What is Exterior Basement Waterproofing?

Exterior Basement Waterproofing Model

Basement waterproofing sounds simple enough but requires extensive knowledge and skill to execute properly. Each home is unique, and as such, requires customized basement waterproofing solutions. What works for one basement might not work for every basement! Exterior basement waterproofing methods focus on preventing water from entering the basement by applying waterproofing materials and implementing drainage systems on the outside of the foundation walls. While there are several ways to waterproof a basement externally, Basement Masters Waterproofing excels in it!

Why Do I Need Exterior Basement Waterproofing?

Modern basements are not equipped to handle moisture. When water gets into your basement, it can snowball into a much larger issue. A wet basement attracts nasty pests, such as termites, ants, and cockroaches, which will further damage your property. A damp basement is also the perfect environment for mold and mildew. Not only will this mold cause odors and compromise the structural integrity of your home, but it will also affect the air you breathe. Excess moisture around the outside foundation of your home will cause the soil to settle, creating uneven floors and foundation cracks in your home. These cracks will upset the foundation of your home and allow even more water into your basement, creating a cycle of damage and deterioration.

What Are Signs That I Need Exterior Basement Waterproofing?

There are several different signs to look for that may signal that you’d benefit from basement waterproofing. Some people notice just one of these signs while others may recognize several at once. Some telltale signs that you may need external basement waterproofing include:

  • Musty Smelling Basement
  • Wet Basement Carpet
  • Wet Drywall
  • Water Stains on Floor or Walls
  • Basement Moisture
  • Bowing Walls and Foundation Cracks

What Causes Water in Basements?

  • Weather: Probably the most common cause of water in basements is due to nature. Sometimes, no matter how well-built your home is, it just isn’t equipped to handle a high volume of water in a short period of time.
  • Hydrostatic Pressure: This is a fancy word that refers to the pressure exerted by groundwater against your basement walls. When there are heavy rains and rapid snow melt in the soil around your home, the water will build-up pressure and push your basement walls inward. This can ruin the structural integrity of the foundation of your home! This causes foundation cracks leading to water intrusion.
  • Soil Settling: When the soil around your home shifts, it can create gaps between the foundation walls and the surrounding soil. Soil settling is another cause of water in basements that is largely up to nature. It occurs over time due to the weight of your home compressing the soil. Sometimes, soil settles due to a change in the level of moisture in the soil.
  • Poor Drainage: The soil surrounding your home should be designed to guide water away from your home. If your lawn is not properly graded, moisture from the rain and snowmelt will pool in the soil outside and seep into your basement. Often, we see downspouts that drain right at the foundation of a home instead of utilizing downspout extensions and catch basins.
  • Foundation Cracks: Foundation cracks appear due to several reasons- Hydrostatic pressure, settling, tree roots, freeze-thaw cycles, and more. However they happen, they need to be fixed as soon as possible because these foundation cracks let water into your basement, leading to even more problems.

Process for Exterior Basement Waterproofing?

Once you have identified the signs and causes of a wet basement, waterproofing the exterior can take anywhere from a day to a few days, depending on the project’s size and severity. Typically, the process is broken down into these steps:

  1. Excavation

Our team will begin by carefully removing the soil from around the perimeter of your foundation walls. It’s necessary to expose the foundation walls in order to assess and fix the damage.

  1. Clean & Prep Walls

It’s important to prepare the foundation walls by removing debris because this will aid in the adhesion of waterproofing materials in step four. Once your walls are cleaned, our team will fill in any foundation cracks with a waterproofing cementitious material.

  1. Apply Membrane

Once we’re confident that the foundation cracks have been filled, we’ll apply a rubberized membrane. This step is important because concrete is porous, so if we put your soil back now, water would still seep into your basement. Our team will decide if you need a liquid membrane, a sheet membrane, a dimple board, or a combination of the three.

  1. Window Well Installation (if applicable)

A very common cause of wet basements is poorly installed window wells. When we perform external basement waterproofing, we take care to properly install your window wells to prevent leakage. Drainage Installation

Now that we’ve built up your home’s foundation against water, we’ll need to prevent moisture from pooling against your walls. By installing a drainage system we extract the water around the foundation of the house. To keep water from entering the basement and eliminate additional pressures caused by the soil around your home putting pressure on your foundation walls which can cause cracking and shearing.

  1. Backfill

Once we install the proper drainage system, our work is almost done. After a final inspection, our team will replace and compact the soil around your foundation.  

  1. Downspout Upgrade

As a final precaution against flooded basements, we recommend that Virginia homeowners bury their downspouts and extend them out from the house. Typically, downspouts dispel water right at the foundation of the home. By burring downspouts will deposit water farther away from your foundation to prevent pooling.

Request a Free Estimate for Exterior Basement Waterproofing

When you choose Basement Masters, you will always get reliable customer service and installation. Our goal is to efficiently install your exterior waterproofing system and allow you to return to your daily life as quickly as possible. Contact us today for your free evaluation and never worry about water in your basement again!


Take A Look For Yourself!
Visit our Before and After gallery for shots of completed projects.We are glad to help increase the quality of life in your home!

Visit Gallery