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Basement Waterproofing Advice

Basements need to be waterproofed for many reasons. Cracks in the walls, leaking windows and pipe condensation are probably the most common reasons basements have water build-up problems. Too much or prolonged water retention in the basement can cause a variety of problems. Termites, mold and foundation damage are all serious concerns and are common when water leaks are left undone.

Some ways to keep your basement dry may seem rather obvious. Ideally your basement has a good surface grading to drain surface water away from the house. Exterior waterproofing and keeping wall cracks sealed are two other first-step methods. If you have tried these methods and still have water build-up problems in your basement, you may have to resort to other methods.

A sump pump is another common method of drying out a basement. Some professionals recommend this as a last resort, do-it-yourself attempt at water removal. There are two kinds of pumps available: submersible and water-powered. The submersible pump is electrically powered and is placed underground. They are more expensive than other pumps but are much quieter and can last for two-to-three times as long. The water-powered sump pump is fueled by your home's plumbing pressure. These pumps are usually slower at draining water but require no electricity and are often used during a power failure.

Many professionals install basement-waterproofing systems. If your home is at risk for consistent or extreme water build-up, it might be wise to seek the services of a competent professional. One professionally installed basement waterproofing system helps to alleviate underground water pressure and keeps the water from leaking into the basement. Other methods include the use of a polyurethane spray or foam. The foam acts as a very strong sealant and can repair cracks and leaks around basement walls and windows. Because the foam is extremely weather resistant, the treatment can last for a decade or longer.


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