Waterproofing a Basement – The First Steps


Basement leaks may result from several sources. While many of these issues can be easily remedied – for instance, by sealing cracks and running a dehumidifier – others require more complex measures. Obtain the Best information about French drain installation.

Some problems can be more complex like a poor slope in the yard leading toward the foundation or damaged landscaping that compromises its integrity and necessitates waterproofing services for proper foundation protection.


Prior to waterproofing a basement, it’s crucial to identify its source of moisture. In most cases, this will be evident: damp streaks or puddles on foundation walls indicate leaks that must be repaired before any waterproofing efforts can commence. But humidity or condensation could also be to blame. To help identify this possibility, tape a square of aluminum foil to the wall for 24 hours and let it see what happens. If it remains dry, it indicates humidity, while wet foil means water has entered.

Once leaks have been repaired, masonry sealer should be used to protect concrete foundations from humidity and water penetration. A high-quality product like DRYLOK Clear Masonry Waterproofer should be chosen, which guarantees protection from hydrostatic pressure and water seepage into basement walls and floors. Apply sealant using either a nylon bristle brush or a 3/4″ nap roller; work it into the pores using either tool before applying two coats for best coverage and warranty protection.

After waterproofing the basement with masonry sealants, anti-mildew paint should be used on any finished surfaces. Available at most home improvement stores, this durable finish should provide adequate protection for basement surfaces. In addition, seal all penetrations through the ceiling into the floor above, such as wires and pipes, with caulking readily available from hardware stores.


Moisture seeping through basement walls can do great harm to your home. Moisture can damage drywall, wood, and concrete structures, cause plumbing issues, and prevent you from using this space as a living area. According to experts at Angi Waterproofing Systems, the first step in waterproofing a basement should be identifying its source; signs include soft or discolored drywall panels, excess condensation on pipes/ducts, or excess condensation within cracks/walls in walls as well as dampness around windows in your basement.

Many DIY basement waterproofing projects involve caulking and filling holes or cracks with hydraulic cement, which is only a temporary fix that won’t address the underlying issue. Instead, professional foundation contractors use silicate concrete sealants that penetrate wall surfaces to close gaps, crack repair fillers that penetrate bare or painted surfaces for crack repairs, and fillers that dry within three to five minutes and create waterproof seals against water entering through these places; additionally, it won’t seal wide cracks so foundation contractors often combine this sealant with another silicate concrete coating product for complete coverage.

When it comes to waterproofing a basement, drainage systems are usually the best approach. French drains or exterior weeping tiles will collect excess water and divert it away from your basement walls, eliminating hydrostatic pressure that pushes moisture against foundation walls and creating hydrostatic pressure that forces moisture against them. A vapor barrier may also be installed to keep humidity out.


Before waterproofing your basement, you must ensure it’s as dry as possible. Standing water not only traps moisture but can damage foundations over time. Installing an effective drainage system or dehumidifier can help keep the air in your basement dry.

Waterproof concrete sealers can help safeguard walls and floors against hydrostatic pressure and seepage, and two coats are necessary to guarantee warranty waterproofing. DRYLOK Clear Masonry Waterproofer is an ideal option, providing complete hydrostatic pressure shielding and water seepage prevention. Apply it using either a brush or 3/4″ nap roller; take care to work the sealant into all pores of masonry before rolling on two coats for warranty waterproofing protection.

Watertight coatings cannot protect against leaks caused by the soil around your foundation, which must slope away from it to allow groundwater and rainwater to drain away, not towards it. Otherwise, this allows groundwater and rainwater to gather and accumulate, leading to leaky basements or damageddamaged foundations. Incorrect drainage systems or incorrect grading could result in leaky basements that compromise the structure and cause significant harm to the foundation.

Professional foundation inspectors can assess your foundation and recommend the ideal solutions to tackle leakage issues. Some solutions may be cost-effective, such as regrading the soil, installing downspout extenders, or sealing hairline cracks, while others could involve more involved processes like installing French drains or interior weeping tiles with sump pumps to guard against flooding.


Water damage in a basement must be quickly addressed to avoid mold, mildew, and rot forming in walls, floor boards, or foundations. Left untreated, these conditions could spread throughout your house and make living or working conditions unsafe. A waterproofed basement protects from moisture intrusion, making your home or commercial property safer to live or work in.

Basement waterproofing contractors can reduce the amount of water entering a basement by installing an interior drainage system and sump pump and making sure gutters and downspouts direct rainwater away from it. In addition, they will assess the grading around foundations to ensure it slopes appropriately to avoid any accumulations of rainwater in that area.

An experienced contractor can also seal a basement from within with special interior paints designed to form tight seals on masonry surfaces. While this won’t solve groundwater interaction issues with a concrete foundation, it may prevent some water leakage into the basement for some time.

Homeowners or business owners can quickly assess the condition of their basement walls by taping aluminum foil to one wall, leaving it for several days, and watching for signs of condensation; if one side becomes damp after being placed near a room, this indicates condensation issues that need to be addressed before waterproofing takes place. It’s also prudent to tape any seams between the floor and concrete foundation and apply crack fillers such as DRYLOK Masonry Crack Filler, which creates a tight seal in seconds.

Read also: How to Safely Use a Demolition Jack Hammer