DIY Basement Waterproofing: How to Waterproof Your Basement Like a Pro

Do you have a damp, humid basement? Maybe you’ve noticed water on your basement walls, or perhaps you can smell mold and mildew when you venture down the stairs. It’s also possible you just want to turn your unfinished basement into a functional living space, or maybe you just want to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

We see water damage on a concrete floor and wall which is located in a customers basement.

All of these are excellent reasons to waterproof your basement. You can enjoy better health, a more welcoming atmosphere, and energy savings when you aren’t dealing with moisture leaching into your cellar. More importantly, a waterproofed basement helps to deter structural damage that could impact the integrity of your home.

Is this something you should tackle on your own? DIY basement waterproofing is possible if you have the supplies and the experience needed. However, we recommend hiring professionals like Erie Home to take advantage of decades of experience, proven systems, and warranty-backed workmanship.

In this guide, we’ll talk about DIY basement waterproofing and how you can get it done just like the pros should you decide to go it alone.

Repair Damaged, Cracked, or Broken Areas

Before beginning the waterproofing process, it’s vital to first address any damage to the basement walls and floor. You’ll need to carefully inspect the basement to look for cracks, holes, crumbled areas, and other vulnerable areas where water might seep in.

This will be relatively simple if you can see the water streaming down a particular wall or if there’s an obvious crack. Sometimes, though, cracks can be very small, and you might only notice moisture when it’s had a chance to build up. There might also be more than one area of water infiltration.

You’ll need a durable sealant to inject into the holes and cracks. Wall stabilization might also be necessary, which includes applying a permanent sealer. It’s essential to ensure you have a solid, undamaged foundation.

Encase the Basement In a Waterproof Liner

If you’re sealing your basement on your own, you will probably apply a waterproofing sealant to the walls. Follow the instructions to learn how to prepare the surfaces and apply the sealant to prevent additional leakage.

A real waterproofed basement completed by the Erie Home team. We see the white encapsulation on the walls. Attached to the wall is the air filter system.

If you were to hire a professional, however, they’d encase the basement in a waterproof liner. The right liner will not allow any moisture to permeate it, and it won’t rot or decay. Basement waterproof liners are typically reinforced with poly fiber and are also fire-resistant. Most importantly, it won’t allow mold to grow and will keep the basement moisture-free.

Install a Sump Pump

Another tactic often employed to keep water out of a basement is to install a sump pump. This will remove any water that accumulates in the basement, holding the water in an attached receptacle before discharging it as needed, generally under the house.

Your sump pump, once set up, will only activate when it detects water. So, this isn’t technically a way to completely waterproof the basement, as some water will need to accumulate before the pump is prompted to power on.

However, it’s a good way to keep things dry in basements and crawl spaces in which water tends to puddle on the floor (as opposed to only having moisture that makes the walls feel damp).

Also, be aware that some jurisdictions may require any building with a basement to have a sump pump installed. This is especially common in areas that are prone to flooding, so be sure to check your local regulations to remain compliant.

Install a Drainage System

There are various channeling and drainage systems you might consider when waterproofing your basement. One is a channeling system that directs water away from the house. A good channeling system will keep clogs to a minimum. Be sure to also look for one that will seal against radon to help keep your family safe from this invisible, odorless gas.

Drainage tiles are another option to consider. These tiles collect water around the basement and direct it outside, and a good drainage system can eliminate the need for other types of waterproofing. A professional will be able to tell you what options would be best for your home.

Final Thoughts

When deciding what type of waterproofing would work best in your basement for the type of water infiltration you’re experiencing, it’s best to consult with a professional. Choosing the wrong methods could leave your basement vulnerable to additional water damage, especially if you don’t find and fix all the areas that have been breached.

At Erie Home, we offer a variety of basement solutions, from foundation repair and encapsulation to sump pump and interior drainage system installation. We also offer financing and expert maintenance after the system has been installed.

To top it off, all the work done by our experienced crews has a 25-year warranty that includes an inspection after the first year. Get in touch with us to learn more about waterproofing services for your basement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you waterproof a basement by yourself?

Yes, you can choose to waterproof your basement on your own, as long as you have the skills, expertise, tools, and time. However, you’ll need to do a precise and thorough job, as having water seeping into your basement can put you at risk of foundation damage, damage to personal belongings, and even health issues if mold begins to develop.

What is the cheapest way to waterproof a basement?

Using waterproofing paint or installing a sump pump are the least expensive ways to keep water out of a basement. Keep in mind that the costs might rise if these measures don’t effectively mitigate the water infiltration affecting your basement, since further damage could occur if your waterproofing methods fall short.

What is the best method to waterproof a basement?

There is no single best method to waterproof a basement that works optimally for every basement. Consulting an experienced, professional basement waterproofing services provider like Erie Home is the best way to evaluate the various basement waterproofing options and determine what method will work best for your home.

How do they waterproof a basement from the inside?

There are a few methods for waterproofing a basement from the inside, such as covering the basement walls with a waterproof paint or sealant or installing a tile drain system. A sump pump is also a method that’s installed on the inside of a basement; however, a sump pump only removes water once it’s accumulated inside rather than preventing water from entering the space.

Does waterproofing a basement add value to your home?

Yes, if you’re having moisture build up in your basement, then waterproofing it could add value to your home. Potential buyers will be reassured that they aren’t likely to see hefty repair costs caused by water damage if the situation has been addressed and resolved.

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