Interior or Exterior Basement Waterproofing – Which is the Best?
Interior or Exterior Basement Waterproofing – Which is the Best?

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While the basement is an important part of the home, it’s not immune to flooding and moisture. Cracks caused by hydrostatic pressure and shifting foundation can let in water. So if you have been contemplating basement waterproofing, you have the answer.

Why Waterproof Your Basement?

Not seeing the need for waterproofing the basement? Here’s how you stand to benefit by waterproofing yours:

  1. Structural Integrity: Left unsealed, the basement will let in water from the surrounding soil. Pressure from the water will strain the wall, floor, and ceiling. Worse still, it will create the perfect conditions for wood to decay and for rust to erode metal structures. That’s not the only threat. Termites may also come in and continue the destructive work of the elements, eating your wooden beams and joists. Waterproofing your basement ensures your home and underlying structures remain in good shape for years.
  2. Reduces the cost of repairs: Aside from making your Indianapolis, IN, home energy efficient, waterproofing the basement lowers the cost of repairs. You will lock out moisture, floodwater after a heavy downpour, and fractures that could up the cost of insuring your home. Proofing your basement keeps it in good shape, meaning fewer repairs and expenses.
  3. Flood prevention: From time to time, torrential rains cause flooding in South and Central Indiana. If the interior of the basement has no drainage system and the exterior of the basement is not waterproofed, you can be sure flood waters will come into your home and cause severe damage. Waterproofing your basement keeps floodwaters out of this space effectively.
  4. Healthy indoors: Excess moisture in the basement creates the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow and colonize your home. When they take over your basement, they will trigger allergies, respiratory infections and cause breathing problems. Waterproofing your basement ensures your home remains clean and mold-free.

Interior Basement Waterproofing

Proper waterproofing of the basement is the first line of defense against moisture water. Some of the effective methods and solutions for this purpose include:

  • French drains: If you’re struggling with a wet basement, especially water seepage, installing French interior drains will help deflect water and channel it to a sump pump basin.
  • Sump pump: Installing a sump pump in the lowest point of the basement helps keeps this space dry and healthy. It prevents water from saturated soil penetrating the basement walls.
  • Dehumidifiers: Basement floors and walls constantly absorb moisture, which can cause musty odors. Dehumidifiers help bring moisture levels under control and prevent mold growth.
  • Vapor barrier: They are made from thick polymer with fused filaments and bonded fabric and are designed to stop moisture from moving from the soil to the walls of the basement.

When proofing the interior, it's advisable to combine a waterproofing system and a fully enclosed drainage that reroutes water to a proper place of discharge. This ensures torrential rainwater never gets inside the basement and causes damage or moisture problems.

Exterior basement waterproofing

Concrete isn’t a good deterrent against moisture. Secondly, the soil surrounding your home usually expands and contracts, depending on the moisture content. Over time, this causes the foundation to crack or shift, allowing water to enter your home. Some cracks may not be visible and these are the ones that lead to moisture buildup.

Just like internal proofing, external waterproofing of your basement will enhance the structural integrity of your home by reducing the amount of water that enters your home. It’s mostly a preventive measure that also reduces basement deterioration, saving you thousands of dollars in costly repairs you would have spent on repairs after water damage and moisture infiltration.

Subsoil drainage is an essential part of exterior basement waterproofing. One way of doing this is by installing French drains on the outside to direct water away from home. This prevents underground water from accumulating and exerting pressure on your foundation walls. A driveway drain is another great solution that stops floodwater from damaging your home.

In addition, installing downspout lines and drains can also help direct water from your foundation. Make sure they're intact and capable of handling huge volumes of rainfall, or they won't serve you properly.

When waterproofing the exterior, it’s advisable to use techniques that reduce disruption to the landscape and to your loved ones. Avoid using heavy equipment as it can worsen cracks. If excavation is required, dig no more than 18 inches around the perimeter.

Want to waterproof the basement of your Indianapolis, IN, home? Start by scheduling an appointment for a free inspection and estimate with us. We have experienced basement professionals who can help with diagnosis and waterproofing projects.