Basement Waterproofing Cost & Consumer Guide
$8.97-$10.65 / Sq Ft for Interior Waterproofing
$125 /Sq ft for Exterior Waterproofing
$8,970 to $10,650 /1000 Sq Ft Basement
As you can imagine, many factors play a role in determining the cost for basement waterproofing. To help you better understand how much you should be paying, and where you can save some money, check out the breakdown of costs below.
In this guide, we go into detail about the average waterproofing costs for both exterior and interior, including the factors that influence the price when you’re being quoted.
Your basement is the foundation of your home, and it needs the appropriate care and attention to ensure no major issues occur to the rest of your house. Not waterproofing your basement can cause a number of problems such as mold, structural rot, and must smells. Around 60% of homes in the United States have moisture issues. That's a lot! So if you live in one of those households experiencing the same issues, you're in luck cause this guide will help you resolve it.
On average, waterproofing a basement from the interior can cost anywhere between $8.97 to $10.65 per square foot. Waterproofing from the exterior averages around $125 per square foot. This means, if you have a 1000-square foot basement, it can cost a low of $8,970 and a high of $10,650 to waterproof the interior while waterproofing the exterior will cost way higher than that.
Deciding whether you'll opt for interior waterproofing or exterior waterproofing will determine how much you'll need to spend. But there are other factors that go into the cost, such as the waterproofing material that will be used and so on. This guide will discuss these important factors.
Average Waterproofing Cost
When searching for basement waterproofing quotes, it’s essential to have a rough idea of the industry averages. This way, you can radically reduce the possibilities of being scammed and ensure yourself you’re being treated equally. Here is how much you can expect to pay for either interior or exterior waterproofing.
Interior vs Exterior Waterproofing
When should you choose one option over the other? That is the question. In the ideal world, exterior waterproofing is installed during the construction of the building. Only in recent years, some states have introduced this as a mandatory building code requirement. Because of this, many older homes or some states still don’t have adequate waterproofing on their exterior basement walls.
When choosing to invest in either interior or exterior waterproofing, you need to think about it like this. The more you pay, the longer-lasting results you’ll receive.
Exterior waterproofing is the first and strongest line of defense. At the end of the day, if you’re experiencing moisture problems, it’s coming from an outside environment. This typically comes from hairline cracks that develop into larger holes over a prolonged time. Because this is the primary source of where the water is coming from, having your wall inspected and repaired from the outside will provide you with much better and longer results.
But, this really does depend on the severity of the issue. If you’re only experiencing minor waterproofing signs (see below), you should be able to reduce the problem from waterproofing the interior. However, you need to remember that doing it this way doesn’t eliminate the issue forever.
Interior Waterproofing Cost
As a rule of thumb, waterproofing the interior of your basement is a lot more inexpensive than the exterior. This is because there’s no heavy machinery involved, like excavators, etc. However, waterproofing from the interior is considered a temporary fix. For a complete and long-lasting solution. Waterproofing from the exterior will need to be done.
Below are the average prices to waterproof your existing interior:
per sq. ft.
per sq. ft.
per sq. ft.
Exterior Waterproofing Cost
When it comes to waterproofing, the exterior of your basement is a lot more expensive. This is because they’ll need to dig to the foundation level from the outside of the building. Doing this takes more laboring time, resulting in it costing more.
Blow are the average prices to waterproof your exterior:
per sq. ft.
per sq. ft.
per sq. ft.
Hybrid Solution of Basement Waterproofing
In many cases, the expenses of full-blown exterior waterproofing may not be necessary. Interior waterproofing combined with some above ground modifications may do the trick entirely. Here's what you can do above ground to help.
Add Gutters to the Home
Adding gutters to the home gives you the opportunity to redirect rain water further away from the basement.
Add Longer Down Spouts
Standard downspout outflows are 3’. Longer options are available which will get the water even further way. You could combine this with underground downspouts for further diversion.
Re-grade the Yard
This option is pricey as you’ll need to remove all sod first, and then have the yard re-sodded. It may not be necessary to re-grade the entire yard, but just a section with a low spot.
Install Water Barriers Underground
Beneath sod and soil you can install plastic-like underground water barrier. This will prevent water from being absorbed into the soil in that area.
How does water get into the basement anyways?
The answer is hydrostatic pressure. Simply put, water pressure builds up in the soil around the basement and that is forced into the concrete walls. Remember, concrete is porous and not 100% waterproof by nature.
As you can see, the difference between cost with both interior and exterior waterproofing is rather significant. The main reason why the exterior costs a considerable bit more is the labor and work involved. As mentioned, to perform exterior work, they’ll need to dig down to the foundations of the basement, which will require machinery or a lot of labor.
What Drives the Costs of Basement Waterproofing?
Now you understand the average costs behind waterproofing, we’re going to break down what impacts the overall pricing of the job. As you see, interior waterproofing is much cheaper than the exterior. Because of this, we’ve broken down the “factors” of what drives the costs of waterproofing within both methods.
When being quoted for interior waterproofing, they’ll be much fewer materials used than the exterior. On top of this, they’ll generally be somewhat cheaper as well. To help you gain a better visualization of what you’ll be paying for in materials, see below:
When waterproofing the interior of your basement, you’ll be quoted three materials. These are concrete, crystalline and elastomeric. Here’s what their average costs are per square foot:
For those who don’t know, concrete is required when developing a below-grade structure. This is because it can massively decrease the amount of moisture from passing through the wall. However, over time, it can crack from temperature fluctuations and water retention from the outside soil as it expands.
Nonetheless, sealing your basement off with additional concrete will ensure there are no hairline cracks. As a result of this, you’re in essence re-sealing your basements walls to become waterproof again.
Another sealer they’ll recommend is crystalline. This is well-known for its waterproofing capabilities because it has a chemical-like reaction when placed on the existing concrete foundations.
When applied, the crystalline will seep into the hairline cracks and expand, making it airtight and waterproof.
The last one suggested above is Elastomeric. This is a polymer EPDM membrane, and it works superbly as a waterproofing measure for either interior or exterior walls of a basement.
Once either of the above is installed, they’ll then need to apply a silicate concrete sealer. For those who don’t know, this is a sealer that is laid on the concrete foundation. When used, it has a chemical reaction between the sealer and concrete. During this reaction, it creates a transparent weather-resistant barrier.
Now onto the exterior, and where it gets a little bit more expensive (sorry for anyone needing exterior work). Without further or due, let’s get into this.
As mentioned before, the entire perimeter will need to be excavated so that the basement walls can be accessed for work. This means that any landscape will need to be torn up, along with patios or decks. The costs of this are not included / reflected in this piece.
When being quoted for exterior waterproofing, you’ll be quoted four different materials. These are cementitious, liquid membrane, sheet membrane, and sodium bentonite panels. Here’s how much they cost:
$3.35 to $6.52
Sodium Bentonite Panels
Cementitious or cement waterproofing works great when you want to waterproof the exterior basement wall. By doing it this way, you’re essentially creating another barrier between the outside environment and the inside of your home. From this, you’ll dramatically decrease the chances of water seeping in from the outside.
The only downside to re-sealing your exterior basement walls with cement is that it isn’t flexible. Due to this, if you encounter temperature fluctuations, or live around high retaining soil, then it may crack over time.
A liquid membrane consists of two products, and these are crystalline and elastomeric membranes. When applied, the membrane searches for hairline cracks and expands within them, making them waterproof and airtight.
Using a waterproofing method like this is excellent, but we recommend you hire a professional. Because this has to be coated onto the wall, you’ll want to guarantee there is an even spread of membrane. Failing this may result in you having inadequate waterproofing in some areas.
A sheep membrane is usually supplied with a rubberized asphalt material, and it can be laid over the concrete foundations and filtered into a drainage system. From this, when water feeds onto the membrane, it’ll travel down to your drainage system and deterred away from your house.
Sodium bentonite panels
An inexpensive option of waterproofing the exterior wall of your basement is using sodium bentonite panels. This consists of bentonite clay granules and paper board, which is then developed into panels. From this, you’re able to apply these cheap panels to the exterior wall to allow for excellent waterproofing.
Included with the above, you’ll need bentonite clay installed. On average, this costs around $3.53 per square foot. However, it’s a rather crucial step of waterproofing your basement, so I certainly wouldn’t miss it.
With the clay, you’ll also need weeping tiles installed. This is where if water was to build up, it’ll filter to these weeping tiles and be extracted away from the wall. The tiles themselves aren’t expensive but installing them is. Here’s how the prices break down:
Weeping tiles – $85 per 100-foot roll
Cost of installing (requires extensive excavation) - $50 - $200 per cubic yard
As you see, the equipment itself is somewhat affordable. However, when you start getting into labor, it can become increasingly more expensive. To better visualize how much materials can cost, see the below table. Here we base our minimum, medium, and maximum price based on a 1,000 sq. ft basement.
Interior material costs
Exterior material costs
Having sufficient drainage for your basement is vital. Failing to achieve this can result in mass amounts of mildew, mold, and various other moisture-related fungus developing on your foundations.
Installing a drainage system like a sump pump is ideal, as it’ll divert the water out of your basement and away from your home. From this, it’ll radically reduce the problems that moisture build-up can cause.
The way the sump pump works is that the basements wall will have a weeping mechanism installed within it, and it’ll drain from these into a designated location (where the sump pump is). Afterward, the pump will extract this water away from your basement to prevent an excess amount of moisture from building up.
To successfully install a submersible sump pump, the contractor or yourself will need to supply adequate electricity and pipework. Of course, this ensures it has a power supply and a safe place to extract the water to.If you were to get a submersible sump pump and pay for all the contracting work, you’d be set back around $500 to $3,000.
When repairing or renovating a basement, you may come across cracks, leaks, or bowed walls. If you encounter any of these issues, this is probably the reason why your basement has moisture problems.
In warm climates, cracks and leaks don’t regularly appear. However, within environments that continually fluctuate in temperature, it’s a big issue. Nonetheless, if you’ve experienced this problem, it needs to be repaired to ensure you have sufficient stability in your basement. Here’s how much each job costs:
$2,025 to $7,100
$50 to $600 per crack
Bowed Basement Walls
$6,300 to $7500
If you’re someone that experiences regular flooding within their basement, then it’ll need to be re-sealed and waterproofed for around $2,025 to $7,100. Leaks can result in more and larger cracks. This is because as water flows into your basement through the leaks, the cracks gradually increase due to water pressure.
A crack is determined due to the width of the hole. Typically cracks that have holes over 1/8” wide can be repaired with flexible epoxy injection. It’ll set you back around $50 - $600 per crack from someone to undergo this work.
Cracks can develop out of nowhere and even from hairline cracks. So, if you spot these, it’s better to act on the issue sooner rather than later.
Bowed basement walls
If your basement has only experienced a minimum bowing of around 2”, then it can be repaired with carbon fiber strips. In this event, it should only cost you approximately $6,300 to correct the problem. However, in the unfortunate event that your basement walls have bowed over 2”, you’ll need to get steel strips installed. Depending on the size and severity of the issue, this can cost you up to $7,500
Something you may want to consider getting installed is underground downspouts. These are installed to transport the water away from your house through water prevention systems like a sump pump. Here the sump pump will transport the water to the underground downspouts. This will then transport the water away from your house into a local sewer, lake, or even container to support sustainable living.
You’re able to invest in above-ground downspouts, but these can look rather unpleasing to the eye. Although underground downspouts are slightly more because they require additional labor, you’re ensuring your property’s landscape will stay the same.For underground downspouts, you can expect to pay $40 per sqft.
The Project Process for Basement Waterproofing
Now you understand the pricing behind waterproofing a basement, we thought it would be beneficial to add a section into this post about the overall process. From this, you’re able to get a general idea of the work either yourself or the contractor will need to carry out. To understand the process of waterproofing the interior and exterior of your basement, see below:
Redirect Water Away From The Foundation
To begin waterproofing the basement, they’ll need to deter the primary water source away. After this, they’ll want to remove any excess water that is currently in the basement. After creating a solution to this, they can begin solving the real issue, which will probably be leaks or cracks.
Fill Cracks and Leaks
The next phase of waterproofing is patching up the problems. Here, they’ll fill in cracks or leaks that may be letting water in.
Waterproof the Repairs
After filling the cracks or leaks with cement, sealant, or epoxy, they’ll then need to waterproof their work. Here they’ll probably apply silicate concrete sealer and waterproofing paint.
Now they’ve successfully solved the issue, we don’t want this to occur again. To minimize the chances of this happening, they may encourage you to pay for downspouts and an internal drainage system.
The downspouts will effectively transport the water away from your house. An interior drainage system will typically drain the water from the wall to the downspouts.
From doing this, you’re ensuring that when moisture/water builds up, it has a place to be filtered to and deterred away from your basement.
The Digging Process
Before any fixtures are made on the exterior wall of your basement. They’ll have to dig their way around the perimeter and to the foundations.
This way, they can accurately evaluate the exterior wall and act accordingly depending on the types of issues that have occurred.
Applying Hydraulic Cement
Once they’ve inspected the exterior wall, they can then apply the fixtures to the basement. They’ll generally fix the cracks with hydraulic cement, as this will create a chemical reaction with the wall and expand while drying, making it airtight.
Seal the Cement
Now they’ve filled in the cracks, they’ll then need to waterproof the applied cement. To achieve this, they’ll add cement-based sealants to the area. This will ensure that there aren’t any hairline cracks around the newly fixed area.
Install A Membrane
Unlike the interior, the exterior will need a membrane installed because of the amount of water retained in the ground. Depending on your requirements, they’ll install the membrane you’ve opted-in for. However, they’ll recommend an elastomeric membrane, as these can protect the wall even if new hairline cracks occur.
Construct Drainage Mat
After the membrane has been installed, they’ll apply a drainage mat. This material is used to create air gaps between the wall and the mat. Here, when water is filtered out of the wall, it’ll be drained onto this mat.
Lastly, before the hole gets filled up again, they’ll need to install downspouts. Downspouts are vital, as these extract the water that has built up in the interior and exterior wall to a designated area away from your home. This way, when water does built-up, it doesn’t sit on your wall and build up mold or mildew.
Although the steps behind this are much more extensive, you should be able to get a general idea of the steps required to ensure your basement is waterproofed.
When it comes to hiring a contractor or doing the job yourself, there are a few considerations you should think about before implementing the work.
Don’t Cheap Out
We understand, waterproofing a basement can undoubtedly rack up in price. However, you should avoid trying to skip waterproofing steps. Many people believe that applying waterproofing paint is enough to seal a crack. It certainly isn’t, and you’ll need to use various other measures to ensure it’s completely sealed.
Allow For Proper Drying Time
Before applying any waterproofing procedure, you’ll need to wait until your basement is completely dry. Failing to do so can result in the repairs being weak, meaning they’ll easily crack again.
Avoid These Materials At All Costs
At all means necessary, don’t use these products when performing exterior work to your basement.
Don't use tar as this material easily becomes brittle and crack.
Using plastic as waterproofing material is not ideal for a long term solution, as this can easily peel back, resulting in your wall being exposed to moisture.
Using limestone to fill in the hole once you’ve examined your wall will cause havoc in your drainage systems.
Without a doubt, if you’re considering doing the work yourself, you should seek professional help if you’re not sure about a procedure. Failing to act accordingly may result in your basement becoming more damaged than it originally was. This will be devastating for both time and money, so avoid this at all costs.
FAQs About Basement Waterproofing
Now you understand how much basement waterproofing costs and what drives pricing. You’ve probably got some questions that’ll need to be answered. Below are common questions we see regarding basement waterproofing.
As we’re all now aware, the sooner you act on your waterproofing issues, the more inexpensive it’ll turn out to be. Because of this, you’ll want to consider acting on the issue if you experience the following in your basement:
Rust on Appliances or Furniture
Mold or Mildew
Damp Spots on the Wall
White Chalk-like Substances on Walls
There are many reasons why you should waterproof your basement. Here are some examples:
To ensure your foundation is structurally sound.
Produces a healthy and livable room which you and your family can enjoy.
Reduces the possibilities of electrical shock hazards, termite infestations, and mold from occurring.
From having additional living quarters like a basement, you’ll dramatically increase your property’s overall value.
To avoid any further damage to your basement or the furniture/appliances that are in there.
This depends on how bad your basement is. Yes, you’re able to fix cracks yourself, but without the expertise, you’ll never know if that’s the end of the problem. However, if you hire a professional, they’ll be able to guarantee that the problem is fixed and preventions are put in place to reduce this from happening again.
If you do want to fix it yourself, maybe hire an inspector. Here, they’ll be able to tell you what may be wrong with your basement, and you’ll be able to evaluate the situation from there.
If you waterproof your basement with premium watering systems, it’ll undoubtedly increase your property’s value. At the end of the day, supplying the next owner with more usable square footage, that is clean, habitable and well protected, will encourage more buyers to consider paying more for your property.
More often than not, a homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover basement waterproofing. A separate flood insurance policy may cover the service, but that will depend entirely on the contents of the policy. Flood insurance typically only covers damage that occurs above the ground.
On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $350 to $400 for a waterproofing inspection. Prices will vary based on your location and what your local contractors are currently offering. Additionally, the extent of the inspection can also affect the price.
There are interior waterproofing methods for basements, but they do not provide the same type of solution as exterior waterproofing. Seals, like epoxy, can be used to fill cracks up to ¾” wide. Interior waterproofing methods like pumps or drains are often combined with exterior basement waterproofing membranes.
The best method will depend on what is causing your basement to become wet. If water is pooling near the foundation, you may need to install new gutters or re-slope your lawn.
An interior drain system is often a popular waterproofing method that is used to catch water entering the basement and redirect it outside via a sump pump. Exterior waterproofing of the foundation is often costly, but it does provide a more secure and long term waterproofing solution.
If your basement is wet, it is absolutely worth the investment. If your basement gets wet one, it will get wet again. If not tomorrow, it will happen in the future. This causes damage to your foundation, seams, and joints. Over time, this can cause incredibly costly repairs. By waterproofing your basement now, you can prevent cracks in your foundation in addition to mold and mildew build up in your home.
How to Find the Best Contractor
When you’re looking for a contractor, you need to select the right one. Without a doubt, there are cowboy builders in today’s society, and it’s not easy to sniff them out. Because of this, you’ll want to hire a contractor who is well-known in your area for their prestigious work. Although they may be more expensive, it’s most definitely worth the extra price you pay.
Within the Nebraska area, basement issues occur more often because of its weather. As a result of this, more people need cracks and leaks repaired because of temperature fluctuations. According to leak detective, they’ve heard various horror stories of people being entirely over-quoted for the work that needed to be carried out.
To avoid this horror story, be sure to collect various quotes from numerous companies. This way, you’re ensuring yourself you’re being supplied with accurate quotes. Without a doubt, you’ll undoubtedly be surprised with the vast amount of different prices you’ll receive.
After reading the above, you should get a general idea of how much basement waterproofing will cost for both exterior and interior. Don’t get me wrong, it’s rather pricy. But so is repairing extreme structural damage to your property.
Now you understand this, what will you be considering? A week-long DIY job or hiring a professional?