How Much Does It Cost To Waterproof A Basement?

A flooded basement is a nightmare for every homeowner. Not only is it expensive to fix, but can cause significant structural damage to the rest of the house if you ignore it for long. There are so many ways moisture can get into the basement, for instance, from an overflowing gutter or seeping through the cracks on the wall or floor. 

While waterproofing the basement can be quite costly, it will save you time and money that you would otherwise have to pay to fix the major water damage problems. Every household is unique; therefore, the needs of one basement as far as waterproofing varies greatly from another. From mild damp coating to full interior and exterior priming, several options pertaining to this process are available. Fixr details that the cost of waterproofing a basement is approximately between $3,000 to $7,000. In terms of square feet, waterproofing a basement is roughly $3 and $10 for every square foot (via Angi).

Factors for cost

How much do you really need to waterproof your basement? Well, there is no straight answer to this question since several factors will affect the overall cost of the project. However, minor waterproofing fixes might be a DIY project, but bigger fixes will require the help of professionals. Here are some of the factors that will affect the cost of the project, according to Bob Vila.


Right from the jump, you should know that a significant amount of what you will have to spend for the project will go into the labor cost. It is quite common for most contractors or independent professionals to include the labor cost in the entire quote for the project. Hiring a contractor for the job is the best route because of the promise of a well-executed job. However, if you want to cut down on the overall cost, you can choose to get a professional without necessarily going through a contractor. This will save you a couple of bucks! If the problem is small enough though, just DIY instead and save on the labor costs.

The types of sealing

There are two major ways of dealing with a wet basement wall; sealing the interior or the exterior of the walls. The cheaper alternative of the two is sealing the interior since it only involves coating the walls from the inside with a waterproof sealant. Remember that sealing the interior wall is not a permanent solution because it doesn't stop water or moisture from getting through the foundation. Exterior sealing, on the other hand, is quite labor-intensive since it requires gaining access to the foundation through excavation, then sealing it with a waterproof membrane. It is a more effective way of dealing with water problems in your basement because water does not get to seep through the foundation wall.

The type of sealant

Choosing to waterproof either from the inside or outside will require completely different equipment and sealants. Interior waterproofing is commonly done by applying an acrylic sealant on the walls of the basement. This option is quite cheaper since it is not labor-intensive and requires no special skill. On the flip side, sealing the foundation wall will require a special exterior waterproofing membrane, adhesives, and special skills to correctly put everything together. It does take longer to install as compared to coating with acrylic paint. So factoring in the cost of purchasing the materials and labor cost, external sealing will force you to dig deeper into your pockets.

The size and layout of the basement

How big is your basement? It goes without saying that the scope of the project will be determined by how big your basement is. A bigger basement will require more materials and a longer time to completer the repairs as compared to a smaller one. The layout of the basement also can add to the complexity of the task therefore, you have to pay more in the way of labor fees.

Additional costs

While the two major players on the final quote are materials and labor, you should also be aware of unexpected costs, according to Bob Vila.

Mold removal

Molds thrive on dark and damp surfaces, and your leaking basement wall is no exception. The presence of molds growing in the basement or any other room in our homes is detrimental to the health of those living there. In this regard, any existing mold will have to be removed during the process. Depending on the extent of the infestation, you may DIY; however, some major infestations may need professionals to come in. Mold removal is a skill and may require special equipment and chemicals to exterminate them. On average, mold removal costs ranges from $1,123 and $3,326.

Floor and wall crack repairs

Cracks and crannies on the floor or the walls of your basement might be the sources that allow moisture in. The wall and floors might be in good shape, but the cracks allow water to seep through into the basement. Smaller cracks are DIY tasks and can easily be repaired using special DIY kits. However, getting a professional to repair bigger cracks is ideal; they are likely to do a better job than you.


Depending on your jurisdiction, you may need to factor in the permit fees for the project. Some waterproofing techniques, for instance, the external sealing, requires digging into the foundation wall. This process can be dangerous and also affect the structure of the house; therefore, it requires a permit for the task (per Fixr).

Water table level

If you have tried the simple interior waterproofing remedies to no avail, then the water table level in that particular area might be the problem. In such a scenario, exterior waterproofing methods will be necessary because the alternative can only do so much.

Types of waterproof repair services

When you are dealing with water invasion into your basement, you need a solution that will address the water problem fast and remain effective for years to come. However, this is easier said than done since there is no one solution for all as far as basement waterproofing is concerned. Basement Systems gives details on the three major types of basement waterproofing solutions.

Interior drainage

This is the most cost-effective solution that is also preferred by many homeowners as well. Often referred to as the French drain, is also less invasive compared to other methods. This approach makes use of drainage trenches dug along the interior perimeter of the foundation wall or the basement wall. These trenches then lead water to a preinstalled sump pump which directs the water out of the basement. Most interior drainage installations do not need specific skills; therefore, you can take it up as a DIY project. However, installing the sump pump should be done by a professional.

Sealants and epoxy injections

Another quick and inexpensive fix that offers a temporary solution to the water problem in the basement is using sealant and epoxy injections. These materials are painted on the interior walls of the basement to prevent water from seeping through. Since they are painted on the walls like regular paint, you should also be sure to remove all the paint and efflorescence before application. The major downside with these waterproofing materials, especially the epoxy injection, is that they will crack as the walls expand and contract due to temperature changes.

Exterior waterproofing

There are two main exterior waterproofing methods that are often combined to complement one another; installing French drains and the use of membrane and polymer coats. Exterior waterproofing methods can be quite expensive because they involve excavation and other special skills to pull off. However, these methods are considered the best in waterproofing the basement against most water-related problems.

Why do you need to waterproof your basement?

Not every water or moisture problem in the basement requires thorough waterproofing; sometimes, a standard dampproofing might just do the job for you. So how do you evaluate and determine that your basement requires waterproofing? Take these issues as a possible sign that you need to waterproof your basement.

Negative grading

What is the slope of the land your house was built on? If the land is angled and slopes toward your house, then it means that rainwater will collect around your house. It gets even worse if the region has a higher water table than usual. Negative grading heavily contributes to water collecting on the foundation walls and slowly finding its way into your basement. Other than changing the slope of your yard, you can implement a good drainage system and also waterproof your basement, according to Home Inspection Geeks.


Have you noticed white crystalline substances forming on the concrete floor or walls in your basement? They are mineral deposits from groundwater that have made their way onto the walls and floors of your basement. Bob Vila explains that efflorescence might be a course for concern for anyone who hasn't experienced the problem before, however it is the water that you should worry about. If left untreated, you may have to deal with severe damages sooner than you think.

Water puddles in the yard

As mentioned earlier, a high water table should be enough reason for you to consider waterproofing your basement. But how do you know if that particular region has a higher than normal water table? Well, the first indication is the accumulation of water in puddles around your home. It is expected that the water will recede, especially during the dry seasons, but you should expect the problem to be back during the rainy seasons. So the best way to resolve the issue is to waterproof your basement.

Benefits of waterproofing a basement

The basement remains among the most vulnerable places in your home that is likely to experience water damage. Water can easily seep through the cracks on walls or through windows into the basement. According to the Restoration Master, close to 98% of basements will suffer from water damage therefore, basement waterproofing remains the best defense. Let's look at other benefits as detailed by Armored Basement Waterproofing.

Increased living space

The major reason why your basement remains inhabitable is because of the existing water damage. Waterproofing the basement will ensure that no more water gets into the basement; hence, no more mold and mildew growth. So if you need an extra room for storage or for the guests, think about making your basement habitable through waterproofing.

Improved health

Molds thrive in dark and damp environments, and a wet basement wall or floor is the perfect breeding ground. Molds pose health risks by causing allergic reactions and may also irritate the sinuses. You don't have to fear for your health every time you go to the basement. Consider waterproofing the basement to get rid of the musty smell and also the molds that grow very fast where there is dampness.

Avoid water damage and other expenses

Your best chance at keeping the floodwater away from your basement is through waterproofing. When water is left in the basement for long, it will cause severe structural damage to the house. Other than damage to the structure, any wooden materials in the basement will also be predisposed to rot after flooding. What's more, you will have to pay professional cleaning companies to dry up your house in the event of flooding.