Waterproofing A Basement

How much should waterproofing a basement cost?

If you have a leaky, damp basement, then you are probably wondering what the cost to waterproof a basement is.

Excessive moisture levels in your basement can lead to structural damage, decreased home value, and mould and bacteria growth. Mould and bacteria growing in your basement are health hazards and can exacerbate health problems such as asthma.

To avoid these consequences, it is crucial that you get your basement waterproofed as soon as possible. But before you do this, it is just as important to get a budget in place for the fix, so that you can plan for the expense. 

If you need to get, your basement waterproofed asap, and need to get an idea of what it will cost—read on because we are about to share with you all the factors that are involved in the final cost, as well as average costs for basement repairs. 

So you have a damp basement that’s causing all kinds of problems. You realize the indoor air is filled with musty odours, you’re coughing a lot, and the floor and walls feel colder than usual. The only recourse you have is to waterproof it. And this will cost you money, but how much?

Let’s look at how much interior basement waterproofing and exterior proofing will cost you so you can budget for your project.

At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer the best range waterproofing services to rectify your water issues. 

Understand the Different Solutions

There are a variety of solutions that can be used in tandem or separately, depending on the severity and the cause of the damp problem in your basement. 

Waterproofing A Basement

Dehumidifiers

For minor moisture problems, you can choose to buy a dehumidifier. This can be effective for mild internal sources of moisture, such as laundry drying, and will generally cost between $1,300 and $2,000 to install. However, on its own, a humidifier won’t be able to tackle serious damp problems. 

Utilizing a humidifier to remedy a damp problem that is coming from the exterior can cause further damage. By drying out the air within the basement, this can effectively, ‘suck’ more water through the walls, which can result in efflorescence, concrete spalling, and further damage to interior finishes.

Waterproofing Products

You can also choose to use a waterproofing paint, sealant, or other product on the interior of your basement to stop moisture wicking through the walls. This is a simple and cost-effective solution, with costs lying between $20 and $200 per can of paint, plus labour charges.

However, it is best utilized, along with other prevention methods. By applying a waterproof coating to the interior of your basement, you might be able to keep moisture out, but it will still sit in the walls and foundations—which is not ideal. 

Proper Installation of Downpipes and Gutters

Suppose your downpipes and gutters are improperly installed, damaged or completely missing. In that case, this will act to direct all of the water coming from your roof directly into your foundations and through to your basement. 

Installing new gutters and downpipes can cost you anywhere between $550 and $1,350 depending on your home’s size. However, if you already have some guttering in place that merely needs to be fixed, the costs might be decreased. 

Installation of Window Well Drains

If the source of your basement’s water problems is improperly designed window wells, you can choose to install window drains. This can cost anywhere between $500 and $2,000 but is a highly effective solution if the basement’s windows are the root cause of your problem. 

Grading

If the lawn around your home slopes directly towards the house, this could be leading surface water into your foundations and exacerbating the damp problems. If you are not against having your garden graded, you might be able to re-slope some areas for between $900 and $3,000.

However, take note that this solution on its own is generally not effective. 

French Drain Installation

Exterior French drains are an effective method for transporting water away before it reaches your basement. These drains run around the perimeter of your foundations and will generally cost between $1000 and $1500 per 50 feet. 

You can also install French interior drains within your basement. However, these generally cost more. 

Sump Pump Installation

Installing a sump pump is another highly effective fix for damp basements, especially if combined with a subfloor pressure relief system. Sump pump installations are estimated to generally cost between $500 and $1100, depending on the number of pumps required and the brand used. 

If you do not have a pressure relief system in your basement, then you will need to get a subfloor pressure relief system along with a sump pump installed. 

Foundation Crack Repair

If you have cracks in your foundation through which water is seeping into your basement, you will do some foundation crack repair.

This can cost anywhere between $500 to $1,000 or more depending on the number of cracks and the quality of the crack repair job and materials used. 

Interior solutions for basement waterproofing

Interior-based basement waterproofing methods often called “negative side” projects, involve moving out water that’s inside the home. Fixing a water problem from the inside may be a cheaper option, especially in cases where exterior work isn’t practical or possible.

Drain 

This system moves water out of the house through a hole or trench in the foundation, paired with a sump pump. Such a system should also include insulation of basement walls, with a vapour barrier to protect against condensation. Drainage systems start at around $2,000. The national average cost of installing a French drain, including excavation and sump pump, is between $7,100 and $9,700 but maybe more or less depending on where you live.

Sealants

Some highly rated waterproofing companies don’t recommend sealants because they say they fail too quickly. The cost of a sealant-based waterproofing project may range from $4 to $8 a square foot.

Epoxy injection

Like sealants, this option is not always favoured because it may provide only a temporary solution to fill cracks in poured-concrete walls. Epoxy injections can start at $300.

Exterior solutions for basement waterproofing

Exterior waterproofing projects are sometimes called “positive side” jobs because the aim is to prevent water from getting in the house.

Excavation

Many contractors consider installing an underground trench or perimeter drain to be the most effective method if done correctly. However, this can be quite expensive. The national average cost of an exterior waterproofing job for a basement is typically between $8,700 and $14,500, but maybe more or less depending on where you live. The price can be as high as $80,000, depending on how accessible the targeted areas are, how much digging is required and how much landscaping or other work must be restored. 

Sodium bentonite

Some waterproofing contractors don’t like this method of adding a clay material to the dirt around the home to fill cracks and absorb water. They say it’s a temporary solution and difficult to control since the clay can clog outdoor drains. Costs for this method start around $500.

Preventative Tips

Check around your home’s foundation looking for any low spots, service walks that are tilting in due to ground settling down next to the foundation, downspouts properly attached and debris such as leaves in window wells causing water to overflow the basement windows. If you find low spots fill them in with dirt, grading it away from home. If you have settling walking paths, adjust them, so they are no longer damming water from flowing away from the. Be sure you have gutters and downspouts on your home to properly dispose roof water runoff (one of the biggest culprits creating a wet basement) and make sure your downspouts are always properly connected carrying the water a minimum of 8 feet from your foundation. These simple preventative tips should be your first steps when fixing your wet basement problem. Many leaky basements can be dried up with these easy tips and will save you money and headache. Now, lets breakdown the different basement waterproofing costs and options…

Looking for the best waterproofing company? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered. 

Condensation

Condensation is when water droplets in humid air come in contact with cold surfaces turning the vapour into water. Condensation often collects on concrete surfaces like your walls and floor. A low-cost remedy to this type of basement condition is to add a box fan to your basement to help circulate the air, which prevents the vapour from condensing and turning into liquid. You could also want to add a dehumidifier to the basement to collect the moisture from the air. For most basements, you want to keep the humidity level at or below 50% relative humidity. When you go above 80% humidity, your chances of mould and mildew greatly increase.

Leaky Wall Crack

Leaky wall cracks are most commonly found in poured wall foundations. Vertical wall cracks can be fixed by applying a sealant to the crack, like our CRACK Foundation Repair. This will seal off the crack preventing water from entering through the wall crack. It’s important also to take preventative measures to keep water from entering your basement. For that, you need to take a look outside your home to address key areas that drive water into your basement every time it rains or snow thaws (read the preventative tips above for more info).

Water Seepage Where Floor & Walls Meet

The joint where the floor and walls meet is commonly called the “cold” or “cove” joint. This is the most common source of a wet basement, affecting nearly 90% of all wet basements. As hydrostatic pressure around your home’s foundation builds up, it forces exterior water into the basement through the open cold joint.

Many do-it-yourself homeowners’ initial idea is to find a way to push back or stop the seepage with waterproofing paints or hydraulic cement. These methods are cheap, “quick fixes” to a leaky basement, but won’t last long term and often create a bigger problem as water will build up higher in the walls and can find new ways into the basement. Waterproofing paints typically cost around $50 a gallon and require a great deal of prep work labour to apply. Hydraulic types of cement cost around $10 for a 10 lb. pail, which can be very appealing to a homeowner looking for a cheap fix, but they often regret their choice when water begins to build up in their walls and popping and cracking the hydraulic cement. These quick bandaid fixes should be avoided because they will not solve the problem.

Now, that we’ve addressed some of the common do-it-yourself methods lets talk about permanent solutions to a wet basement and their associated costs.

The most expensive basement waterproofing cost and the option is exterior waterproofing. This requires a great deal of labour and stress on your home, and it has several drawbacks when adding to an existing home. Exterior waterproofing relies on a waterproof membrane sprayed or brushed onto the exterior face of a home’s foundation walls to create a water barrier. The best time to apply an exterior waterproofing membrane is during the construction of the home. This can act as a preventative measure to help keep moisture out of the basement.

How to Fix Common Causes of Basement Water Problems

Outside: Clogged Gutters and Downspouts

The Department of Energy (Energy.gov) reminds us that just a few inches of rainfall onto a roof can produce several thousands of gallons of water runoff. Guttering is made to contend with this runoff, but inadequate or clogged gutters and downspouts will channel that water straight into your basement.

Solution: This most common external cause of basement moisture is also one of the easiest and least expensive to remedy. Head outside when it’s pouring and look at how your system is working. Guttering should be of sufficient size and appropriately graded to accept rainwater without overflowing. Downspouts of adequate size and placement need to direct water several feet away from the foundation or into a rain barrel for collection and later use. Set a year-round maintenance schedule: Leaves and pollen are common cloggers, and winter inspections in northern climates are critical to prevent ice from causing damage. Water freezing in gutters can force ice into shingles, causing roof damage too.

Outside: Grade of Ground Around the Home

Without an adequate slope away from the house, the ground around your home can direct rainwater into the basement.

Solution: Energy.gov recommends using a clay-based soil to create a gentle slope that has its highest point at your foundation wall and drops 5% over 10 feet as you proceed out from the foundation into the yard. It’s important to leave several inches of your foundation wall exposed, so if the existing ground is already too close to siding or shingle, you may have to remove instead of adding soil. As part of this project, plan your landscaping to incorporate rain gardens with native plants that will suck up water as opposed to high-maintenance non-natives requiring constant irrigation.

Outside: Water Table Rise and Seasonal Flooding

Homes built in areas prone to flooding events or seasonal water table rise, and those homes without a functioning drainage system, can be susceptible to intermittent (and large) basement water problems. This may be the most irritating cause of basement moisture because it can be hard for the homeowner to diagnose, and it’s expensive to remedy.

Solution: This category of water problems is handled using a combination of a drain (or drains) and often a sump pump, a small mechanical pump in a dedicated pit in the basement that pumps out the water through a discharge pipe when water fills the pit. Most houses are built with one or more drainage systems, and the most important and efficient one is outside and under the foundation. Suppose the home’s exterior drain tile system has failed or is absent. In that case, you could be looking at a bunch of work: exposing the area around your foundation, sealing and insulating the foundation and installing a new system involving drain tile, pipes and fill. That said, interior drain systems also exist and are less expensive because they don’t require excavating the foundation.

Outside: Foundation Seepage

Despite their sturdiness relative to most things in our lives, foundations are more flexible than you might expect. They breathe, settle and respond to the world around them. Because concrete is porous, it’s vulnerable to such forces as capillary suction and vapour diffusion where groundwater migrates into drier areas. This type of moisture often won’t warrant a rowboat but can be responsible for that dank basement feeling and mould-and-mildew issues. Hairline and cosmetic cracks are common in foundation floors and walls and are often no cause for worry, but some cracks will allow both air and groundwater to seep into the basement or be an indicator of a bigger problem. Size matters here, as does location and orientation.

Solution: We mentioned sealing the exterior of the foundation if it’s exposed for repair: Internally applied barriers are an option, too, in the form of either a membrane (a thick sheet of plastic) or a liquid product you paint on. A membrane barrier is most often installed with an internal perimeter drain system present, so the system moves the water that does arrive at a drain and then outside. If you are waterproofing prior to finishing your basement, consider any sealing in conjunction with this work because finished walls and floor coverings have specific requirements for the foundation’s condition. Regarding cracks: Small cracks can be fixed using epoxy, concrete products or polyurethane foam. Larger cracks may signal issues that could eventually require foundation correction, stabilization and reinforcement.

Inside: Plumbing Leaks

Plumbing leaks from faucets and sinks are generally on our radar, but clogged, or broken HVAC drain lines and poorly installed heating ducts are big basement moisture contributors, too, as are clothes dryer ducts. These latter offenders are particularly problematic because they are often hidden from view.

Solution: Perform regular checks for obvious plumbing and HVAC leaks. Ensure that your clothes dryer duct hasn’t become disconnected within the wall — a surprisingly common problem — and has the appropriately sized (and routed) ductwork.

Inside: Regular Appliance Use

Even without leaks, regular use of appliances in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room can be huge internal contributors of basement condensation. Similarly, HVAC units themselves — often installed in basements — can raise humidity levels if you neglect regular maintenance or use an inappropriate fan setting for your climate.

Solution: Increase ventilation by adding HVAC vents to the basement area, using windows and ceiling fans regularly and ensuring that all bathrooms and kitchens have externally vented extractor fans. A dehumidifier can be installed as a part of your HVAC system or purchased as a standalone unit. For significant issues, install humidity-triggered exhaust fans in walls or windows. Consult your HVAC manufacturer for recommended settings and adhere to maintenance and filter-changing schedules.

We have a huge range of waterproofing services Melbourne at Hitch Property Constructions that offers stress-free services for any water problem you got! 

Before hiring a basement waterproofing contractor

Be sure to check these important aspects before signing a contract:

First try the simplest solutions, such as making sure gutters are free of debris, downspouts are moving water 20 to 30 feet from the foundation and the property slopes away from the foundation. In addition to using a trusted online site to review local consumers’ experiences, consider contractors who belong to the Basement Health Association. This trade organization offers certification and continuing education.

Also, get multiple bids, check references and make sure that the company you hire is properly licensed, insured and bonded. Beware of a prospective contractor who repeatedly offers to lower the estimated price. Also, be aware that waterproofing work is often calculated by the linear foot. Be sure to get all relevant details, including price, in writing. Understand what type of waterproofing warranty the company offers on its work and what all it covers.

Once you know roughly what it will cost to waterproof a basement, our last tip is to find a contractor that you can trust. Nobody likes to spend hard-earned cash to receive sub-par results. 

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