Interior vs. exterior: How to waterproof your basement

Posted at 9:25 AM, Jun 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-21 19:34:15-04

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio. — The rain this spring has been relentless and it doesn’t look to be letting up any time soon.

Many homeowners might be asking how they can protect their homes from being damaged by all of this water.

It's been a busy couple of weeks for the team at J.D. Johnson Waterproofing, Inc. making sure those questions are answered.

“We are probably averaging 30 to 40 phone calls per day for estimates, wanting somebody to come out, diagnose their water issues,” co-owner and president Rusty Johnson said.

Johnson said the rain is to blame.

“Within the past month, it's been escalating more and more because the ground is just saturated. Even as the rain is starting fall right now, the ground is so saturated that water is just pushing everywhere,” Johnson said.

Without the proper precautions, that water can seep into your basement and cause a lot of damage.

But you can take action before things get really bad.

“First step is – is there water in your basement?” Johnson said.

Once you determine you have a problem then you can choose which type of waterproofing you prefer.

To do it from the inside, contractors will install a pipe beneath the basement floor and put a plastic shield on the wall.

That directs water to the newly installed pipe.

“That pipe is connected to a sump pump which is the lowest point in the basement and once the water level rises so high in the sump pump well, then the pump kicks on, removes the water, and puts it into the storm system that’s outside,” Johnson said.

Or you can tackle the problem from the outside.

Crews dig all the way down to the footer or base of the home and put down a pipe that flows out to the street.

Then, they install a synthetic wrapping on the walls of the home which allows the water to fall into that pipe.

“As the water is pushed against the wall wrap, the water is shed down and you notice how there’s a bunch of dimples in this wall wrap and it lets it breathe in between the house and the wall wrap,” Johnson said.

An exterior job is usually about twice the cost of waterproofing the interior of your home, but Johnson says both are effective and which one you choose depends on the home.

“There’s several things to take into consideration. If it's an outside waterproofing, is there driveways or decks or patios or just areas of the home that cannot be excavated?” Johnson said.

Above all else, Johnson has one key piece of advice he recommends to anyone considering waterproofing upgrades.

“You need to get more than one estimate. It's nothing for us at J.D. Johnson Waterproofing to a job like this to find quotes three times as much as what we would quote.”