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Should I Waterproof My Basement from the Inside or Outside?

July 20, 2023

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Homeowners often ask, should I waterproof my basement from the inside or outside? It’s vital to understand both processes, to ensure a quality job. On the other hand, you don’t want to overpay for unnecessary basement protection.

Interior basement waterproofing is more cost-effective and easier as a DIY project. However, it offers less protection against water damage than exterior waterproofing. Exterior methods provide added protection but also mean excavation and higher costs.

To find out more about basement waterproofing methods, keep reading! Added details about these projects ensure you make the best choice for your property. Also, it’s helpful to know when it’s time to call a basement waterproofing contractor near you. They can offer expert advice and guaranteed services for your home.

should I waterproof my basement from the inside or outside

Should I Waterproof My Basement from the Inside or Outside? Pros and Cons of Each Method

There is no “right or wrong” answer about waterproofing methods for a basement. Instead, check out the pros and cons of each. In turn, you can evaluate these methods individually and decide on what’s best for your home. Additionally, you can discuss these options with a waterproofing contractor more readily, if needed.

Understanding interior basement waterproofing

Note some pros about interior basement waterproofing:

  • Interior waterproofing is often less costly than exterior methods. Not only are materials cheaper but a homeowner can usually apply various coatings themselves. In turn, you save on labor costs for needed waterproofing.
  • Working inside the basement is less disruptive to your property and landscaping. Consequently, you won’t need to worry about digging up shrubs and flowers to apply waterproof coatings.
  • Not having to dig up your property to apply waterproof membranes also means less work! This is vital for any DIYer to consider.
  • Interior waterproof coatings are often quicker to install than exterior.

Check out some downsides of interior waterproofing for your basement:

  • Interior waterproofing does not prevent water from reaching exterior foundation walls. Instead, it focuses on managing water after it has entered the basement. As a result, your basement might still suffer water damage including cracking and leaks.
  • Interior waterproofing is excellent for minor water intrusion issues. However, it’s not always the right choice for persistent standing water and flooding.

All about exterior basement waterproofing

As with interior treatments, exterior basement waterproofing has its own pros and cons. First, note its advantages:

  • Exterior waterproofing creates a strong barrier that prevents water from reaching foundation walls. In turn, exterior membranes provide the best protection against water intrusion. This makes it the right choice for areas prone to excessive soil moisture and flooding.
  • Professional, durable exterior waterproofing provides long-lasting results. In turn, this process reduces the risk of future water-related problems.
  • Keeping water away from foundation walls minimizes risks of water damage. This includes wood rot, mold, and other structural issues.

There are some downsides to exterior waterproofing, including:

  • Exterior waterproofing is often more expensive than interior methods. The materials are more expensive, and a contractor needs to excavate around the foundation to apply them! This all means a costlier solution than interior waterproofing.
  • Excavating around a foundation disrupts landscaping. In turn, you might need to schedule additional restoration work after project completion.

exterior waterproofing a basement foundation

Can a Basement Be Waterproofed From the Inside?

Since interior basement waterproofing is more affordable, you might wonder if it’s a good solution for your home. Note some added details about interior waterproofing so you can decide for yourself:

  • Interior waterproofing is an effective solution for controlling moisture and preventing water from seeping into the living space. In turn, it’s excellent for providing a dry, hygienic space, protecting appliances and stored materials.
  • Additionally, interior waterproofing can protect finished building materials such as drywall and floor tile. If you want to finish the basement, interior waterproofing is a great choice.
  • Applying waterproof sealants or coatings on interior basement walls and floor reduces moisture penetration. These products are easy for homeowners to apply themselves! Most apply with rollers, like paints.
  • If your property doesn’t suffer from water penetration, you might not need expensive, intrusive exterior waterproofing. Well-constructed walls and properly drained soil keep water away from basements. Consequently, simple coatings might offer sufficient protection.

What Is the Best Basement Waterproofing Method?

There is no “best” waterproofing method. First, it’s vital to consider where and how water gets into the basement. Second, consider the protection needed for keeping the basement dry. Note what this means and some various waterproofing methods:

  • Interior drainage involves installing a French drain or footing drain along interior basement walls. This system collects water in the basement and directs it to a sump pump.
  • Sump pumps collect water in a pit within the basement floor. It then pumps it away from the house, ensuring the basement stays dry.
  • Sealants and coatings apply like paint, as said. These repel water and moisture that would otherwise seep into concrete materials.
  • For non-structural cracks in the basement walls, you might use various patching injections. These seep into the cracks, preventing water from seeping through.
  • Heavy-duty waterproofing membranes on interior walls provide excellent protection against moisture.
  • Dehumidifiers are excellent in humid environments and homes with poor ventilation. These capture airborne moisture so it can’t cling to walls and floors.

interior waterproofing for a basement

Why Should Basements Be Waterproofed From the Outside?

Exterior waterproofing solutions offer many advantages over interior solutions. Note when and why you might consider waterproofing a basement from the outside:

  • Exterior waterproofing stops water from infiltrating foundation walls, preventing it from entering the basement in the first place. This approach is more effective at keeping the basement dry than interior solutions, which only manage water after it’s entered the basement.
  • Exterior waterproofing shields the walls from water, reducing the risk of structural damage over time.
  • By preventing water from seeping through the walls, exterior waterproofing helps minimize moisture levels in the basement. In turn, this reduces mold and mildew growth.
  • Exterior waterproofing alleviates hydrostatic pressure. This occurs when water builds up around a foundation, exerting force against the walls. Over time, this pressure risks cracks and structural damage.
  • Exterior waterproofing provides decades of protection with minimal maintenance requirements.
  • Since exterior waterproofing protects against water outside a home, it’s the preferred choice for areas prone to flooding.
  • Professional exterior waterproofing protects new foundation and foundation repairs. Consequently, you might pay less for future fixes over the lifetime of home ownership.

Is Basement Waterproofing Worth It?

Basement waterproofing is well worth the cost and an excellent investment! Note its many advantages:

  • Waterproofing safeguards your home and belongings from mold growth, rot, and deterioration.
  • A dry basement provides additional usable space in your home. You can transform it into a living area, home office, or storage space without worrying about water-related issues.
  • A waterproofed basement is an attractive feature to potential buyers. If you put your property on the market, a well-maintained basement adds value and makes your home more appealing.
  • Water infiltration weakens the foundation over time. Basement waterproofing helps maintain the foundation’s structural integrity, preventing costly foundation repairs.
  • In some cases, waterproofing can lower insurance premiums. Since waterproofing protects homes against damage, your insurance carrier might offer a lower rate.

A Word From Our Crew

Basement Waterproofing of Rhode Island is happy to answer the question, should I waterproof my basement from the inside or outside? Hopefully we’ve given you some great information to consider. Also, if you’re in the Providence area, call our Rhode Island basement waterproofing contractors for your FREE quote. We provide a wide range of options sure to fit your budget and waterproofing needs.


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