5 Practical Ways to Waterproof Your Basement
5 Practical Ways to Waterproof Your Basement

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Are you building a new home or remodeling your property? One of the major decisions you’re going to make is the choice of waterproofing for the basement. The reason is basements are prone to condensation and leaks, which makes them a major concern for Indianapolis homeowners and property owners like you.

There are many waterproofing solutions in the market. Because of this, it can be tricky for you to pick the right one. In this post, we’ll look at all industry-approved options and show you the best way to waterproof the foundation of your Indianapolis home.

1. Basement sump pumps

When it comes to keeping your basement dry, mold-free and odor-free, sump pumps are the first line of defense. They can effectively move water out of your basement and keep it dry. Sump pumps have many innovative features. Combine yours with a dehumidifier and a perimeter drain, and you will never worry about moisture buildup or flooding for a long time.

waterproof your basement sump pump

When shopping for sump pumps, make sure they have durable plastic liners that prevent sediment build-up and pump stands that elevate intakes to avoid clogging. Also, check to see if their lids are airtight and that they have battery backup capabilities. If your pumps are faulty, get a sump pump replacement as soon as possible.

2. Perimeter drainage systems

The perimeter drain is a way of waterproofing the foundation of concrete blocks and walls. It works by collecting water in the soil - rainwater or melting snow - and carrying it away from the house. This system offers adequate protection from high water tables and water that seeps through foundation cracks.
So what makes perimeter drains attractive? They’re highly effective and inexpensive in protecting basements. Waterproofing is done on the inside, and no excavations are required. Modern perimeter drains can last for several years if the installation is done properly. For the most part, you can expect a problem-free basement for decades.

Tip: When installing perimeter drainage, route it away from the sewer system so you don't overload it with water.

3. Basement dehumidifiers

Water isn’t the only problem that’s going to assault your basement – moisture will too. Left unchecked, high levels of humidity can trigger a myriad of issues including mold growth, breathing problems, and worsening allergies or asthma. To prevent moisture build-up, install a basement dehumidifier and ensure it’s working properly.

Keep the following things in mind when shopping around for dehumidifiers:

  • Automatic water drainage
  • Automatic controls to maintain the right humidity levels
  • Filters for mold spores, dust mites and other pollutants
  • ENERGY STAR certification to conserve energy

4. Basement Windows

Basement replacement windows, especially egress, are other suitable solutions for waterproofing your basement. They're rust-free and don't deteriorate with time. Plus, you won't need to repair or maintain them from time to time. If you have old or rotting windows that leak, replace them with basement windows.

Tip: If installing a basement window, consider egress windows as they add extra light to the basement and create a safe exit in an emergency.

5. Foundation Waterproofing (Sealants)

Block foundations are inherently weak in that they have mortar joints on both sides. Because of this, they tend to develop hairline cracks due to expansion and contraction. Some people use interior sealants such as epoxy and polyurethane to stop seepage for a while. But we don’t recommend this solution as it traps moisture and water in the wall. Worse still, they can fail. Eventually, you may have to resort to installing perimeter drains to curb the problem.

What’s the best waterproofing solution?

From our experience, we can tell you there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to your basement problems. Why? All the waterproofing solutions we have covered above have their pros and cons. When choosing a waterproofing solution, think about the problem you’re facing and whether the solution can fix it. For instance, if you have humidity problems in the basement, you will have to install a dehumidifier. If flooding is a common problem in your area, you’ll have no choice but to install perimeter drains.

Sometimes you will find it necessary to combine two or more waterproofing solutions to protect your foundation and keep your basement dry. Talk to your basement waterproofing contractor if you’re unsure of the best solution for your home.