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Basement Waterproofing Learning Center

What are the Options for Basement Repair?

Transforming a “problem” basement into usable space is an important upgrade

There are a number of conditions that can make a basement unpleasant, but most homeowners would agree that water in the basement is one of the most serious problems. Excessive moisture in the basement, whether through seepage or a rusty basement window, can make the space totally unusable. A wet basement creates an ideal habitat for mold and mildew, organisms that feed on and destroy organic materials and are capable of causing respiratory ailments, and serious health concerns in some individuals. It's no wonder that a wet basement can make a house difficult or even impossible to sell. 

Which basement waterproofing solution is best?

If your basement is showing signs of a water problem, it’s smart to address it before the issue escalates. But many homeowners become overwhelmed by the variety of basement waterproofing methods on the market. Which one is most effective for your basement? How much will it cost? How long will it keep your basement dry and under what conditions?

A brief review of basement waterproofing techniques:

  • Negative side waterproofing. This terminology refers to the application of paint or a waterproof membrane on the inner side of the basement wall. By itself, this waterproofing method almost always fails.
  • Exterior excavation & drainage. It can be effective to dig around the outside of the foundation, apply a “positive side” waterproofing treatment, which entails the install of new drain lines to move groundwater away from the house. The disadvantage of these techniques is that they are costly, disruptive, and potentially damaging to foundations and landscaping elements such as shrubs, walkways, and patios. Despite the expense, there’s no guarantee that wet weather won’t result in water leaking into your basement.
  • Interior French drains. Combined with a sump pump system that automatically pumps collected water to the exterior, and away from the home, this “active” waterproofing system has a long track record as a successful waterproofing treatment. The patented WaterGuard® drains installed by Basement Systems are concealed below the basement floor. The drains capture all water that leaks through the wall and along the wall/floor joint, moving it to the sump pump for ejection to the exterior.

Explore these specific basement repair options in more detail:

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