to transforming the basement into a habitable area.

In working toward that end, as the homeowner, you would need to reach out to an expert waterproofing contractor for an inspection of the property and a decision on the ideal plan. Learn how to waterproof your basement at

The foundation and basement being dry are critical to the structure’s integrity. The home’s contents rely on the stability of the property, which can’t be merely presumed, especially if water is a threat. 

Adding to the home’s value by increasing the square footage depends on the permanence of a dry sub-level. The only possibility for finishing the space into a functional, livable, valuable one is if water is no longer a factor. 

Of course, there will always be a risk. Still, the hope is that it be fixed within reasonable guidelines to no longer be a factor by having the basement walls professionally waterproofed. How does waterproofing a basement work? Let’s look into the different processes.

Tips on Waterproofing Basement Walls for Structural Integrity

The stability and integrity of a whole house depend largely on water intrusion. Most often, water invades a home through the basement. Homeowners also use this space to increase their square footage by adding offices, bedrooms, family rooms, gyms, or other livable areas.

Before making plans to add extra space, a primary consideration is to reach out to an expert in waterproofing basements to do a property assessment to see if water is getting into the home, figure out how it’s doing so, and make plans to alleviate the situation. Click for guidelines on waterproofing a basement.

Let’s look at some of the methods used when waterproofing basements to become informed and allow more educated decisions.

·       What are the steps when waterproofing the interior walls of the basement

Waterproofing the interior basement walls boasts being easier and more straightforward than the exterior.

1.    Hydraulic cement

Hydraulic cement can be used as a filler with cracks in the interior foundation walls. The cement should be combined with water and then forced utilizing a putty knife into the crevices. The cement will then expand, filling the crack.

2.    Masonry product

A professional waterproofing expert will use a tester to determine if moisture is seeping through the interior walls from the exterior. If this is positive, two applications of a masonry waterproofing product will be used to create a barrier from the moisture.

3.    French drain

A trench created in the basement floor, referred to as a “French drain,” will channel the water to flow towards a sump pump.

The French drain comprises gravel and perforated pipe with the purpose of deterring the water flow away from the rest of the basement, leading it to the sump pump, which will empty it to the exterior.

What are the steps when waterproofing the exterior walls of the basement

Exterior waterproofing is much more labor and time-intensive than the interior project. Repairs or excavations are usually needed before the application can take place.

1.    Yard grading

When the yard is graded, any heavy episodes of water are directed away from the house’s foundation and basement. When you notice the grading slants in a direction that would force water toward your home’s foundation, it’s wise to get some fill dirt and grade the soil to avert the water.

2.    Gutter runoff

The water accumulating on the roof runs off into the gutters and is directed away from the basement and the foundation. Gutters are an essential part of every home and keeping them clean and debris-free is vital to their optimum functionality. 

It’s suggested, however, that if your house has an “extended roof overhang, sits on a downward slope, or is surrounded by hardscape,” gutters are not necessarily mandatory.

3.    Exterior wall sealing

The basement exterior wall or foundation is waterproofed using a liquid seal with a synthetic membrane. You can also use a solid bentonite sheet or synthetic membrane sheet. 

A cement coating application supplies added moisture control. With these exterior applications, the professional waterproofing expert must dig out from the foundation to the base. A suggestion is to include drain tile in the trench bottom for draining.

4.    Exterior French drain

As mentioned previously, a French drain is a trench. On the exterior, it’s lined with weed-blocking fabric and then perforated pipe and gravel. Water flows into the trench and is directed to the pipe’s end, moving away from the basement and foundation.

The French drain application boasts of being most suitable for gardens where water pools toward the foundation.

Which Basement Waterproofing Method Should You Consider for the Interior or Exterior Walls 

When moisture comes from the exterior, it’s suggested that the interior walls of the basement and the exterior foundation waterproofing methods be incorporated.

Moisture seen only from the interior, like pipe leakage or condensation, wouldn’t benefit from external treatment. It’s more about moisture maintenance than a waterproofing solution.

That would involve incorporating dehumidifiers to equalize air and water temps and prevent condensation. Also, fix the leaky pipe, which could include repairing or replacing water-dependent appliances to help alleviate water on the interior in the basement.

Final Thought

When you’re uncertain how to waterproof a basement, an essential first step is to reach out to a basement waterproofing expert to assess the property and decide your specific needs. 

In protecting your basement and, thus, your overall structure from damage, the professional will try to determine the cause of the water intrusion. They will then help you to select the best basement waterproofing method for resolving the moisture issue to give you a dry basement. 

Once their work is done, you can move forward with plans to finish the basement into extra square footage, adding value to the property and increasing your functionality in the household. Once the professionals say it’s dry, it should stay that way.

Krystal Morrison

I create this blog to share my daily tips about home improvement, children, pets, food, health, and ways to be frugal while maintaining a natural lifestyle. Interested to be a Guest Blogger on my website? Please email me at: [email protected]

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