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How to Waterproof Your Basement Foundation: 5 Steps

Ensuring your home’s longevity and safety starts from the ground up, and one of the most critical aspects of this is foundation waterproofing.

This process not only protects the structural integrity of your home but also prevents a myriad of potential issues that can arise from water damage.

In this guide, we will explore the ins and outs of waterproofing your basement foundation, offering a step-by-step approach to safeguard your home effectively.

The Importance of Waterproofing Your Basement Foundation

Waterproofing your basement foundation is not just a preventative measure; it’s an investment in your home’s future. Here are a few reasons why it’s essential:

  • Prevents Water Damage: Foundation waterproofing stops water from seeping into your basement, protecting your belongings and preventing damage to your home’s structure.
  • Avoids Health Hazards: Moist environments are breeding grounds for mold and mildew, which can cause health issues for you and your family. Waterproofing your foundation keeps your basement dry and mold-free.
  • Increases Property Value: A waterproofed foundation is a significant selling point, as it ensures the home is solid, safe, and free from potential water-related issues.
  • Saves Money in the Long Run: By preventing water damage, you’re also avoiding costly repairs down the line. Waterproofing your basement foundation now can save you thousands of dollars in future repairs.

Steps to Waterproof Your Basement Foundation

1. Inspect for Damage

Before you begin the waterproofing process, it’s crucial to inspect your basement for any existing cracks or damage. If left unchecked, structural damage can limit the effectiveness of waterproofing solutions. Only after basement damage is resolved can the waterproofing process begin.

2. Choose the Right Waterproofing Method

There are several methods for waterproofing a basement foundation, including interior sealants, exterior waterproofing, and drainage systems. Selecting the right approach depends on the extent of the moisture problem and the construction of your home.

3. Apply Interior Sealants and Waterproof Coatings

Interior sealants can help prevent condensation and minor seepage. For more severe issues, waterproof coatings can be applied to the interior walls of the basement to stop water from entering.

4. Implement Exterior Waterproofing

Exterior waterproofing is more comprehensive and involves excavating around the house to the full depth of the foundation walls, then installing a waterproof membrane. This method is highly effective but can be more costly and labor-intensive.

5. Install a Drainage System

A crucial component of preventing water damage is ensuring effective water drainage away from your foundation. A properly installed interior drainage system, sometimes referred to as a French drain, can significantly reduce the risk of water damage. Coupling this with a sump pump system enhances protection by actively pumping out water that accumulates around or beneath your foundation, ensuring your basement remains dry even during heavy rains.



JES Foundation Repair offers a wide number of drainage systems that can be installed within your basement for efficient moisture and water control. Arguably one of the most important drainage systems are sump pumps: basins that can intake large amounts of water found in and around your home and redirect this water elsewhere so that you do not experience leaks or floods. The SafeDri™ ProPlus 330 is the most basic model, and the SafeDri™ UltraPro Triple Sump Pump System has an additional pump for heavy duty jobs. Homeowners also have the option of the SafeDri™ ProPlus with Battery Backup System, which includes a battery backup that kicks into gear in the event of a power failure.

If you notice that water is entering your basement from any doorway openings, the BasementGutter™ Grated Drain Pipe is the solution for you. It is installed directly into the floor at any entryway, therefore capturing any water that may enter your basement through them. The holes of the grate are also small enough to block larger pieces of debris from entering, and even then, the drain pipe is easy to clean. Another option is the BasementGutter™ Interior Drain System, which lines the perimeter of your basement that is both resistant to being clogged and non-invasive to your space.

JES Foundation Repair also offers a basement dehumidifier that can remove 4 times the amount of water from the air than the commercial brands. It is also highly efficient since it drains on its own and can be adjusted to remove as much or as little moisture as you deem necessary.

As mentioned, some waterproofing solutions are temporary, whereas others can last longer if they’re more comprehensive. The type of waterproofing that involves interior drainage installed by a reliable contractor is a more permanent solution. Comparatively, sealant waterproofing lasts between one and two years, depending on the type of sealant you used.

Basement finishing has become more and more popular in recent years as homeowners seek to make the most of every square inch of space that their home has to offer. There are many regulatory requirements around what is needed to class a basement as a ‘habitable space’. For example, you will need an egress window of a certain size. However, waterproofing is not technically necessary to finish your basement fully.

However, it is a very good idea to waterproof your basement before you begin any finishing work. After all, nothing is certain to ruin your hard work and furnishings quite like dampness, flooding, and mold. The benefits of waterproofing your basement before finishing it are many, and the process itself should be very straightforward and cost-effective, unless there are serious underlying issues that must be addressed first.

Generally speaking, waterproofing your basement will start with clearing all obstructions and debris from the space. After this, insulation will be cut to size and installed alongside vapor barriers to prevent moisture from seeping through the bare concrete walls and into your home. Depending on the space you have, a professional may also suggest perimeter drains and a sump pump system to make sure that your finished basement stays safe and dry in even the worst weather. Waterproofing your basement before you finish it will not only protect your hard work, but will make your finished basement more comfortable to be in.

Get a Dry, Safe Basement with JES!

At JES Foundation Repair, we understand the critical importance of keeping your home’s foundation waterproofed and secure. Our team of experts specializes in foundation waterproofing, offering comprehensive solutions tailored to your home’s specific needs.

Don’t wait for water damage to compromise the integrity of your home. Contact JES Foundation Repair today to schedule your free inspection.

Phillip Mazzotta

Phillip Mazzotta

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JES Foundation Repair service area map of the Mid-Atlantic region.

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