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The Home Depot

How to Waterproof a Basement

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Basement > How to Waterproof a Basement
How to Waterproof a Basement

Basements have a bad reputation for being damp and musty, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Making sure your basement is well waterproofed doesn’t just help make your home more comfortable, it prevents a plethora of problems that too much moisture can bring. Exposure to moisture can eat away at parts of your home, leaving them warped, weakened and deteriorated. Waterproofing is a good way of making sure all parts that make up your home stay intact. Waterproofing can help you avoid rust, mildew and mold.


There are a number of ways to spot the tell-tale signs of too much moisture in your home. Spots of mold or mildew, a bad smell, crumbling drywall and damp walls or carpet will let you know there is a problem. If you find signs of water in your home, there is probably an underlying, structural reason for them. There are a lot of over the counter products that offer quick fixes to your waterproofing woes, but remember – if that underlying problem isn’t corrected, the water will still find a way to get back inside your home.


The best way to make sure your basement is properly sealed against moisture is to find a good professional to do the work for you. This guide will walk you through the process and give you some good information about waterproofing along the way.

  1. 1.Step One

    Basements have a bad reputation for being damp and musty, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

    The first thing your professional will probably do is come out to your home for an inspection. These inspections are usually free. Show them whatever water damage you have found and discuss likely causes.

  2. 2.Step Two

    Together, you and your pro will map out a plan of action. You’ll have to figure out where the water is coming from and what the best techniques there are to prevent it from doing so. He or she probably inspected your home’s foundation to make sure that it allows water to flow freely away from your home. They probably also looked at your home’s gutters and downspouts to make sure they are intact and depositing water away from your home. They have probably also looked for cracks in your home’s foundation.

  3. 3.Step Three

    When the work begins it might cause a little bit of disturbance in your household. Don’t be surprised if you can’t access your basement for a bit, if you must turn off power in parts of your home, or if there is noise and mess. Your contractor might have to pull out and dispose of damaged and moldy building materials. Your contractor should prepare you for this and should give you a good estimate of how long the inconvenience will last. You may need to keep fans running and doors open to keep out potentially toxic fumes.

  5. 4.Step Four

    When the work is complete, your contractor will probably take you on a walkthrough of your basement. Of course, you won’t be able to tell if the work is truly effective after a few rain storms. Every time it rains, check potential trouble spots and be on the lookout for signs of excess water. If you do spot a problem after having your basement waterproofed, call your professional right away.


    Waterproofing might not be the most exciting subject, but it’s so vital to help keep your home intact. Dealing with a flooded basement isn't fun. Find a pro to do the job right and you won’t be left high and dry.

Related Guides: How to Finish a Basement

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