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How Much Does It Cost To Waterproof A Basement Or Foundation?

Typical Range: $2,254 - $7,256

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June 4, 2021

Reviewed by Robert Tschudi, Home Building & Remodeling Expert.
Written by HomeAdvisor.

Basement Waterproofing Cost

The average homeowner spends around $4,700 to waterproof a basement or foundation, with minor repairs costing as little as $600. More comprehensive issues that include fixing cracks in the foundation or adding drains & gutters can cost upwards of $10,000. Depending on a number of variables, that cost can range anywhere from $2,254 and $7,256. Per square foot, expect to spend between $5 and $10.

Regardless of physical location, waterproofing your basement is an important part of home ownership. Whether you find water entering your home or want to be proactive, you have to make sure that your foundation prevents any flooding. Your basement could flood for a number of reasons. You might need to repair cracks in your foundation or add gutters and drains to your home. But the most important step to waterproofing is adding a comprehensive seal. To ensure proper installation, always consult a qualified and, where required, licensed individual.

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National Average $4,700
Typical Range $2,254 - $7,256
Low End - High End $600 - $13,000

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Exterior Foundation Sealing

When keeping water outside of your home, start by consulting a professional. After an initial consultation, you will have a better idea of what steps to take to keep the house safe and protected.
The consultation may suggest steps to address the exterior of your home's foundation. Even if you only have a crawl space, it's vital to prevent water from coming in. Because of access issues, sealing your crawl space costs between $1,500 and $15,000.

Cost of Waterproofing vs. Damp Proofing

Damp proofing costs $3 to $6 per square foot compared to $5 to $10 cost per square foot for thorough waterproofing. Because damp proofing doesn't protect against actual water leakage, the additional price for waterproofing may be a wiser investment.
Understanding the difference between these terms is key. Most basements are damp proofed, which means that they are designed to keep out soil moisture. However, that is not the same thing as waterproofing, which keeps out both soil moisture and liquid water such as rain.
Damp proofing typically happens as a coating (called a parge coat), which professionals can apply by spray or hand to the outside of your wall. It can protect against damp soil and costs less than more thorough alternatives.

Cement Waterproofing

A 5-gallon bucket of dry cementitious solution mix for cement waterproofing costs about $40, and covers 100 square feet of your foundation. Add professional labor and additional work in patching cracks, and you will pay about $1,000 to $1,500 for cement waterproofing depending on your home. It works equally well for crawl spaces and full basements.
A cementitious solution is probably the easiest way to keep the water out. It's a thick coat you can apply directly to your exterior walls, and anyone with experience in painting can apply it. However, this option is also the most inflexible. Because cement hardens completely, any movement of joints or developing cracks will compromise its effectiveness. As a result, foundations in dry climates with sandy soil, which doesn't significantly expand or contract, tend to respond better to this cement solution.
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exterior foundation waterproofing

Foundation Waterproofing Membrane

This is a more expensive option than cement. When adding drainage panels and including the cost for excavating, installation of this membrane can cost up to $15,000. At the same time, it might also be the most effective solution to a dry home.
The process includes fitting membranes onto your exterior wall. These membranes consist of rubberized asphalt, which is laminated to a waterproof polyethylene film. It's unforgiving, and needs to be installed just right - which is why this job is best left to professionals.
When installed correctly, the flexibility of this option combined with its durability might be the perfect fit for your basement, particularly in wet climates with expanding clay soil. It is not used as frequently for crawl spaces as it is for full basement waterproofing, but its functionality remains similar.

Exterior Weeping Tiles

Finally, you have the option of removing the water before it ever has a chance to seep into your walls. The cost to install a weeping tile system (also called a French drain) on your home's exterior walls is $1,000 to $10,000, depending on excavation depth and accessibility.
Despite their name, weeping tiles are actually plastic pipes with regularly punched holes. Water that would otherwise enter your walls instead enters these pipes, where it is guided away from the home. Especially in damp climates, exterior weeping tiles can function well for concrete foundations, basements, and crawl spaces.
With the proper installation, grading, and materials, this may be the most sustainable and successful option for your home. You can install a weeping tile system in addition to, not just instead of, cement and membrane options.
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Interior Basement Waterproofing

The interior walls also deserve further consideration. Here, you have the choice between concrete coatings, silicate sealers, special water repellant paint and, during construction or remodeling, a vapor barrier. Each is discussed in more detail below.

sealing foundation inside before construction

Concrete Waterproofing & Foundation Coatings

A thick, permanent concrete coat can help to keep the water out of your basement, even if it gets through your exterior barriers. Expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 for professional interior concrete waterproofing. Coating costs less in labor when compared to other sealing methods because no excavation is needed.
In addition to a simple coating, you can also use a product like Perma-Seal epoxy sealer to protect your basement. This Acrylic/Epoxy mixture provides an especially durable solution that improves the life of your concrete floors and walls in addition to their seal. When done by professionals, it will cost you between $3 and $12 per square foot depending on location, product, and prior repairs needed.

Silicate Concrete Sealers

silicate sealer and installation costs $3 to $9 per square foot

Concrete sealers are relatively cheap at $0.15 to $0.25 per square foot. Add professional labor costs, and applying silicate sealer will cost about $3 to $9 per square foot.

In contrast to the concrete, silicate sealers work by penetrating the walls on which they are applied. They provoke a chemical reaction with the concrete, increasing its chance to stay dry without actually changing its look. In fact, your concrete walls will look exactly like they did before if you choose this method. Penetrating options like silicates also work well because they allow moisture to escape instead of trapping it.

prepping a basement for waterproofing

Basement Waterproofing Paint

Perhaps the simplest way to keep the interior walls of your basement dry is to paint them with the right paint. This type of paint is typically acrylic, giving it the bonding it needs to keep the moisture away. Think of this option as a thicker version of everyday paint. One gallon of this basement paint is about $30 to $40, and covers about 75 square feet. More expensive solutions like Ever Dry, which are designed for professional use, cost about $150 per gallon for the first "bottom" coat, and about $275 per gallon for the second "top" coat. You need both for it to work.

Crawl Space Vapor Barrier Cost

Depending on the size of your crawl space and the thickness of the sheet, professional installation of a vapor barrier in your crawl space will cost between $1,500 and $3,000.
Crawl spaces are at higher risk for water damage because they are typically less protected against leaks and moisture. At its core, a vapor barrier is a plastic sheet designed to prevent moisture from penetrating the house. However, installing it can get tricky which is why it makes sense to work with professionals to install it.
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Other Sealing and Flood Prevention Tips

Ultimately, choosing only one of the available options is probably not enough to keep your home dry. Instead, you need to approach the problem holistically to ensure that even during the worst storms, your basement remains safe.
Fixing cracks, adding interior and exterior drainage, and grading your landscape can all work together to help prevent your basement from flooding. To understand what's best for your home and needs, work with a professional who can thoroughly assess your situation.

Foundation Leaks and Cracks

Repairing foundation leaks and cracks will land you around $4,525 on average or between about $2,025 to $7,100. Cracks and holes in your foundation occur naturally over time, but can lead to significant moisture damage.

Interior Water Drainage

In addition to sealing, it also makes sense to route out any water that still finds a way in. From floor drains to sump pumps, interior drainage systems cost between $700 to $5,200.

Install Gutters and Downspouts

The right system to guide water away from your roof can help you prevent many of your water damage problems before they ever occur. The cost to install downspouts and gutters ranges from $600 to $1,550, with most home owners paying $1,050 for the job.

Landscape Grading

Water that doesn't drain from your lawn property could end up threatening your foundation. Removing standing water costs between $1,000 and $3,000. The price of resloping your lawn will run you between $1,400 and $5,200 and can also help with drainage.

Dangers of Water Damage

Regardless of the steps you take to fix it, a proactive approach to waterproofing your foundation is absolutely crucial. Without it, the damage and costs resulting from water damage can be significant. On average, homeowners spend $3,150 in costs to repair water damage in their home, but that can range as high as $5,100 or more. Taking proactive measures is an investment that prevents these costs from ever hitting your wallet.
Consult a qualified licensed professional to figure out exactly how you can improve your home's waterproofing system. Whether you are acting ahead of time or repairing an existing issue, you can get helpful advice on how to improve your foundation's condition and protect your home.
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