Basement Waterproofing 101: 5 Homeowner Mistakes To Watch Out For

Basement Waterproofing 101: 5 Homeowner Mistakes To Watch Out For
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: August 5, 2021
  • Updated On: July 4, 2023

Keeping your basement dry throughout the year is essential as it can affect your home’s value, as well as the health of your family. If your basement is dry, no mold or mildew can grow.

But, mold can grow when your basement is humid or has a source of moisture. When this happens, mold can trigger serious health problems, especially for family members who have weak immune systems.

Not only that, but a moldy basement can drive away potential homebuyers if you intend to sell your property in the future. To prevent such instances, you need to avoid the following mistakes when waterproofing your basement:

1. Not Letting Professionals Handle Basement Waterproofing

Basement Waterproofing 101: 5 Homeowner Mistakes To Watch Out For

One of the worst mistakes you’d want to avoid is DIY basement waterproofing. While DIY waterproofing is a trend and may seem cheaper, it may not yield the best results, especially when done improperly.

Instead of saving a few bucks, you might only be wasting your time and effort since some basement problems require professional analysis to know the best waterproofing solution to apply.

You may apply the most expensive waterproofing solution, but it may not be effective because your basement requires a different solution. You may learn a few tricks after watching a tutorial video, but the professionals know more based on their experience.

Professional basement waterproofing companies, like Oriole Basement Waterproofing, have been sealing basements for years, so they know how to inspect and waterproof your basement. Experts in this industry may even know a lasting fix that you may not learn simply by watching DIY tutorials.

Instead of spending hours learning tricks that may not be the right solution, you can focus on what you do best. You’ll also save yourself from buying tools and sealants that you might only use once. But, when you hire professionals, you get to pay for their expertise, as well as their tools and sealants, which is more practical.

2. Forgetting About Exterior Basement Waterproofing

Another common mistake that many homeowners are unaware of is not waterproofing the basement’s exterior. Some water buildup in your basement may be due to mismanaged water runoff, which means your downspouts and gutters may be too near your foundation.

So, check if your gutters are at least eight to ten feet away from your foundation so you can prevent water from penetrating in your basement.

Moreover, make sure that you have an in-ground perforated tank or dry well that lets runoff—or collected water—seep into the ground by going through a solid drain pipe. By going straight to the dry well, you can prevent the water from splashing against your foundation, especially if you don’t have gutters.

3. Not Minding The Soil Around Your Foundation

The water seeping into the ground isn’t a good idea if it comes from the topsoil around your home. The topsoil may absorb and redistribute water into your basement since it’s less dense. As a result, the soil allows water to quickly get into your foundation, causing flooded or wet basement floors.

You can prevent this from happening by ensuring that the soil around your home slopes away. That way, the water won’t soak too deep underneath the ground. Instead, the water will go away from your home and not inside your basement.

4. Waterproofing The Basement Immediately After A Water Damage

Most importantly, you shouldn’t start any waterproofing project without ensuring that your basement is moisture-free. If you’ve experienced water damage, let your basement dry first. That way, you won’t trap any water in between layers of your waterproofing solution.

Moreover, if you leave moisture or water unresolved, you may develop some mold growth. And, as mentioned, mold can potentially cause some health issues. That being said, thoroughly clean and dry your basement within 24-48 hours after a water damage so you can prevent mold growth.

Then, you can now call professionals to waterproof your basement. Or, you can immediately call them after a water damage as some companies also offer mold remediation before waterproofing a basement.

Basement Waterproofing 101: 5 Homeowner Mistakes To Watch Out For

5. Simply Applying Sealants

In connection to DIY waterproofing, simply plugging leaks isn’t the best and most long-lasting solution. While sealants may temporarily prevent leaks coming from cracks in your basement, sealing the cracks only encourages the water to find other entrants.

As a result, you’re more likely to see water intrusion after some time since hydrostatic pressure is aggressive and constant.

What you could do instead is to let professionals inspect your basement. That way, they can identify the main problem causing water leaks, and then apply the best waterproofing solution.


Basement waterproofing mistakes are common, but you can avoid and remedy those errors by applying the tips mentioned above. Instead of trying to become an instant basement waterproofing expert, let professionals assist you. With such, you can make your basement moisture-free, making your home a healthier place to live.

Avatar photo
Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.