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The 3 Best Ways to Waterproof Your Basement

Your basement is a hot zone for mold, mildew, and water damage that can threaten the structural integrity of your home. It's imperative to keep your basement as dry as possible (within reason), but how do you accomplish that without standing there around the clock with a mop?

Below are the three main ways to perform basic basement waterproofing; choose the one that is the most cost-effective for you in the long run. Remember though: cheaper is not always better. Some "budget" options don't last very long, so it's important to talk to a contractor that you trust and ask for their opinion on what's right for your home.

1. Exterior Sealants

Best performed during the construction of your home, one of the best—yet most expensive—ways to waterproof your basement is by coating the exterior walls with polymers that will protect your walls and prevent water from coming inside. If you wait until the home is built, you run the risk of clogging interior drains that are helping to divert water and can mask over cracks that may be signs of a bigger problem. Though these sealants generally last for a long time, you should consult with a licensed contractor to make sure they're a feasible option for your home.

2. Interior Sealants

If coating the outside of your basement walls isn't an option, you always have the option of coating the inside instead. Unfortunately, these don't last as long as their exterior counterparts, but they can serve as a stopgap measure to keep water at bay—sometimes for years. Ask your contractor about using a concrete-based sealant, since it will stick straight to the concrete itself, but an epoxy injection may be another good route to take. While not technically a "sealant," an epoxy injection can fill in the cracks in your wall and reinforce them to provide significant basement waterproofing. Just be sure that those cracks aren't a foundation issue. To be sure, ask your contractor.

3. Interior Drains

One of the most common (and effective) methods of basement waterproofing is to install a drain directly into the foundation itself. This takes any water that collects inside your home and diverts it outside. You can also use a sump pump to maximize your water removal, but regardless, make sure you have a vapor barrier in place to protect against condensation, which can also pose significant threats to your foundation.

Contact basement waterproofing contractors to learn more about your options.