Is It Better to Complete Basement Waterproofing From the Inside or Outside?

October 20, 2022

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Basement waterproofing is a great choice for any property, especially if you’re thinking of finishing the space. Waterproofing protects concrete walls and floors as well as materials like drywall and carpeting from damage. Additionally, waterproofing keeps the space from feeling damp and prevents musty smells!

However, you might wonder which is better, waterproofing from the inside or outside. Also, homeowners especially question if store-bought materials are effective and worth the time and hassle to apply. To help you make the right decision for your property, check out some tips on waterproofing. Then, discuss your property with a foundation waterproofing contractor near you as needed.

Should You Choose Basement Waterproofing From the Inside or Outside?

Exterior basement waterproofing

The short answer is that exterior waterproofing usually offers better protection than interior coatings. One reason for this is that more moisture attacks a basement from the outside than inside! Two, exterior waterproofing solutions are typically more effective at blocking that moisture.

Additionally, a basement waterproofing contractor might offer suggestions for added protection. For example, he or she might recommend French drain installations, to direct moisture away from a structure. Also, properties prone to flooding might benefit from a sump pump installation. Some contractors can even tell when a property needs better grading!

Lastly, note that basement contractors can spot signs of damage that need repairs before waterproof installations. Patching cracks and leaks helps protect against future damage and expensive fixes. Consequently, their expertise can save you on otherwise unnecessary repairs down the road.

Interior basement waterproofing

On the other hand, interior waterproofing options have some advantages. One is that they’re less expensive and property owners can apply the coating themselves. Two, applying interior coatings is not as disruptive as an exterior coating.

Also, interior coatings protect against trapped moisture inside the home. They also offer protection against water damage due to floods inside a structure. Moreover, they might offer all the protection needed if you’re not planning on finishing the basement.

basement waterproofing from the exterior

How Do You Waterproof a Basement From the Outside?

Typically, an exterior waterproof installation starts with excavation down to the basement footings. Next, a contractor applies waterproof coatings against the basement walls. Then, he or she usually installs weeping tiles. These are pipes that trap moisture and redirect it away from those basement walls.

During this process, the contractor might check for needed repairs and patching, as said. They might also test the soil for excess moisture and suggest better grading or other solutions. Lastly, they replace the excavation and restore your property as much as possible.

Waterproofing the Outside of Your Foundation

Property owners should strongly consider waterproofing their foundation, either inside or outside! Moisture is typically the number one enemy of basement concrete, risking cracks, spalling, and other damage. Additionally, moisture seeping into a basement often results in standing water, musty odors, wood rot, mold, and similar issues.

This damage can mean expensive repairs down the road. For instance, water-damaged basement walls might start to bow inward. If left untouched, those walls might collapse! Fixing bowing basement walls often runs into thousands of dollars.

Additionally, cracked and weakened basement walls allow a structure to settle and sink over time. That settling often means wall and ceiling cracks, buckled floors, and other concerns. These cracks let in more moisture and create an unsightly look!

Also, consider that mold cleanup and replacing musty carpeting are also expensive projects for any property owner. Rotted framing also needs replacing or repairs, which also adds to those expenses. These issues can also lower property values and risk lost equity in your home or commercial property. Consequently, basement waterproofing is often the most cost-effective option in the long run.

Does Waterproofing a Basement From the Inside Work?

While exterior waterproofing offers the best protection against damage, interior waterproofing is effective and better than no treatment! Most interior waterproofing options use specialty coatings, applied like paint. These coatings seep into tiny pits and pores along concrete surfaces.

Then, the coatings dry and harden. Their waterproof surfaces help repel moisture, keeping it from seeping into basement concrete. That coating also resists moisture from outside the structure as well. In turn, these coatings reduce the risk of water damage, musty odors, and a damp environment.

Also, note that waterproofing a basement is excellent if you decide to store items in the space, including household appliances. Without waterproofing, you might soon notice rust and corrosion along a washer and dryer, water heater, and other equipment. You can also store household items in the basement with less worry about water damage after investing in waterproofing.

waterproofing from the inside or outside

Applying Interior Basement Waterproofing

If you decide on interior basement waterproofing, start by cleaning those surfaces thoroughly. Then, patch any cracks or holes along those basement walls and floors. Next, seal openings around windows and other fixtures and features.

Lastly, you’ll apply the waterproof coating according to the package directions. Many coatings apply like paint, with a standard roller. You might also wait for the first coat to dry and then apply a second coat. Also, be sure you read the package to note how long before that sealant dries! You don’t want to put items against waterproofing that isn’t set and cured completely.

Can You Waterproof a Basement With Paint?

Paint is not the best choice for waterproofing but will provide more protection than uncoated walls and floors. Epoxy paints preserve basement floors and walls and can even improve their appearance with a glossy coating. Also, epoxy typically adheres better, even in damp spaces, than standard latex or oil-based paints. However, be prepared to replace that paint every few years or as needed to keep it in good condition.

Cincinnati Foundation Repair & Waterproofing is happy to provide this information about basement waterproofing to our readers. Hopefully, you found this post helpful and useful when it comes to maintaining your basement space. If you’re ready for expert services, call our Cincinnati foundation repair contractors. We offer FREE inspections and price quotes and a wide range of repair and waterproofing options. To get your property started with durable, reliable repair, call us today!


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