Step-By-Step Guide to Waterproofing Basement Walls (2023)

Basements are essential spaces in our homes, often used for storage or as a cozy extra living area – perhaps a move room or home gym. However, they are especially vulnerable to water damage and mold growth if not properly protected against excess moisture.

Basement waterproofing is crucial. Reliable basement waterproofing can help to maintain your home’s indoor air quality, while preventing costly structural issues down the road from leaks, excess moisture, or water damage.

In this step-by-step guide we’ll explore how to effectively waterproof basement walls to prevent mold after (or prior to) water damage. Keep your finished basement dry all year round – without the need for costly repairs.

Step-by-Step Guide to Waterproofing Basement Walls

Inspect and prepare the walls by removing any debris or material that may be obstructing the area to be waterproofed. Basement waterproofing costs (including drainage systems) are a small price to pay in comparison to dealing with the aftermath of a wet basement.

Inspect and Prepare Walls

To begin your DIY basement waterproofing project, conduct a thorough inspection and preparation of your targeted basement wall. You can start by examining the entire perimeter of your basement for any signs of cracks, leaks, or water damage.

Look for stains on walls, floors, and ceilings that may indicate moisture penetration.

Once you’ve pinpointed problem areas during inspection, it’s time to prepare your walls for waterproofing treatment. Clear away furniture and other large obstructions so you have ample room to work in.

It’s crucial to remove any loose paint or debris from wall surfaces with a wire brush or scraper before applying waterproof coatings – this ensures proper adhesion between sealant and surface material.

If there are extensive cracks running through concrete basement walls due to settling issues discussed earlier, use an epoxy-based filler specifically designed for masonry repair prior to moving forward with further steps in sealing against unwanted water infiltration.

Repair Existing Damage

Before beginning the waterproofing process, it is crucial to repair any existing damage to your basement walls. Damaged or compromised walls can render even the most diligent waterproofing efforts ineffective and lead to further problems down the line.

To start, inspect basement walls for visible signs of damage such as cracks, holes, and other imperfections that may allow water penetration or mold growth. You’ll also want to pay special attention to your basement window, which often allow leakage of excess moisture and commonly contribute to mold growth.

For more significant damage like large cracks and crumbling concrete or leaks caused by deteriorating mortar joints between bricks, consider seeking professional help from a foundation repair expert.

They will assess the severity of the problem and recommend appropriate solutions such as hydraulic cement application or even structural reinforcement if necessary.

Apply Waterproofing Sealant

Applying a waterproofing sealant (or waterproof coating) is a crucial step in ensuring your basement walls remain protected against water damage, mold growth, and excess moisture. Start by choosing the right type of sealant – acrylic or silicate-based products are ideal for concrete walls, while elastomeric waterproof paint provides an effective barrier on wood, brick, or other porous surfaces.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix and prepare the sealant. Working from top to bottom, apply a thick coat using either a brush or roller. Be sure to fill every crack and crevice for maximum coverage.

Allow each layer to dry completely before adding another – usually two coats are sufficient to create an impenetrable shield against water leaks and mold spores. During this process take necessary safety precautions such as wearing gloves and protective gear if needed.

Install Drainage System

Installing a drainage system is an essential step in keeping your basement waterproofed. This involves creating a path for water to flow away from the foundation of your home and preventing it from seeping into your basement walls. A sump pump system is probably the best representative example of this.

One popular method for installing a drainage system is by excavating around the perimeter of your home and laying down perforated pipes that direct water away from the foundation.

It’s important to ensure that these pipes are sloped correctly to allow water to flow freely towards designated areas like storm drains or dry wells. If this sounds too complicated, you can also opt for simple solutions like French drains or surface-level slopes that redirect runoff water away from vulnerable areas.

DIY Waterproofing Techniques

insulated and waterproofed basement walls

Effective DIY waterproofing techniques may include maintaining gutters and downspouts, using dehumidifiers, applying sealants, and regularly inspecting for water leaks.

Properly Maintaining Gutters and Downspouts

Regular maintenance of gutters and downspouts is crucial for preventing water damage in your basement. Exterior waterproofing is correlated with interior waterproofing — proper roof installation is just as essential as sump pumps and gutters.

However, when gutters and downspouts become clogged with leaves, twigs, or other debris, water can overflow and cascade over the sides next to the foundation.

To properly maintain your gutters and downspouts, you should check them regularly for blockages and clean them out as needed. You can use a trowel or a small hand-held rake to remove any debris that has collected in the gutter system.

Additionally, make sure that your downspouts are directing water at least 5 feet away from your home’s foundation.

Regular maintenance should always be a force of habit. You’re taking an important step toward protecting both your home’s stability and resale value while also keeping mold growth at bay. If you need new gutters and downspouts, you should reach out to our team today!

Using Dehumidifiers

Another DIY technique for waterproofing basement walls is using dehumidifiers. High humidity levels in basements can lead to mold growth and other moisture-related issues, so it’s important to keep the air dry.

However, it’s worth noting that a dehumidifier alone is not an effective long-term solution for waterproofing basement walls. While it can help with controlling moisture in the air, waterproofing requires sealing any cracks or leaks in the walls themselves.

Regular Inspection and Repair

Regular inspection and repair of your basement walls is crucial for preventing water damage and mold growth. It’s recommended to inspect your basement walls at least once a year, especially after heavy rainfall or snowmelt.

If you notice any issues, it’s important to address them promptly with proper repair techniques. Fixing small cracks and gaps in the foundation can prevent larger problems from developing over time.

Remember that prevention is key when it comes to maintaining a dry basement environment – don’t wait until there’s already water damage before taking action! Keep an eye out for any signs of moisture buildup in your home, invest in high-quality waterproofing materials, and make sure to follow all recommended maintenance guidelines for optimal results.


worker showing where addition waterproofing needs

Waterproofing your basement walls is a critical step in maintaining the structural integrity of your home and preventing mold growth or water damage. By following this little guide, you can effectively protect your basement from water damage and ensure it remains dry for years to come. While basement waterproofing cost may put off a lot of homeowners from tackling this project, it’s an important part of preventing costly water damage.

Larger basement waterproofing projects will often require the assistance of professional remediation or renovation companies, like us here at Allphase Restoration. Contact us today for a free quote on your basement waterproofing project! 

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