Home Foundation Repair How Does Foundation Waterproofing Protect Your Home?

How Does Foundation Waterproofing Protect Your Home?

If you’re in search of accurate foundation waterproofing costs, you’ve come to the right place!

Here’s what you’ll learn by the end of this article:

  • The different basement waterproofing options
  • How to waterproof your concrete foundation
  • How to save money with concrete waterproofing

Your home’s foundation holds up tens of thousands of pounds of construction material and offers structural integrity to your entire house. Still, water is what causes damage to foundations most commonly and not the immense weight they support.

Water intrusion is a huge problem for basements and crawlspaces, but moisture creates issues for slab foundations and pier and beam foundations as well.

Intrusion through any type of concrete is common due to hydrostatic pressure, so water issues are prevalent in all kinds of foundations.

Most homeowners will confront some liquid water or water vapor complication. Some employ measures like exterior drainage and soil grading to help reduce the chance of water intrusion, but other methods are needed to make concrete waterproof.

In this article, we’re going to go over the most common methods used to waterproof a foundation, how to use them, and how to save money in the process.

Table of Contents

  1. What Does “Waterproofing” Your Foundation Mean?
  2. How Do You Waterproof a Foundation?
  3. How To Save Money When Waterproofing Your Foundation?

What Does “Waterproofing” Your Foundation Mean?

Basement waterproofing systems

Waterproofing can mean different things depending on your needs, climate, and soil. It can refer to any form of protection for your foundation.

Waterproofing measures include stopping water from contacting your foundation, preventing water from seeping through your concrete, and removing water that has already gotten into your home.

Most homeowners use multiple methods to waterproof their foundation for the best results. It’s useful to know all of the standard techniques so that you can put together a combination that will keep your foundation protected.


Dampproofing is an elastomeric sealant that gets applied to the outside of your foundation walls. It’s often used in new construction and may even be mandated by your municipality’s building code.

This sealer isn’t waterproof but will act as a vapor barrier and help keep excess moisture out of your crawlspace or foundation. It cannot be applied to slab foundations. There are other vapor barriers that can be used on concrete slabs.

Dampproofing is usually considered the first barrier for keeping water out of your home. It’s most often used in combination with other waterproofing products.

Waterproofing Paint

Waterproofing a foundation

Waterproofing paint is applied to any area of your foundation that doesn’t come in contact with the soil. It’s applied like a standard interior paint with rollers or a sprayer.

It can be used on the inside of crawlspace or basement walls, on your basement floor, on the underside of a pier and beam foundation, or on the top side of a slab to act as a vapor barrier.

This type of waterproofing membrane will not stop water seepage through your concrete. It’s an acrylic seal used to prevent moisture from entering into your home. It will trap water between itself and your concrete, which can be problematic in homes with heavy water intrusion.

Exterior Drainage Systems

French drains collect excess water from the surrounding soil

Exterior drainage systems are installed in the soil around your foundation and collect excess water from the ground. There are two main kinds of exterior drain systems: French drains and footing drains.

French drains are shallow drainage systems designed to move runoff and rainwater from the area around your concrete. They are a preventative measure that limits the amount of water that comes in contact with your foundation.

Footing drains are buried much deeper around your foundation’s footing. These are designed to gather groundwater that may seep into your foundation and move it away before it has the chance.

Exterior drains are very good at removing lots of water. They’re an excellent preventative measure and usually combine well with other waterproofing methods. They excel at combating high water tables and heavy rainfall.

They aren’t a perfect solution to water intrusion. Plant growth and fine soil can clog the drain pipes and render them useless. They can also collapse under the backfill or if excess pressure is placed over them after backfilling.

Interior Drainage Systems

Interior drainage systems are installed on the inside of your home, so they are only possible in crawlspace and basement foundations. They require excavation of concrete, so they don’t make for good do-it-yourself solutions. There are a few types of interior systems as well.

Tile drains are installed at the base of your concrete walls. They collect water that seeps in and route it toward a sump pump for removal to a safe portion of your property.

Floor drains need the basement floor to be sloped toward grates for water collection. Drain pipes set into or below the slab remove water with the help of a sump pump.

Tile drains and floor drains both need a sump pump to work, but sump pumps can also be used as standalone interior drainage systems. A large hole below your basement floor holds a water-activated pump that will remove any buildup of water from your crawlspace or basement.

Interior drainage systems can be installed behind drywall in finished basements.

They are cheapest if they are installed during construction. They can become prohibitively expensive if they are placed retroactively.

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