How To Waterproof A Basement?

If you live on the East Coast, maybe the West Coast, you are more likely to purchase a home with a basement. Basements are great for states or cities that are notorious for having fierce summer or winter weather. A basement is probably a lifesaver for homeowners living in the Midwestern part of the United States. Having a basement is indeed a lifesaver, but if a basement is not taken care of every year season, how can the basement take care of you?

Here are some ways a homeowner can preserve their very valuable basement for weather emergencies:

Fix holes and cracks:

When a-holes or cracks begin to appear in any of the basement walls or foundation, do not wait to patch them up ‘later’ or it will be too late. Any homeowner whose house has a basement should always check their basement on a regular basis for such imperfections because over time and through all kinds of weather, holes or cracks are very possible. If patching up any hole or crack is not something the homeowner likes to do, they can hire a contractor to come out and use the proper sealant to fix the unwelcome holes and or cracks.

Waterproof Walls:

The walls of a basement are very important to maintain its stability. In fact, if the walls are not stable, the whole house might fall down. This is why it is vital to waterproof the walls, inside and outside the basement. There are some waterproofing products that can be applied to the walls such as Xypex and Drylok. Now, waterproofing is not the same as sealing either. The way Xypex works, it is like applying waterproofing concrete to the walls of a basement. The product Drylok is not a sealer, not a waterproofing product, but works nonetheless on minor leaks.

Clear out gutters and downspouts:

Just like any home, it is necessary to clear out all the leaves or branches that might find their way into the gutters and downspouts around your home. The same goes for your basement. After clearing the gutters and downspouts, check to see that water comes out and away from your home at least 4-5 feet away. The less water around the foundation of your basement, the better.

Check for condensation:

Because the basement is underground, it is more likely to have a build-up of condensation. Condensation can easily gather moisture on the basement cold water pipes, walls, and floors. The best way to reduce or remove all condensation is to use a dehumidifier or let sunlight into the affected area. If sunlight is not possible, purchase a space heater. The space heater should not be plugged in and used unless the homeowner is in the basement of course.

Other than weather emergencies, you should also know a house with dam(p) basement just won’t sell.

A real estate agent’s gut-wrencher: The prospect turns to hubby and says, “Isn’t this so homey and practical and just what we were looking for. Now, let’s go down and look at the basement.” They open the basement door and get the feeling that Noah must have been running an all-nighter down there!

“What did you say the asking price is? Hmmm, well we have a friend cross-state who just had their basement waterproofed and dried out and it cost them over fifteen grand, so we’ll just lower our offer by that much for openers so we can fix the basement.”

Well, with a little forethought and action, the sellers could probably solve that dam(p) problem for about 2 to 3 thousand and the new dry basement may very well become the final clinching selling point!


1. Learn online: the why’s and how’s of basement water problems.
2. Fortify yourself by knowing the over-sell’s and the gotcha closings of the waterproofing professional salesman.
3. Choose a contractor who has been around longer than the last big rain.
4. Get a sign-off from the buyer that the work done will be accepted without any further obligation on your part. The buyers will rely on a good contractor’s guarantee.

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