Interior Basement Waterproofing: Everything You Need To Know

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Did you know that one inch of flood water can cause as much as $25,000 worth of damage?

If that water gets in your basement, it can wreak havoc on your foundation, damage your keepsakes, and even lead to mold growth. Plus, most homeowners insurance policies won’t cover water damage from a flood. 

If you have a basement, the question isn’t if it will leak, but when. 

Luckily, interior basement waterproofing can keep moisture at bay without too much hassle. Read on to learn what you need to know about waterproofing your basement from the inside.  

What Is Interior Basement Waterproofing?

Interior waterproofing methods keep rain water from entering your basement. It’s called interior waterproofing because you apply or install it directly inside your basement.  

Exterior waterproofing methods aim to direct water away from your basement. This type of waterproofing happens outside of your home.

Some common types of external waterproofing include French drains, gutters, and downspouts. Waterproof membranes that lay against the outside of your foundation can also keep water at bay. 

There Are 4 Types of Interior Waterproofing 

There are four basic methods of interior waterproofing. Whether you have a minor leak or frequent basement flooding, there’s an option for you. We’ve listed them below based on the severity of your water problem. 

1. Interior Masonry Sealant

If you have a minor basement leak, interior masonry sealant is the first thing to try. You can find this sealant at any hardware store and it often costs less than $30. 

You’ll use a roller and apply the sealant the same way you’d apply paint. Keep in mind that this only works for unpainted bricks or concrete. But, you can apply regular wall paint over top of the sealant.

Another option is to use a rubberized sealant. This sealant does an even better job of keeping water out, but you can’t paint over it. 

This method is the least expensive and also the least reliable.  We recommend the more reliable options below.

2. Reinforced Wall Liners

For more serious basement leaks, you can opt for reinforced wall liners. These vinyl liners direct water to a hidden drain and a sump pump. So, the only drawback with this method is you’ll need to pair it with a drain system.

But, it’s a great option for finished basements. You can install wall framing, insulation, and drywall on top of the liner. That means you can turn your basement into living space while lowering your risk for water damage. 

3. Interior French Drain System

Interior French drains can also keep water from collecting in your basement. This option uses a trench around the perimeter of your basement. Once your contractor jackhammers the perimeter, they’ll fill it with drain tile and pea gravel. 

The water will drain into this trench that’s also connected to a sump pump. Once the installation is done, your contractor will cover the trench with concrete and install a metal grate. 

This can be an expensive project, but the peace of mind and dry basement will be worth it. 

4. Sump Pump

For the most serious water leaks, the final option is the humble sump pump. Depending on your issue, you may need to pair a sump pump with another form of interior waterproofing. That said, you can also use a sump pump as a standalone solution. 

A contractor will dig a deep hole in the lowest point of your basement. They’ll fill the bottom with gravel, set the sump pump unit in the hole, and make a hole for a drainage tube in your basement wall. If your basement takes on water, the sump pump will turn on and start pumping water out of your basement.

The sump pump is a reliable, albeit noisy, way to keep water out of your basement. 

It Works Best When You Act Quickly

If you’ve noticed a wet spot in your basement the last few times it’s rained, don’t wait to act. The sooner you catch the leak, the better luck you’ll have with interior waterproofing. 

You don’t want to wait until your foundation has a large crack or you start to smell mold. By that point, you’ll need to call in a contractor for foundation crack repair. You might also need to use a more drastic exterior waterproofing method like a French drain. 

As soon as you spot moisture, look for the entry point of the water. Look for hairline cracks in the cement or a window leak. You might need some sealant or a window drain to fix the problem. 

It’s Great for Minor Basement Leaks

The above interior waterproofing options work great for minor to moderate basement leaks. 

If you get a little water in your basement when it rains, try a can of sealant. If that doesn’t help, you could upgrade to a sump pump or a complete basement waterproofing system

It’s Less Invasive Than Exterior Methods

In most cases, these interior methods can keep water out of your basement without too much hassle. After all, the sealant and the sump pump only take a day or two to install. 

But if you have serious flooding problems, you may need to go with exterior waterproofing. You may need to hire a contractor to excavate a trench around your foundation. This is so they can install a waterproof membrane on the outside of your foundation.  

It’s a Good Option for Older Homes

Older homes with leaky basements are already at a disadvantage. Due to the water leaks, the foundation could have weak spots. 

Once you start excavating the foundation, you’re putting an older house at an even greater risk. An inexperienced contractor could risk your home’s structural integrity. 

That’s why it’s best to try an interior method first. These methods don’t pose a risk to your foundation. Plus, they’re common enough solutions that it’s easy to find an experienced contractor.

Hire the Pros to Handle Your Basement Waterproofing

Thanks to basement waterproofing, you don’t have to panic every time you see rain in the forecast. With the right method, you can enjoy a safe and dry basement that’s perfect for storage. 

If you’re in need of expert waterproofing help, we can help. Contact us today to schedule an inspection and cure your water woes.