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Foundation Waterproofing Options

a very large, empty section of a basement.

A basement represents a huge amount of space in your home -- one that very few people make the most of. What would you do with a whole floor of extra, usable space in your home?

At Basement Systems, we've waterproofed tens of thousands of wet basements across the United States and Canada over the past 20 years. Needless to say, we've seen just about everything that can happen to a basement!

One thing we've learned is that there's a LOT of different waterproofing systems out there! And we've seen that all those options can be overwhelming.

We're Here To Help!

Your local Basement Systems waterproofing expert would be glad to help you learn about the pros and cons of each option -- as well as which ones are the best for you.

Meeting with one of our experts is free -- we charge nothing to visit your home, inspect your problem, and recommend a solution. And we'll leave you with a free, written cost estimate and a complimentary copy of our full-color waterproofing book.

No matter where you live, a locally owned and operated Basement Systems expert is just a phone call away! Call us for a free foundation waterproofing estimate!

Two Common Methods Of Foundation Waterproofing Compared

There are many different basement waterproofing systems on the market today, with many different approaches to keeping water out of your home.

However, all of these systems tend to fall under one of two categories: exterior systems that waterproof the home from outside of the house, and interior systems that consist of a waterproofing system inside of your basement.

a drain filled to the top with roots and mud.

Exterior Excavation

When your home was built, there was probably a drain installed along the outside of your foundation. This was put there to collect water and to send it away from the home.

If your basement is flooding, this drain has failed you -- possibly many, many years ago. It could be clogged with roots and/or mud at any point in the system. Other problems include any of the following:

  • (Common) The drain doesn't lead out anywhere.
  • (Common) The drain is crushed.
  • The drains have little or no drainage stone around them. (Stone is expensive!)
  • The drains are not connected at a continuous loop around the foundation, or are installed too high.

So What Is Exterior Excavation?

Excavation of a section of yard by a backhoe

Exterior excavation is an attempt to replace the failed drain around your home with a new one.

Of course, now that your home is already built, and the foundation is not exposed, it will need to be excavated and exposed, so that the drain can be replaced. As the foundation is excavated, anything around your home, including the lawn, gardens, walkways, patios, porches, driveways, and anything else that is along the foundation will need to be removed.

This is an expensive, time-consuming process that involves heavy equipment. It results in mounds of soil sitting on your lawn, and it's disruptive to your landscaping. To make matters worse, this type of system has already failed you once, and it'll probably fail you again.

Does Exterior Excavation Always Fail?

If exterior excavation never worked, then it wouldn't be used by anyone. We do hear testimonies from homeowners that their home was waterproofed from the exterior, and that this worked well for them.

Generally, an exterior system will work for at least a few years. But it's an expensive system, it's invasive, and it's impossible to service it if it ever clogs.

At Basement Systems, our reputation is our business. If we believed in exterior excavation, we'd provide it to our customers. We have seen that it does not work, and we do not believe in it.

A contractor installing an interior perimeter drainage system

Interior Perimeter Waterproofing

Interior basement waterproofing focuses on collecting the water from inside of the foundation walls, directing it to a sump pump system and pumping it away from your home before it enters the living space area.

To waterproof the basement from the interior, the perimeter of the basement floor will need to be jackhammered. A space will be excavated around the edge of the floor, and a fill of crushed stoned is placed there for drainage.

We place our drain on top of this stone, and cover the top of the drain with more crushed stone and fresh concrete. A small wall flange extends up from the floor to collect water off the walls.

All water is directed to a sump pump system, which collects the water and discharges it out of the home. A drain sends the water downhill away from the house. We bury your discharge line for you, so that it's not an unsightly tripping hazard.

What is the "Mud Zone"?

diagram showing that our drainage system sits above the mud underneath your basement floor

Unlike other basement drain systems available for interior waterproofing, our system sites on top of the foundation footing, above the "mud zone".

Systems that sit in mud are going to clog with mud someday -- it's that simple. Additionally, they will take extra work to install (because the contractors will have to jackhammer more of the floor), and they will be much more difficult to service when a clog occurs. How do you reach a clogged system that's sealed by concrete underneath your floor?

Our system is designed with service ports at spaced intervals. If you need to access a specific part of the drain, our system allows that -- with no removal of sections of the floor slab.

Does Interior Waterproofing Always Work?

A good interior waterproofing system is designed to keep your basement dry -- and keep it dry all the time. However, what will you do if...

  • ...your sump pump system becomes accidentally unplugged?
  • blow a fuse in the home?
  • ...heavy rains lead to a power outage?
  • ...heavy rains bring more water than your sump pump system can handle?
  • ...your sump pump clogs or malfunctions?

If you have a single sump pump system, these things will make your system fail. We always recommend installing a sump pump, a battery backup pump, and a secondary sump pump. With all three pumps in place, the chances of your basement flooding are statistically insignificant.

More about our basement drainage.

We Offer FREE Estimates & warrantied Solutions!

At Basement Systems, we've spent more than 20 years researching and developing patented products that dry basements -- and keep them dry all the time. And we just keep getting better all the time!

When you're ready to reclaim your basement, we've got a locally owned and operated waterproofer in your neighborhood to help you. Each waterproofing expert in our network offers free basement waterproofing estimates to customers within their service area. Your free estimate will include an on-site inspection, personal consultation, and a written cost estimate. Before you meet with us, we'll also send along copy of our full-color waterproofing book. Call or e-mail us today to get started!

Looking for a price? Get a no cost, no obligation free estimate.

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Quality, Innovation, Patents, Awards

Our innovative and forward-thinking approach to designing products has solved wet basement problems that the basement waterproofing and crawl space industry has faced for decades, and our patented sump pump systems are the smartest and most reliable. Plus we listen to our customers and respond accordingly! Basement Systems Inc. has been awarded 24 Patents and 19 Innovation Prizes on waterproofing products we use every day, including a battery back up sump pump system. This approach ensures the best waterproofing systems and solutions available.