How much does it cost to waterproof a basement or foundation? – Materials and labor costs

In this series of articles about the cost to waterproof the basement or foundation we have already examined some of the most important factors.

We have looked at the location of the home. Specifically we have asked whether it is on a hill, in a valley, or on a high plateau.

We have looked at how to take the key measures to determine the size of the job. Specifically we reviewed how to measure square footage, perimeter, and depth of your foundation.

As you might suspect there remain more variables.

In this article we will look at the materials and labor costs for waterproofing.


Materials for waterproofing generally fall into four broad categories: membranes, drainage supplies, concrete and concrete repair, and sealants.

Membranes – membranes are impermeable materials that are essentially wrapped around your house or property, either inside or out. To the touch they can feel like rubber or hard plastic. They work essentially like galoshes, only for your property instead of your feet. With special care taken to fill the spaces and seal the seams, membranes can be used around your entire foundation, or to address a particularly problematic section, such as a wall that faces a downhill slope.

Because membranes need to cover the entire surface in order to be fully effective, these are often the most expensive solution. These are most easily applied during construction. If needed after a building has been built, application often involves a great deal of digging and labor costs will increase.

Drainage supplies – a comprehensive approach to keeping property dry will necessarily include treatment outside. This often means the implementation of drainage trench is just under the surface of the soil against the foundation of the building. This can be achieved by using French drains, drain tiles, and a series of related supplies designed to keep water away from your foundation in the first place.

 Concrete and concrete repair – the most straightforward repairs for a wet basement often involve new concrete and concrete repair. Concrete itself is semi-permeable, which means that a little bit of moisture can get through by design. In many parts of the country where there is ample rainfall and standing water, the moisture allowed in to a concrete basement can often be solved with air-conditioning or the addition of a dehumidifier.

However, there should never be enough moisture to prompt water droplets or running water. When this happens the solution will often involve redoing the cement in the affected area.

Sealants – sealants are often made of similar materials to the membrane mentioned above. Whether in a tube or in a bucket, sealants are designed to be spread in the troubled area. This can happen inside or outside of the foundation.

These come in different grades depending on the amount of water they should be expected to to protect against.

As you are determining which company to use to waterproof your basement, you will want to ask about these approaches and materials.