Should You Waterproof Your Foundation?

by Shelley Frost
crack in the foundation

Water and your home's foundation aren't a good combination, but its location partially underground means your foundation will come into contact with water.

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When you waterproof a foundation, you help protect it from potentially damaging effects of water, like leaks inside your finished basement or mold growth.

What Does It Mean to Waterproof Your Foundation?

Foundation waterproofing aims to keep water out of your home and minimize damage to the foundation due to moisture. Home builders should incorporate some waterproofing methods into their construction, but older homes often don't have any integrated defenses against water.

You can waterproof a foundation on an older home with various methods. It's common to add multiple components to the process, including a treatment on the exterior of the foundation walls, underground drains to keep water away from the base of the foundation and above-ground strategies that keep water away from the foundation. Using a combination of strategies can increase the chances of keeping the base of your home dry.

You can also use interior waterproofing methods. Some homeowners use DIY waterproofing products that they paint onto the surface. Those products often have to be reapplied. You can also have indoor drain systems installed to direct water to a sump pump if it enters the basement.

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What Are the Pros and Cons of Waterproofing Your Foundation?

Looking at the pros and cons of foundation waterproofing helps you better understand the process. It can also help you decide if you need this treatment for your home.

Pros of Waterproofing Foundation Walls

Some of the benefits when you waterproof a foundation include:

  • A dry basement: If you have a basement, foundation waterproofing can help keep that lower level dry. This can be especially beneficial in a finished basement where moisture can damage your walls, flooring and other surfaces.
  • A sturdy foundation: Moving water away from your foundation reduces pressure on it and can help keep it strong.
  • Increased home value: A dry basement and protected foundation add value to your home. Future home buyers have less to worry about when it comes to keeping the foundation dry.
  • Less disruption: When you choose exterior foundation methods, you don't have to worry about a lot of disruption to your day-to-day routine. All the work takes place outdoors, so you don't have to move furniture or have the interior of your home torn apart to do the work.

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Cons of Waterproofing a Foundation

Even though waterproofing is often effective at keeping your home dry, there are some potential drawbacks to consider.

  • Extensive scope: When you waterproof the foundation of an existing home, the job is a big one. It typically involves digging down around the foundation to treat the wall and install underground drainage systems.
  • Cost: Exterior foundation waterproofing is a costly project. According to HomeGuide, you can expect to pay $3 to $9 (CAD 4 to CAD 12) per square foot, or about $1,920 to $6,320 (CAD 2,564 to CAD 8,440) total. If you have a larger home, the cost will be higher.
  • Repeat treatments: If you go with cheaper interior waterproofing methods, like painting a waterproofing product on your basement walls, you'll likely have to repeat the process frequently. Those products aren't as durable as exterior methods.

Look at the pros and cons of waterproofing for foundations and talk to a local contractor for help deciding if it's worth it for your home.

Should You Waterproof Your Foundation?

Deciding whether to waterproof your foundation comes down to your situation. If you have water issues along your foundation, waterproofing could help resolve those issues. Look for signs of water damage that could indicate you have a water problem. You might also consider waterproofing options if you live in a rainy area or have surface water issues on your property. Also, consider your budget to determine if waterproofing fits into it. The project can be costly, but it could save you lots of money in repairs if it prevents water damage in your home.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.

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Elocal Editorial Content is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Editorial Content should not be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed professional in your state reviewing your issue. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the eLocal Editorial Team and other third-party content providers do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of eLocal or its affiliate companies. Use of eLocal Editorial Content is subject to the

Website Terms and Conditions.

The eLocal Editorial Team operates independently of eLocal USA's marketing and sales decisions.

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