A Comprehensive Guide to All Things Foundation Waterproofing

December 24, 2021

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Foundation waterproofing is an excellent investment for any property. Moisture collecting around foundation concrete or piers and beams under a structure is typically the leading cause of foundation damage. That moisture can also lead to damp basements, wood rot, mold, and other costly issues. Your waterproofing investment can pay for itself by preventing that expensive damage!

If you’re considering waterproofing for your property’s foundation, note some commonly asked questions about this process. You can then discuss your options with a foundation repair contractor near you, as he or she can offer additional advice for keeping your property damage-free.

basement wall leaking water

How Does Foundation Waterproofing Work?

In truth, there are several foundation waterproofing methods offered by repair contractors. The best method for your property will depend on the foundation structure and material, as well as soil conditions, your budget, and other such factors. Note some common foundation waterproofing methods so you know what to expect for your property.

  • Basement waterproofing paint helps block moisture that might otherwise seep through the concrete. While you can purchase these paints at hardware stores and apply them yourself, a commercial-grade coating and application by a pro will usually yield more effective results!
  • More extensive waterproofing includes excavating around the foundation and then installing new drainage or “weeping” tiles. These tiles are actually porous pipes installed around the foundation, designed to collect moisture before it reaches the concrete and directs it away from the structure.
  • French drains are similar to weeping tiles. These systems are porous pipes installed a few inches underground, at various spots around the property and not just along the foundation. These pipes also collect excess moisture and then direct it away from a structure.
  • Crawl space encapsulation and vapor barriers block moisture that would otherwise collect in that space. Encapsulation provides a complete enclosure while a vapor barrier is installed along the ground, to block vapors coming up from the soil.

Property owners should also remember that timely crack patching and leak repair also help avoid costly damage over the years. Moisture can seep into foundation cracks and then get absorbed by that concrete, leading to more extensive damage. Have your foundation inspected and patched or repaired as needed over the years, to keep water damage from getting worse.

contractor inspecting flooded foundation

Is Foundation Waterproofing Necessary?

While a structure’s foundation might stay strong over the years without waterproofing, there are many reasons to consider this process for your home or commercial structure! One reason is that your foundation waterproofing costs are almost always less expensive than foundation repair, and especially if your structure will need eventual underpinning or foundation leveling.

Waterproofing also keeps excess moisture out of interior spaces. Structural framing can otherwise absorb that moisture, leading to wood rot and water stains along with drywall and ceiling tiles. That moisture can also mean mold along walls and mildew underneath carpeting!

Some people experience breathing difficulties, allergy attacks, skin irritation, and other sensitivities in overly damp homes or commercial structures. A damp basement can also produce unpleasant odors, and result in rust, mildew, and other damage to appliances and personal items stored in the space.

Homeowners especially might also consider how preventative maintenance like waterproofing, or foundation damage that results from not protecting your property, affects your home’s value! Prospective buyers aren’t likely to pay as much for a home with a damaged foundation, so its value will typically drop if you neglect needed repairs. Damp basements, mold issues, and wood rot resulting from moisture seeping in through foundation cracks also affect property values.

On the other hand, buyers know that a home with foundation waterproofing isn’t as likely to need repair over the years as one without, so the value of your property might then increase. A clean, dry basement will also attract prospective buyers more than a home with a damp, musty basement! For all these reasons, consider waterproofing as an investment in your property’s condition and overall value.

How Long Does Foundation Waterproofing Last?

The expected lifespan of foundation waterproofing depends on the quality of materials chosen and the skill of the installation contractor, as well as soil conditions on your property. Most store-bought waterproof paints and coatings are guaranteed to last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, after which time they will need reapplication. Commercial quality materials typically last at least 25 years or more.

French drains and weeping tiles usually last for 8 to 10 years before they need maintenance. However, shifting soil or changing soil conditions might affect their performance before that time. If your property has flooded, suffered erosion, or otherwise gone through major changes, call a foundation repair contractor to check those drains and note if they need repairs.

foundation waterproofing on the exterior

How Much Does Foundation Waterproofing Cost?

Foundation waterproof coatings, applied by a professional, might average between $3 and $10 per square foot. However, you can expect to pay more if your property needs extra excavation, such as for an overly deep foundation. According to Home Advisor, the national average for foundation waterproofing costs is between $2,000 and $7,000.

French drains might average between $10 and $50 per linear foot. Most homeowners can expect to pay between $2500 and over $6000 for a French drain installation.

Crawl space encapsulation and vapor barriers also vary greatly in price, depending on the material you choose and the overall size of the space itself. Most property owners can expect to pay as little as $1500 for a vapor barrier, to over $15,000 for full encapsulation of a larger crawl space!

How Do I Know If My Basement Needs Waterproofing?

Property owners might consider basement waterproofing as a means of preventative maintenance, even if the space seems clean and dry. Waterproofing is also recommended before finishing the space, to protect drywall, floor tiles, and other materials. However, you might note some common signs that it’s time to call a foundation contractor for basement waterproofing on your property:

  • Water puddles on the basement floor
  • Water stains along basement walls or floors
  • Condensation buildup on basement windows
  • Swollen or warped wood doors or basement stairs
  • A damp, “dank,” or musty feeling or smell in the basement
  • Developing mold or mildew along the walls or elsewhere
  • Insect or rodent infestation in the basement
  • Damaged items in the basement including home appliances
  • Spalling or a chalky residue along basement walls

basement after foundation waterproofing services

Is It Worth It to Waterproof a Basement?

In addition to preventing foundation concrete damage, waterproofing a basement offers many other advantages! One is that a waterproof coating helps repel moisture that would otherwise damage items in the basement. If you use the space for storage, or if appliances such as a washer, dryer, and water heater are in the basement, it’s vital that you ensure the space is clean and dry!

Moisture in the basement also attracts insects and rodents, who search out water sources as well as food sources. Your home or commercial structure can be spotless for the upper stories but, if the basement is damp or there is standing water in the space consistently, you might soon be facing an unpleasant infestation.

That moisture in a basement can also risk mold growth behind walls and along a home’s subflooring. Mold grows and spreads quickly, is often dangerous to your health, and means expensive cleanup! The cost of basement waterproofing is often far less than mold removal, making it a great investment for any property.

drain coming out of home for proper foundation drainage away from house

Do Foundation Walls Need Waterproofing?

A foundation repair contractor near you can note if your property’s foundation walls need waterproofing, or if the foundation is in good condition without cracks and leaks. He or she can also check the property’s soil. If it’s without excess moisture and there is proper drainage on your property, a foundation might not necessarily need added waterproofing and other protection.

However, if your home or commercial structure does need protection against added moisture, a French drain, sump pump, or another protective method might be recommended rather than waterproofing foundation walls. As an example, if there is excessive moisture in your property’s soil, it’s often best that you direct that moisture away from the foundation, rather than just applying a waterproof coating.

Property owners might also note any flood risks for their property. Foundation concrete walls can absorb floodwaters quickly before those waters can recede and the soil has a chance to dry out. Waterproofing can help protect the foundation against damage in those cases.

You might also consider waterproofing foundation walls if you might put your property on the real estate market sometime in the future. Buyers will appreciate that extra preventative step, as said, and this will reduce the risk of foundation damage over the years. You then won’t need to face costly foundation repairs or the risk of having your property fail an inspection during the sales process!

Peoria Foundation Repair & Waterproofing Pros is happy to provide this information about foundation waterproofing to our readers, and we hope it helped answer some questions about this process. If you’re in the market for expert waterproofing or if your property needs foundation fixes, call our experienced Peoria foundation repair contractors. We have years of industry experience and guarantee all our work to last. To find out more or to get started with a FREE inspection and repair quote, give us a call today.


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