This blog discussed a variety of waterproofing strategies and their associated costs. Solutions touched upon include DIY (Do it Yourself) and professional methods.
With all the rain in the past few days, we have received a ton of questions about waterproofing. Our most popular question has been, how much does it cost to waterproof my basement?
This is a great question, however, it’s pretty challenging to answer without seeing the property. The cost of waterproofing your basement depend on three key factors.
1. The type of waterproofing system that needs to be installed.
2. The size of the job.
3. The foundation of your home.
What can I do to stop a basement leak?
Majority of the time homeowners call in a professional waterproofing company after they have tried to fix the situation themselves. If you aren’t aware of any techniques to try, here is a list of a few strategies that may help.
1. Try diverting rainwater away from your home/garden.
2. Check your downspouts.
3. Adjust the gradient away from your foundation.
4. Confirm your damp problems is not the result of interior humidity.
If you have done all that it leaves you with three options:
Do nothing (unlikely because you’re looking for solutions). This option will become very costly in the long-run.
Waterproof your home from the inside of the foundation. You can do this by either: fixing the foundation cracks and sealing it or installing an interior weeping tile system to divert water away from your basement.
Fixing cracks and using waterproofing paint or sealant is a temporary fix (also known as a band-aid fix) because hydrostatic pressure from the exterior will eventually push its way back into the foundation.
Interior waterproofing is a better option; however, it is not actually waterproofing, it’s water management. This is because with interior waterproofing you are not stopping the leak but instead, you’re allowing the water to seep through the wall and then diverting it away from your basement.
Waterproof the exterior of your foundation wall (this is known as Exterior Waterproofing). This strategy is “actual waterproofing” because you are sealing the basement from the outside, creating an impenetrable water barrier around your foundation. Exterior waterproofing is the most expensive but most permanent solution.
To help you reach the right decision, here are the average material costs of interior DIY solutions.
- You will need to factor in the cost of labour and learn how to prepare the walls.
- These are very rough estimates and every job can have unforeseen challenges that add to the overall cost.
Before you Start
Water is persistent and finds its way past most obstacles. The Grand Canyon, Ayers Rock, the White Cliffs of Dover, and the Rocky Mountains are proof of this.
To succeed, you must begin by fixing all the obvious trouble spots. Use polyurethane caulk.
Average Cost: Polyurethane caulk @$5.00 / 10oz tube for cracks / gaps under 1/8” wide, and/or epoxy filler @ $35 / 9oz tube for the rest.
Silicon Concrete Sealer
This penetrating product soaks through the exterior of concrete (or brick) to create a waterproofed surface. You cannot put it over paint because it will not soak in.
Use a sprayer, brush or roller. You can usually paint over it afterwards (check the label because there’s little risk of cracking and peeling).
Average Cost: 1-gallon = $45 and covers 200 square feet. You’ll need 2 coats.
Concrete waterproofing coat
Concrete waterproofing coats are a cement-based product (with special additives) that permanently stick to raw brick and concrete. It stands to reason, it won’t dry on wet surfaces without degrading, and it is unsuitable for previously painted surfaces.
Apply it with a Tampico brush. If you’re an artist, swirl it around to create patterns.
Average Cost: 5 gallons of dry powder will cost $45 and cover 100 square feet.
This is not the most robust option but is used because of its’ simple application process.
Waterproof paint is very similar to acrylic products, except it is a whole lot thicker. Apply it with a brush, roller, and/or sprayer.
Average Cost: $35 per gallon, which covers 75 square feet.
Weeping Tile System
These sheets and panels cover your walls and channel the moisture into internal drains. Once the water is in the drain it flows to an electric pump where it is pushed out of the home. This method will keep the water out of your basement however, it won’t stop the water from degrading the building.
Average Cost: $4,000 for a 400 square foot room of average height.
None of the options above will permanently solve damp basement problems.
There is only one solution that I’ll put my name to, and that’s an exterior waterproofing solution. This is done by excavating around the basement, putting membrane along the exterior of the foundation walls, and installing outside soak-aways that lead the water to pumps (if necessary).
Average Cost: $15,000 to $30,000 depending on size and complexity. This is the most expensive option, but quality comes with a price tag.
The tragedy about waterproofing is that it wouldn’t be necessary if the builder got it right first time. Don’t make a second mistake by throwing good money at bad solutions. Find somebody with experience to get your basement waterproofing right the first time.
Nusite Contractors Ltd. has been proudly serving GTA homeowners for over 30 years! We are a family business and take pride in customer service and professional work. You can contact us here to schedule a free consultation and written estimate! We would be happy to help!