blog-banner

Are you looking for a contractor?

Submit our quick form and get quotes now!

Table of Contents

Basement

5 min read

Steps for Keeping Your Basement Dry and Waterproof

Basement

5 min read

Steps for Keeping Your Basement Dry and Waterproof

BasementSteps for Keeping Your Basement Dry and Waterproof

In many ways, your basement can act as a sanctuary from the hecticness of everyday life. Whether it’s a playroom for the kids, a home theatre or a full-fledged man cave, water can seep in and cause significant damage.

With the cost of damage potentially being astronomical, it is so fundamental to ensure your basement stays dry! It’s for this reason that we’ve prepared this guide to inform you of the options you have for waterproofing your basement.

Essential basement maintenance against water infiltrations

Before anything, as a homeowner, you must take the step of evaluating the situation for what it is and what potential fixes may be available. So, your first step is to assess the house perimeter. This means you’re looking to ensure the ground touching the foundation slopes away from the house.

If the ground slopes towards the house, this is a bad sign as water will flow against the foundation, which can seep through or worse, cause the building materials to rot. If you notice that this is the case, fill in the area against the foundation with dirt. When making an ideal barrier, put roughly 2 inches worth of soil every foot.

Basement_Steps for Keeping Your Basement Dry and Waterproof

Photo: Flickr

Another potential area of concern is the gutters and downpipe. Having clean gutters will help you avoid any issues regarding a backup of leaves and potential overflow. The point of having such a system is to keep water off the roof and off the exterior walls of your home. However, water coming out of the downpipe can impact your basement if not installed in an effective manner. We recommend that you ensure the downspout is discharging water at least 5 feet away from your foundation. Anything less than 5 feet means the water can potentially flow back towards your home’s foundation.

Keeping beautiful flowers and shrubbery around your home's foundation can usually act as a nice visual cue for passersby. However, when plant roots rot, they tend to create a passage of sorts for water from the surface to flow through and into your foundation.  It is recommended to plant any botanicals at least 12 inches away from the outer walls of the foundation.

When inspecting your basement walls for cracks, stay diligent as some cracks may be hairline and not easily noticeable at first. Most cracks in a concrete wall can penetrate to the other side, leaving an open passageway for water. This makes it crucial to fill and patch those cracks so water can’t get through. It is also recommended to check where pipes go through the concrete foundation walls, as these areas are more prone to cracking and should be sealed anyway.

For minor cracks, use a masonry waterproofer since they are quite effective for sealing cracks. If the fracture is a larger one, you can use a construction-grade epoxy to penetrate every nook within the crack. If this is your situation, we suggest consulting an experienced masonry expert for such large cracks as they require construction-grade epoxy.

Serious waterproofing options

basement_Steps for Keeping Your Basement Dry and Waterproof

The above-mentioned solutions are, for the most part, simple options that can help alleviate the potential for water leaking into your basement. However, there are a few options that can leave you confident that your basement will remain dry no matter what.  

While it is ideal, these steps are taken in the earliest phases of construction, this is not mandatory and each solution can be applied long after construction if necessary.

The first way to assure yourself that no water will be coming through the walls is by painting them with a waterproofing membrane. Drylok for instance, expands as it dries, adhering very well to the wall and creating a waterproof barrier. Another product, Xypex, has a texture more like wet concrete. As it dries, it will bond to the wall, leaving it completely impermeable to water.

It should be noted that groundwater is often under extreme pressure and these sealers have a limitation with regard to pressure. Therefore, leaks can theoretically occur, so should this be the case, applying another layer should suffice.

Some situations can leave your basement flooded, which is basically the worst-case scenario. To avoid your basement from ever flooding, you can install a sump pump. Essentially, a pump is installed within a hole in your basement floor and as the water rises within the hole, it is pumped out of the house. The installation requires the use of a professional to drill through the concrete, install the pump, connect it and lay pipes to draw the water far from the house. While this option is demanding, it will undoubtedly leave your basement flood free.

Taking the necessary steps to guarantee your basement will stay dry regardless of the exterior conditions is not just for your peace of mind. At the end of the day, a waterproof basement is one that doesn’t incur the expensive repairs of water damage, making this process a sound investment. As always, the use of a licensed professional is critical to ensuring that the job is done well and will last.

Are you currently organizing a basement renovation project? We've prepared a practical checklist to help you manage the different steps involved in this project. 

Checklist of the Steps to Follow: Basement Renovation Project

Author: David Ben-Zaken

Get 3 renovation quotes for your basement waterproofing project

RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your foundation waterproofing project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!


Last modified 2023-11-07


Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Looking for something else?


Table of contents


Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Are you a contractor?

Join our network and receive real leads!

Download the price guide for renovations

We’ll be emailing you the latest market price guide for renovations.



Related articles

The latest industry news, interviews, technologies, and resources.

4 min read

RenoQuotes.com • 05 Dec 2023

5 Ways To Convert Your Basement

Storage space for some, unfinished room for others, yet thanks to its size the basement is a part of the house brimming with possibilities. Whether you’re ready to invest or get inventive, there is no limit to your comfort. Make your basement transformation a reality without having to quash your creativity.

5 min read

Amanda Harvey • 07 Nov 2023

What you should do if you notice a water infiltration in your basement

Water infiltrations into your basement can be caused by a wide variety of things. These can include heavy rainfall on the building's envelope, poorly sealed windows, doors and exterior walls as well as storm sewers backing up.

7 min read

RenoQuotes.com • 22 May 2024

Modern Home Living: Design and Features

Delve into a world of modern designs with a house that aligns functionality with aesthetics. Modern architecture, characterized by its clean lines and brightly lit spaces, is the ideal living space. Whether you’re a fan of a Scandinavian-inspired style or single- or two-story homes, learn how to put everything together to suit your aesthetic to perfection. There’s a world of possibilities out there for you to design your very own modern haven.

4 min read

Cynthia Pigeon • 07 Nov 2023

Cost of Buying and Installing a Toilet

Granted, you are not reading this out of interest, but out of necessity. Let’s face it, replacing a toilet is not an exciting renovation project... Nevertheless, if your toilet is in need of an upgrade, and even your guests can tell, you have no other choice but to buy a new one. But, how much is that going to cost and what options are available to you?

3 min read

RenoQuotes.com • 07 Nov 2023

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Living Room

Your living room is really the focal point of any home; it draws people in, but above all, it garners stares. Bridging the gap between one room and another, it often becomes a post-dinner gathering spot between family and friends, just as a way of digesting and relaxing after a really good meal. 


Looking for a contractor?

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes now!