Interior vs Exterior Basement Waterproofing

corner of a basement wall and floor
  • 16-40 hours
  • Beginner
  • 500-12,500

Interior and exterior basement waterproofing can be completed in several ways. Both your geographical location and the construction of your home affect whether interior or exterior basement waterproofing is best for you and your situation. There are many pros and cons associated with each waterproofing option. This article will discuss several ways you can waterproof your basement and help you to decide whether interior or exterior basement waterproofing is right for you.

Cracks and Holes

patching a crack in a concrete wall

Regardless of whether you are doing the interior or exterior basement waterproofing, you have no choice but to repair any cracks and holes. Patching them can prove challenging to say the least. For interior basement waterproofing, you have to brush away loose concrete to get a decent surface for the waterproofing medium to adhere to. You will need to use concrete to fill the holes and cracks, and then smooth it out. The process is time-consuming and complicated. Exterior basement waterproofing is done in such a way that cracks and holes are not much of a problem.

Skin Shielding

Skin shielding is used only with exterior basement waterproofing. Essentially, a skin is placed over the exterior basement wall after waterproofing paint has been applied. The skin acts as a moisture barrier between the cool soil and any excess liquid water. The skin is rubberized and has a honeycomb design that blocks moisture but allows water vapor to penetrate the basement or foundation wall.

Waterproofing Paint

Interior and exterior basement waterproofing will always utilize waterproofing paint. The paint is applied just like any other kind of paint. It is typically latex based and does not allow water to adhere to it nor does it degrade over time. Exterior waterproofing paint is more durable than interior waterproofing paint due to the constant bombardment of moisture and rain that is must withstand.

Water Drainage

poured concrete basement walls

Creating water drainage is an important part of waterproofing the basement. In order to keep the interior of the basement dry, you need to install a drainage system outside of your home. There are many ways that it can be done, even with the simple pipes like downspouts. Another way is to create a trench at the base of the exterior wall and place a drain pipe inside the trench, and have it connect to the exterior plumbing line. It will keep water away from the concrete foundation and out of the basement.

Water Sock

When it comes to exterior basement waterproofing, the water sock is a popular choice among builders. The water sock is a round piece of absorbent material wrapped in a mesh. The land around the home is excavated to the base of the foundation (also the basement walls). A trench is dug and filled with 1-inch of sand. The water sock is set in the sand and covered with gravel.

The trench is dug around the perimeter of the property and then the earth is backfilled over the water sock before it is leveled. When it rains, the water soaks through the ground and reaches the gravel. The water filters through the gravel to the water sock, where it is stored. Over time, the water is slowly released back into the ground.