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Basement Waterproofing Cost

Don’t let your remodeling budget go over-board by hidden surprises – understand what the average installed basement waterproofing cost is near you by using our easy to use calculator.

As an experienced licensed home improvement contractor, I know first hand what it should cost for various levels — from Basic, Better, and of course the best.

This basement waterproofing cost estimator will provide you with up to date pricing for your area. Simply enter your zip code and the square footage, click update and you will see a breakdown on what it should cost to waterproof your basement near you.

Basement Waterproofing Costs Calculator
Zip Code Square feet
Basic Better Best
Material Prices $250.00 – $325.00 $350.00 – $450.00 $500.00 – $600.00
Installation Cost $200.00 – $275.00 $300.00 – $350.00 $400.00 – $600.00
Total $450.00 – $600.00 $650.00 – $800.00 $900.00 – $1200.00
Basement Waterproofing Total Average Cost Per Square foot $5.25 $7.25 $10.50

How Much Does It Cost To WaterProof a Basement on Average?

A wet basement not only robs you of space, but it also exposes the rest of your home to the ravages of moisture. Tackling the issue isn’t cheap, but it’s an investment that makes your space more functional and increases the resale value of your property. Labor and materials to waterproof a 1200 square-foot basement cost $2.50–$8.00 per square foot – the average homeowner spends $7,250. Nationwide, prices range from $4500 to $6500 depending on the severity of the moisture problem and the waterproofing method.

Average Basement Waterproofing Cost

National Average
1,000 Sq ft. basement
$7,250
Low $4,500
Mid-range $6,450
High-end $9,560

Causes of a Wet Basement Floor and Walls

There are several reasons why water gets into basements. Identifying the cause is critical because it determines what type of waterproofing method will be the best and most cost-effective.

The top causes of a wet basement are:

Water Runoff

Water flowing around your home from rain or melting snow is called runoff. Typically absorbed by the soil, under certain circumstances, it can accumulate near your foundation where it’s forced inside by hydrostatic pressure. Mother Nature abhors a vacuum, so when there’s nowhere for water to go outside, it will find the quickest route to the nearest empty space — your basement.

Runoff can come from heavy storms. When unusual amounts of rain fall, it saturates the soil, and when it reaches capacity, water can seep through your foundation. Hard or poorly drained soil and improperly graded landscaping magnify the effect.

Lesser amounts of rain can also be a problem when if it flows off your roof faster than your drainage system can handle. Clogged, overflowing gutters allow water to collect near the walls of your foundation, increasing the probability of seepage.

A High Water Table

A water table is the layer of ground below the surface soil — it’s permanently saturated with water. A high water table is good for well owners, but it’s bad news for foundations because it means there’s less topsoil to absorb water.

Condensation

When warm and cold air collide, condensation occurs. Outdoors, it falls as rain, but in your basement, it causes sweating — drops of water that form on walls when hot outdoor air hits the cool concrete in your foundation. In a basement or crawlspace, it encourages the growth of mold and contributes to rot in wood floors and support beams.

Other factors that contribute to a wet basement include:

Unsealed Windows and Window Wells

Water can sneak through any window that’s not adequately sealed. If this is the sole source of moisture in your basement, caulking should do the trick. Tubes of top-quality silicone or polyurethane sealant cost less than $10 each, and it takes just minutes to apply.
A bigger problem is window wells. Designed to enhance natural light, they tend to collect water during heavy rains, allowing hydrostatic pressure to force it through even the smallest gaps.

The solution — improving the drainage — is simple but not inexpensive. Contractors charge $400 to as much $1800 to install a window well drain.

Cracks in the Foundation

Cracks in a foundation are an obvious pathway for water. Homes with high water tables are especially prone to cracks in the floor. Patching fissures in concrete isn’t difficult. Hairline fissures can be filled with epoxy — wider cracks benefit from patching. Tubes of flexible liquid sealant run as low as $12 per tube while patch kits for large areas cost between $50–$150. Contractor can do the work for you for $60–$90 per square foot.

Faulty Cove Joints

A cove joint is where a concrete floor meets a foundation wall. Homes that shift may begin taking on water for no other reason than that the joint has pulled apart. Professional repair runs $300 or less.

Cost of a Foundation Inspection

A foundation inspection is the fastest way to determine why your basement or crawlspace is wet. For less than $400, an experienced professional can evaluate your situation and recommend a waterproofing plan.

Since the cost to remedy a wet basement depends on the cause, an inspection could save you thousands in unnecessary upgrades. Waterproofing contractors may refund the cost of an inspection if you hire them to do the work, but working with an independent, non-affiliated inspector may give you more confidence in their recommendations.

Waterproofing Approaches & Techniques

Basements waterproofing can be done from the inside, the outside, or both — each approach has its pros and cons.

Interior Waterproofing

Interior waterproofing requires no changes to your landscaping, so it’s less expensive. It’s unlikely, however, to be enough if a high water table or poor drainage is the cause of your wet basement because hydrostatic pressure will continue to press in against the walls.

Interior waterproofing is best for moisture caused by minor cracks in the foundation or condensation. It also adds an extra measure of protection when combined with exterior waterproofing.

What does interior waterproofing entail?

Popular methods include:

Paint or Masonry Sealants

Bare concrete walls can be sealed with masonry sealant or waterproof paint. It’s an easy DIY job, but materials are wide-ranging in quality, and a contractor has the know-how to choose the best option for your unique circumstances.

A high-quality masonry sealant costs between $40 and $100 per gallon. You can brush or spray it on — it goes on clear and dries quickly. Walls should be dry when it’s applied. If you live a moist climate, contractors have large air dryers to do the job. Material and labor range in cost from $0.60 to $3.00 per square foot — sealing a 1200 square-foot basement averages $2100.

For a finished look, opt for waterproof paint instead of a clear sealant. The cost is similar, and it comes in a wide array of colors — but like regular paint, it can peel and chip over time and requires occasional maintenance to keep it looking sharp.

Crack Sealants

If cracks are the problem, epoxy or polyurethane sealants, or “injections” are the solution. Which material is better?

Epoxy is applied like caulking. It goes in smooth and dries hard, and it can be sanded and painted for a smooth finish. For most homes, it’s a strong and durable fix.

The exception is a foundation that shifts frequently — fill cracks with epoxy, and any movement is likely to reopen fissures. A polyurethane sealant is more flexible. It has a rubber-like texture that moves with your home’s foundation.

Both products are competitively priced, but professional repair is recommended. Prices range from $320 to $550 per crack.

Floor Drains

If your basement floor doesn’t have a floor drain, it’s never too late to install one. Positioned at the lowest point on the floor, it encourages water to flow out of your basement. Included in most new home construction, installing a floor drain in an existing floor is a major project. Expect to pay $4700-$6000.

Exterior Waterproofing

Exterior waterproofing has an advantage over interior methods — it keeps water away from your foundation.

Methods include applying waterproof barriers to foundation walls, improving drainage or a blend of both.

Cementitious Waterproofing

Contrary to popular belief, cement and concrete are different. When made into a slurry, concrete can be brushed onto foundation walls where it hardens into a waterproof stucco-like surface. Called cementitious solution, it dries hard and has little flexibility, so it’s best suited for dry climates — but it’s among the quickest and most cost-effective ways to keep your basement dry.

The solution costs $35 per gallon and covers roughly 150 square feet — two coats are recommended. Adding a touch of acrylic cement at the cost of $40-$60 per project makes the repairs more durable. Professional application averages $5 per square foot.

Liquid Membranes

Like cementitious solution, liquid membranes are brushed or sprayed on foundation walls where they form a solid waterproof barrier. Materials are flexible and range from clear polyurethane to black emulsified asphalt — they’re suitable for all climates.

It takes special care to work around windows and joints — a single pinhole can allow leaks — expert application is recommended at an average cost of $3.75 to $6.10 per square foot.

Bentonite Panels

When added to cardboard or geotextile, bentonite clay creates a waterproof barrier between the soil and your foundation. Because it absorbs water, it fills in small cracks in your foundation, keeping moisture at bay.

Panels cost an average of $3.00 per square foot installed. Installation is fussy and best left to an experienced contractor. Because bentonite flakes can shed from panels, it’s not recommended for homes with exterior drainage systems because of clogging concerns.

Sheet Membranes

Sheet membranes are one-piece, prefabricated waterproof panels. Made of rubberized asphalt, they’re mounted on your foundation at the cost of $3.25 to $6.95 per square foot installed. Because gaps can allow leaks, experts recommend professional application. Sheet membranes are effective barriers, but they take more space to install and may require excavation.

Weeping Tile

So-called “weeping tile” isn’t tile — it’s perforated tubing that forms a drainage system around the perimeter of your home. Laid underground, it collects water that would otherwise flow into your basement and direct it to a safer location.
Rolls of standard 4-inch weeping tile cost as little as $90 per 100 feet — a 30 by 80 foot home will require up to 3 rolls. With labor, expect to pay $1200–$1600. It’s an economical choice.

Other Moisture Prevention Measures

Waterproofing a basement usually require a multi-faceted approach. Each moisture prevention method improves the results.

Consider these four:

A Sump Pump

A sump pumps won’t waterproof a foundation, but it’s an essential part of a comprehensive waterproofing plan. By keeping water out of your basement, it improve the effectiveness of other measures.

Like drains, sump pumps are installed at the lowest point in your basement where water will naturally gravitate. Sunk in a pit, they pump out any water that accumulates through a drain leading outdoors. The cost to install a new sump pump averages $500-$1,100 for equipment and labor.

A Basement Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers wring moisture out of the air. They work best in basements that are airtight. Units for small basements or crawlspaces cost as little as $200 — a large dehumidifier can set you back as much as $2500. For basement with minor moisture issues, a dehumidifier may be all it takes to solve the problem.

Landscape Grading

When a home is built, the soil around it graded to funnel water away from your foundation. But over time, erosion can change the slope of your landscape, resulting in too much water accumulation near your home. Re-sloping your lawn can help with drainage throughout your property. The cost ranges between $950 and $3,500.

Install Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters are designed to move water away from your home — they’re your best defense against runoff. If your existing gutters are clogged or in disrepair, they could be contributing to moisture in your basement. The good news is — professional gutter inspection and cleaning costs as little at $200 for an average home.
If your home has no gutters, the right system will shunt water away from your roof and your foundation. The cost to install gutters and downspouts ranges from $660 to $4,500, depending on your choose of materials. Most homeowners pay $1100 for aluminum or vinyl gutters.

Choosing a Basement Waterproofing Contractor

Basement waterproofing is an investment — it pays to choose your contractor wisely by:

  • Getting at least 3 estimates from contractors with positive ratings from the Better Business Bureau.
  • Hiring companies that are licensed, bonded and fully insured.
  • Avoiding contractors who offer only one waterproofing option. Your home is unique and deserves a custom plan.
  • Requesting detailed estimates — low bids may not include essential services.
  • Asking for local references.
  • Ensuring the terms of the warranty are clear.

Final Thoughts

Is waterproofing your basement worth the cost? It is. Over time, moisture contributes to a wide range of issues from mold to a deteriorating foundation. Waterproofing protects your investment, gives you more livable space, and adds to the resale value of your home. It’s a project that pays for itself.

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