• Waterproof and Dry Out a Wet Basement


    Of all the guides that we have advised on, how to waterproof a basement has been one of the most difficult
    There’s nothing good about a wet, musty basement. The air quality is terrible with mold and mildew spores floating around. Flooring, furniture and other possessions can be quickly damaged by moisture. The smell is less than pleasant, and it’s hard to be comfortable when the air is clammy.
    Getting the basement waterproofed and dried out is a top priority for homeowners, and this house repair guide will help you get the job done. There could be multiple reasons for excess moisture in your basement, so this can be a difficult problem to solve.
    We include tips for DIY repair and discuss hiring a professional for the work. The best person to call is a foundation company. Waterproofing an existing basement is a job that will take at least a couple days to complete.

    Basement Waterproofing Tips and Troubleshooting

    Getting an existing basement dry is no easy task. In severe cases, it involves excavating the perimeter of the home and applying waterproofing to the exterior of the foundation.
    Without a doubt, that’s the best way to waterproof a finished basement in which studs and drywall have been installed.
    You should never install a moisture barrier over existing wood and drywall because it will trap moisture in the wall and produce mold and rot.

    Applying a moisture barrier to interior concrete walls is an option discussed here.
    In addition to tips that give you an overview of the options, we’ll include basement waterproofing prices for the material and labor.
    Finally, you’ll find resources at the end that will help you evaluate this home repair project and decide whether you want to do it yourself or hire a pro.

    These home repair tips will help you discover the source of the problem and find a suitable solution.

    • Find out if the moisture is penetrating your foundation or if it’s the result of condensation by taping  a 12” square piece of tin foil to the wall of your basement
    • If, after a day or two, the inside of the foil is wet, condensation is the problem and the solution is better venting for the basement and the use of a dehumidifier or central air conditioning
    • If the side facing the wall is wet, you’ve got a moisture penetration problem that will require waterproofing the foundation.
    • In all cases, fill gaps between the basement floor and walls with hydraulic cement
    • Hydraulic cement and epoxy crack filler should be used in wall cracks too
    • Make sure all gutters are clear and in good repair because water overflowing them will easily get into your foundation
    • Be sure the water from all downspouts is emptied at least six feet away from the foundation – use extenders where needed
    • Check the grade around your home to make sure it is sloping away from the house
    • Keep any sump pump in good repair
    • If your basement isn’t finished, then using a quality masonry paint on it an applying at least two coats can be an effective moisture barrier
    • When moisture problems are stubborn and you have a finished basement, you might have to resort to exterior waterproofing
    • Exterior waterproofing involves digging out around your home, cleaning the exterior of the foundation very well and applying a quality, long-lasting waterproof material
    • Drain panels may also be applied, and in severe cases, drain tile and a drain with a sump pump is installed to move water away from the foundation

    Basement Waterproofing and Drying Costs

    Here’s what you can expect when you price equipment and materials for the work or get estimates from basement contractors.

    DIY Solutions: A dehumidifier costs $250 to $400 depending on quality and capacity. Interior waterproofing liquid costs $25 to $35 per gallon in 5-gallon pails with coverage of 150 to 200 square feet per gallon. Waterproofing membrane is available that costs about $2 per square foot, or about four times per square foot what liquid costs. Excavator rental costs $400 to $1,000 per day. Exterior waterproofing material costs $35 to $40 per 5-gallon pail with coverage of about 175 square feet per gallon.

    Professional Basement Waterproofing: This is a pricey fix to a wet basement, but it is the most effective. When you get estimates for the work, expect them to be $80 to $125 per linear foot of foundation. This includes the excavation work and the waterproofing.

    Saving Money on Basement Waterproofing

    If you can do the work yourself, you’ll save a significant amount of money. When hiring a pro to waterproof the interior or exterior, you’ll find the lowest prices when you get several estimates for the work from competing contractors. Let them know that you’re getting several estimates, and you’ll get their best prices. Be sure to find out what materials they plan to use, so that you can research the materials to learn about their effectiveness.

    Resources for DIY Basement Waterproofing

    We’ve located pages from around the web that offer information about the scope of this project and how to best tackle it.

    Foundation Systems – This waterproofing site discusses your options for getting your basement dry.

    Everdry Waterproofing – Here are the warning signs of water penetrating your basement foundation including cracks and mold.

    Perma Jack System – These basement waterproofing FAQs include information about the cost of various solutions.


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