Basement Waterproofing [An Overview]

exterior foundation waterproofing 2

Basement Waterproofing

A wet basement can be quite disastrous for a homeowner as a tiny trickle of water can be a warning sign of a larger problem. Structural damage and toxic mold can be costly and time-consuming but there are a few waterproofing methods that can help.

Completed foundation repair in preparation for backfill

Exterior Basement Waterproofing

Exterior basement waterproofing is an extensive process that typically takes place when the building is being constructed. The methods used prevent water from causing any damage to the structure. Membranes and polymers are used on the basement walls as well as drainage systems installed from footer bases. This method is a more effective means of keeping water from entering the basement, and advisable when the surrounding environment allows access from the exterior of the building.

Interior Sealants

Interior sealants are used as a somewhat temporary method to help keep a basement dry. Interior sealants are used to monitor the basement’s humidity to ensure that it stays dry. While this is by no means a permanent solution it can help to prevent the structure of the home absorbing moisture. Interior sealants can also help to prevent moisture from moving to other parts of the home.

Any cracks or holes that have appeared in your basement’s floor, walls and around the windows and doors and sealed and made watertight. Correctly sealing all of these holes and cracks is the very first step towards ensuring that your basement remains as dry as possible.

One of the additional benefits of using interior sealants is that they help to prevent condensation and, therefore, keep the humidity levels down. While interior sealants can help to prevent moisture coming into your basement they will not solve any underlying issue. This is because there are usually greater moisture issues outside the basement.

Interior Water Drainage

Interior water drainage is considered to be one of the best waterproofing solutions around. A drainage system is installed and the system will help to avoid a build-up of water. Moving the water moves from the foundation’s footers to below the floor of the basement.

Drainage problems tend to be the cause of moisture in a basement, this is why it’s essential that you have proper drainage in and around your home. There are many different drainage systems out there that can help to control water. However, you need to start by thoroughly examining the function of your drainage systems and how well they work.

The Causes of Basement Leaks and Water Seepage

If your basement has become damp it’s likely to be due to water seepage. This is the most common cause of water in the basement. When water leaks into a basement it can harm your foundation and cause a world of problems. However, leaks can be prevented if you know how.

Sealing up cracks in windows, doors, walls, and the floor will help. A least obvious source of your leak is the soil around your home. Some soil retains water whereas other soil allows water to filter through and away from your property.

Another way for moisture to make its way into your home is via floor cracks. Water in the soil is unable to make its way through to your home via the walls so it comes in via the floor instead. Hydrostatic pressure is created when pools of water located under your basement flooring have nowhere to go. The water forces itself up into your flooring and subsequently creates damp in your basement.

Signs of Water Damage

Unfortunately, evidence of water damage is not always obvious. However, if you suspect there’s water damage in your basement you should deal with it as soon as you can.

The signs of water damage are:

Changes in the texture or color of the surface

Paint or wallpaper may become damaged and start to peel or turn brown or yellow. Walls may also start to warp a little or become bowed. In some cases, a salty white substance may appear in unfinished basements. This shows how high the water has risen.

Cracking concrete


Cracking may occur in the basement floor or foundation, and it can occur inside and outside the home. One of the most common reasons why cracking appears is due to excessive moisture from the weather or from inadequate drainage systems. Door panes and window seals are often full of cracks and these can be a sign of water damage. Cracks such as these should be sealed as soon as possible so to prevent further water damage.

mouldy basement corner


Mold can usually be spotted but if you are unable to spot it you may be able to smell it. Mold can and often will appear on wood, furniture and any organic materials that you keep in your basement. Mold can be white in color but it can also be black or dark green. If you spot mold you will need to deal with it as soon as possible as left to its own devices it can eventually cause breathing difficulties.


Basements usually have a little smell but this does not necessarily mean that there’s a water issue. However, if there is a strong and musty odor that does not go away your basement is likely to be suffering from water damage.

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Who To Contact About Water in your Basement

If you have or you suspect that you have water in your basement you may need a water mitigation contractor or a water restoration company. Using powerful vacuums and pumps to get rid of excess water, they will also use dehumidifiers to help your basement to dry out. As soon as your basement is dry it will need to be repaired so that water does not enter your basement again.

Contact Foundations First

We can help you to diagnose your basement water issue and recommend the best solution for your situation. Call us or fill out a contact form and we will arrange a free, no-obligation consultation of your home.


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