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Comparing Basement Waterproofing Systems: Which One is Right for You?

Comparing Basement Waterproofing Systems: Which One is Right for You?Photo from Unsplash

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The potential perils of a compromised foundation can leave you with a big headache and an even bigger expense. Sealing your basement with a waterproofing system will protect your home from costly water damage and preserve its overall integrity and value.

There are many waterproofing systems to choose from, but not all are compatible with your home. To understand what system works best for your home, it’s important to consider factors such as the type of water issues you might face, the condition of your structure, and your budget. Reviewing these factors in detail will contribute to a more robust and long-term solution.

In this blog, the experts at %COMPANY% explore and outline a variety of basement waterproofing systems, explaining specifications and maintenance requirements so you can be confident in finalizing your choice.

Interior Vs. Exterior Basement Waterproofing

Interior and exterior basement waterproofing systems are two distinct approaches to addressing moisture issues and preventing water seepage in basements. You don’t have to choose one or the other. A combination of one or more is often the most beneficial.

Interior waterproofing involves installing drainage systems and sealants on the inside of your basement walls and floors. This method reroutes any water that might enter your basement to a sump pump for removal rather than stopping the water at its source.

Alternatively, exterior waterproofing aims to prevent water from penetrating the basement in the first place. It requires excavating the soil around the exterior foundation walls and applying waterproof coatings or installing drainage systems on the outside of your property.

Pros and Cons of Internal and External Basement Sealing Methods

Both interior and exterior basement waterproofing methods have their advantages and disadvantages for you to consider.

To help determine which approach may seem more suitable for your specific situation, you can take a look at some of the key pros and cons of common methods below:

French Drains

One popular exterior waterproofing method is installing French drains around your foundation. These drains are trenches filled with gravel or rock that redirect surface and subsurface water away from your basement walls.


  • Prevents water from accumulating around the foundation
  • Helps relieve hydrostatic pressure on basement walls
  • Can be combined with waterproof coatings for added protection


  • Requires excavation around the entire foundation perimeter
  • Drain pipes can clog over time
  • May not remedy pre-existing interior leaks or cracks

Epoxy/Polyurethane Foam

Epoxy and polyurethane foam injection is an interior basement waterproofing method that involves filling and sealing any existing cracks or holes in your concrete walls and floors. These materials expand and harden to form a waterproof barrier against moisture.


  • Can effectively seal even hairline cracks in concrete
  • Prevents water seepage through existing problem areas
  • Installation is minimally invasive


  • Doesn’t address sources of moisture from the exterior
  • May require removal of interior walls
  • Foam can degrade over time

Exterior Waterproofing Membranes

Exterior waterproofing membranes are sheets or liquid-applied materials that act as a physical barrier against moisture when installed on the outside of your basement walls. These membranes prevent water intrusion from the exterior soil.


  • Blocks moisture at the source
  • Protects the entire basement
  • Long lifespan when installed by professionals


  • Requires extensive excavation
  • Difficult to inspect for leaks once buried underground
  • Punctures can compromise membranes

Selecting the Right Sump Pump for Your Basement

Choosing the right sump pump to match your basement’s specifications will make your waterproofing solution more effective. There are several available types, each designed for particular situations. When selecting a sump pump, consider factors like the pump’s capacity and head pressure.

The main types of sump pumps include:

  • Pedestal pumps: With a motor mounted above the sump pit, these pumps are more accessible for maintenance.
  • Submersible pumps: Fully submerged in the sump pit, submersible pumps are designed to operate underwater.
  • Battery backup pumps: These pumps can operate on battery power during outages.
  • Combination units: Combination units include both a primary and backup pump in one system.
  • Smart/Wifi Pumps: These pumps can be monitored and controlled via smartphone apps.

Assessing your basement’s specific needs, the severity of water issues you’re facing or might face, and the required pump capacity will help determine which type of sump pump is the optimal solution for keeping your basement dry.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Foundation Waterproofing System

With multiple basement waterproofing systems available, it can be difficult to determine which system is the ideal solution for your home. Several key factors should be carefully evaluated to make the most informed decision that addresses your unique needs and circumstances.

Your first consideration should be the source and severity of the moisture issues you’re experiencing or might face in the future. Interior waterproofing may suffice for milder cases of seepage, while recurring leaks may warrant more comprehensive exterior waterproofing.

Other considerations include:

  • Your budget and total project costs
  • The age and condition of your foundation
  • Accessibility for exterior excavation work
  • Long-term waterproofing goals
  • Aesthetic preferences
  • Potential disruptions or demolition requirements

Long-Term Maintenance for Waterproofing Solutions

While basement waterproofing solutions are designed to be durable and long-lasting, proper maintenance is key to ensuring their continued effectiveness over time. Neglecting care and upkeep can lead to premature degradation or failure, allowing moisture issues to return.

Typical maintenance tasks depend on your system, but they can include:

  • Flushing and cleaning interior drain tile systems
  • Testing sump pumps and replacing batteries
  • Inspecting exterior membranes
  • Clearing debris from drain pipes
  • Regrading soil around your foundation
  • Sealing new cracks in basement walls or floors

Whichever system you choose, you should follow the advice of the manufacturer and the professional who performs the installation. For most interior systems, regularly cleaning and testing components prevents clogs.

Exterior solutions require more vigilant monitoring for signs of cracking or drainage obstructions around the foundation. Promptly addressing any issues can prevent small problems from turning into serious ones.

Seal Your Foundation and Protect Your Home: Schedule a Free Estimate

Basement leaks and moisture issues can compromise your home’s value and structural integrity. Don’t let that happen—schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with the experts at %COMPANY%. We’ll help you decide which waterproofing solution is right for your foundation.

You can reach us at %PHONE1%.

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