More than half of American homes with basements have some amount of moisture in their basements. Understandably, these homeowners are looking for economic solutions to a problem that can cause property damage, the loss of belongings, and health concerns.
And selling a home with a wet basement, even in a hot market, can be a challenge.
There are three approaches to waterproofing your basement, with their own cost range, depending on your individual situation.
Do-it-yourself ($3-$5 per square foot)
When to choose this option: The avid do-it-yourselfer might be inclined to choose to do the waterproofing themselves. Is there a single small leak, or one that only under the most adverse outdoor conditions delivers a little moisture inside the basement? Or perhaps it is a question of a windowframe rather than a breach in the foundation? Then this is the option.
For the situations described above, the local hardware store will provide all of the tools you need. Sealant, caulk gun, grout, trowel, small bucket, and a putty knife or stronger tool to chip or clear the area. These are the primary costs, since doing it yourself obviously means not paying someone else to do it.
Hiring someone to patch ($6-$8 per square foot)
For moderate jobs, you’re going to want an expert who has done this sort of work before, or a company that will stand behind their work.
When to choose this option: When the work is slightly more than you can handle on your own, or too important to trust to your own devices. Also choose this option when the work focuses on one wall or specific location, and the preponderance of the issue is really close to ground level. Choose this when heavy rains cause problems with leaks more than once or twice a year.
This expert might look at solutions inside the home and outside. They will use more than one intervention, or apply a new solution (like a large patch) to an area that’s far larger than the specific leak or problem by itself.
Hire a company to do a major permanent solution ($10+ per square foot)
When to choose this option: You can tell the job is too large if water is coming in from multiple locations, or from an undetermined source. Also select this option when the amount of water coming in is more than merely a wet spot and instead includes puddling or a trickle into a nearby drain.
A company that will fully address the problem will request access to the inside and outside of the foundation. Their solution will likely involve adding waterproof sheeting or coating, addressing the flow of water against the foundation with additional drainage that ties you’re your home drainage system, and might even include altering your home’s current drainage plan or sloping.
This most comprehensive approach should come with an extended guarantee that will add value to you home now, in resale, and for years to come.