Basement Waterproofing Cost

The average cost of waterproofing a basement is $3,000 - $5,000.

In this guide

Causes of a wet or damp basement
Causes of a water seepage and leaks
Methods
Labor
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQs

How much does it cost to waterproof a basement?

Taking care of your home will make it more livable and secure in the long run. Waterproofing is one of those important things that you can do to take care of your home. Even if you haven’t had a problem yet, it doesn’t mean you won’t run into a water issue in the future. Basement water seepage and leakage is a common occurrence for many people with basements and it is a good idea to take care of the problem before it occurs. This will save you a ton of money and stress in the long run.

The average cost to waterproof a 1200 sq.ft. basement is $3,000 - $5,000. This includes labor costs and all materials, including: evaluation, repairing defects, waterproofing walls, cleanings gutters and window wells 1, installing a sump pump 2 or french drain 3, and epoxy 4 injection.

Causes of a wet or damp basement

There are three main, common causes of a wet or damp basement:

  • Condensation, also referred to as “sweating.” Condensation appears as little water droplets, as wet spots, or even puddles on the basement floor or walls. Condensation occurs when warm, moist air hits the foundation walls, cool or cold-water pipes, carpets, or rusting appliances. In an area such as a crawl space, condensation can cause wood rot and insects and can buckle plywood 5.
  • Runoff is melted snow or rain that is improperly routed away from the house and can come into the basement and cause moisture problems. Runoff comes in through the topsoil and stops at the compact soil near the basement foundation. The water is forced into the walls and footings of the house through gaps or cracks from hydrostatic pressure. A problem with runoff can be determined if you have a damp or wet crawl space or basement walls and floors after a rainfall or snow storm.
  • Groundwater swelling is a result of an overflowing water table. When the water table is full to capacity, the soil is no longer able to drain the water and, as a result, your basement floods. If this is the cause of your wet basement, you may notice water bubbling between the wall and floor joints, or water present after a large storm.

Causes of a water seepage and leaks

Water seepage and leaks are a common problem with basements. They can lead to many problems that can harm your foundation and cost a lot to fix. These are some common causes of water seepage and leaks into basements:

  • Window wells 1: during a heavy rainfall or snowfall, water can collect in the window well 1 due to drainage problems. When this happens, pressure builds up, which causes water seepage through cracks or gaps around the window and into the basement. Installation of a window well 1 drain by a contractor will average at $500-$2,000.
  • Floor cracks: water can seep into the basement through cracks in the flooring. As the water table fills with water, pressure increases below the floor and can cause a crack letting water into the basement. Average cost to repair floor cracks is about $620-$850 per 20 sq.ft.
  • Cove joint: when pressure increases from water, it can come through the cove joint (where the walls meet the floor). This is common during heavy rainfalls. The average cost to repair a cove joint averages $200-$300.
  • Pipes: another cause of water leakage is from pipes. Sometimes pressure in the pipes or freezing of the pipes can cause a crack that will lead to water seepage in the basement. It will cost between $200-$300 to repair a leaky pipe.
  • Sewer: water leakage can occur in the basement if there is a backup in sewage. It will cost between $100-$300 to fix a single sewer leak.

When leakage occurs in the basement it is important to find the cause of it. In order to find the cause, you will have to carefully inspect your basement looking for signs of leakage. It is important to start by checking the interior of the home for any cracks or overflow of water. Then check the exterior of the home for any water sources. Examine any downspouts, make sure gutters are clear of debris and check window wells 1 for overflow. If the cause still can’t be determined, it is important to contact a professional basement leak repair service to determine the source of the leakage to try to prevent further issues such as mold/mildew, stained walls and bubbling paint.

Methods

Sealants

Sealants are used in home projects with a goal to protect from water damage and protect surfaces. Sealants are similar to caulk, but sealants are more elastic and easier to paint over. Sealants are applied to gaps and cracks to fill them up and ensure nothing gets through.

An enemy of concrete is water. It can create major foundation issues and lead to cracking and pealing. In order to prevent damaging concrete basements, a waterproof concrete sealer should be used. Using a penetrating sealer that hardens concrete and provides a surface barrier is important to ensure a fully waterproofed basement.  There are several types of sealants, all made from different substances. The main ones are displayed in the chart below:

SealantsDescriptionPrice per bucket
Bituminous

Less suitable for floors

Fuel-resistant

Able to withstand hot and cold

Best to use around areas with a lot of water

$10-$80
Polyurethane

Can be painted over

Does not shrink

Not damaged by abrasionShort lifespan

Can’t withstand extreme temperatures

Environmentally friendly

Allows expansion and contraction

Suitable for floors

$10-$100
Silicone

Most common

Protect from UV rays and high temperatures

Can protect against mold

Some can be applied to marble/stone without staining

Cannot be painted over

$10-$224


Drainage

Having a good drainage system for your basement is an extremely important aspect of proper waterproofing. Contractors recommend installing a sump pump 2, a French drain 3 system, footing drains 6, and/or gutters to help capture water and prevent any flooding issues.

  • Sump pumps 2: a sump pump 2 is a pump 7 that is installed in a crawlspace or low basement area to help prevent flooding and water damage. They are often installed in the lowest level of the basement. When the sump pump 2 detects any water, it will automatically kick on and pump 7 the water away from the building via pumps 7 that will dump the water outside or back into the home's water system. Installing a sump pump 2 can be very costly, but it is worth it to protect your home from any water damage that could potentially occur. The cost to install a new sump pump averages between $500-$1100. Plumbers charge between $45-$65 per hour, and  can install a sump pump 2 for $360-$650 for 8-10 hours of work. There are two types of sump pumps 2:
TypeProsConsPrice
Pedestal

Last Longer

Cheap

Easy to repair

Louder

Not as effective

$80-$180
Submersible

Quiet

Come in high horsepower

Expensive

Harder/more expensive to repair

$135-$300


TypeProsCons
Interior ($50-$60 per linear foot)Can be installed in already existing homes Effective Prevents floodingCostly
Exterior ($10-$15 per linear foot)CheapEasy to install CustomizableNot as effective for moving water closer to the house


  • Footing/Foundation drain: A footing drain 6 runs along the footer 8 or structure below the basement’s floor, collects any excess water, and disposes of it through the pipe away from the house or into a sump pump 2. The procedure to install a footing drain/foundation drain is quite lengthy and often takes a contractor more than 8 hours. This procedure typically costs an average of $5,000-$10,000.
  • Gutters: gutters can help to move water away from the structure or foundation and prevent any water from entering in the future. The average basement (1500 sq.f.t) will cost $625-$1,800 to have gutters installed by a contractor.

Interior waterproofing

To make sure there is no water entering your home, you can also take steps to waterproof the interior of your basement. Some popular interior waterproofing methods are:

  • Waterproof paint is made to protect your house from the outdoor environment. It is long-lasting and will let you relax from the worries of water damage for the next 5-10 years. Waterproof paint averages $20-$200 a can, depending on the brand, texture, finish, type, etc. A painter will charge typically between $0.50 and $1.60 per sq.ft. of wall area to complete the job.
  • An epoxy 4 injection is an effective and reliable process that prevents concrete foundation cracks from leaking. It is performed from inside the basement as a low pressure injection of epoxy 4 is applied through ports installed along the length of the crack. It cures within 5 hours and the crack then no longer exists. The strength of the epoxy 4 is extremely strong, even stronger than concrete. A trained injection technician or a waterproofing contractor can perform this work and it typically costs $350-$525 per crack. This job is fairly quick and will take less than an hour per crack.
  • A sump pump 2 is installed in the lowest part of the basement to prevent flooding that could cause water damage. Installing a sump pump 2 can be very costly, but it is worth it to protect your home from any water damage that could potentially occur. The cost to install a new sump pump averages $500-$1,100. Plumbers charge $45-$65 per hour. A plumber can install a sump pump 2 for $360-$650 for 8-10 hours of work.

Exterior waterproofing

To make sure there is no water entering into your home, you can also take methods to waterproof the exterior of your basement. The best time to install these is when the house is under construction. Some popular exterior waterproofing methods are:

  • Excavation:  an expensive process which stops leaks from entering through a concrete foundation. Excavation is a method used commonly when the finished basement walls cannot be accessed; often when there are leaks behind the paneling, wet bars 9, fireplaces and wall units. This is typically the waterproofing of an entire wall or a part of a wall. The average cost for exterior excavation and waterproofing done by a contractor is $100-$250 per linear foot (depending on the excavation depth and accessibility). This project can take up to 24 hours of work, depending on the number of walls.
  • Sodium bentonite:  a treatment that forms a barrier between the foundation and wet soil. It is a clay-like material that absorbs moisture. When water molecules bond to the sodium bentonite, the clay expands and fills in the cracks so water can't get in. This is a good process to do during construction of a new home. The average price for a sodium bentonite treatment depends on the amount needed, it averages $52 per ton.

Window well drain

Window well 1 drain installation is another method for waterproofing a basement to ensure that no water gets in and causes damage. Window well 1 drains can be installed around a window below the grade of a house. Window wells 1 collect water that leaks into the basement and eliminates the leakage problem right away. Installation of a window well 1 drain by a contractor will average anywhere from $500-$2,000.

Labor

Depending upon the company or contractor hired to do the project, they may charge one price for the whole waterproofing project or per linear foot. On average the cost to waterproof a basement averages $5,000 for a 1,200 sq. foot basement, or $5-$10 per sq. ft. This includes labor costs and all materials, including: repairing defects, waterproofing walls, cleanings gutters and window wells 1, installing a sump pump 2 or french drain 3, epoxy 4 injections, and evaluations.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Foundation Waterproofing

Waterproofing a foundation can repair any issues and prevent any water issues for the future. This will help protect against things such as flooding, cracks, mold, warped walls, and a dropping floor. To waterproof a foundation at a standard size of 1500 sq.ft, will cost an average of $5,000-$10,000. This job could take a contractor from a few days to weeks depending on the foundation size.

Water Damage Repair

Water can cause a lot of damage if it gets into places that it shouldn’t be. If water is not cleaned up properly or repaired within the first 24-48 hours, then the damage has been done and can lead to additional problems such as mildew, mold, and wood rotting. Water damage can occur as a result of infiltration of clean water, but could also be a result of leaking sewage water which will end up costing a lot more to clean. The average cost for water damage restoration depends on several factors. The first factor is  the type of water, clean water is easiest and, therefore, less costly, around $3.75 per sq.ft.. Water that is considered “gray”, from an appliance with chemicals in it, is more costly to deal with, averaging around $4.50 per sq.ft. for removal. Black water, or water that has come from a sewer pipe 10, is the most costly, averaging $7 per sq.ft. Size does matter in the cost of the cleanup. A small area, less than 100 sq. ft., and easily accessible, may cost an average $230. A larger area and/or with water more than an inch deep, can cost upwards of $4,000 to remove. All of this work should completed by a specialist.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Waterproofing a basement comes with a warranty offered by a contractor or a company. Usually a warranty offered for waterproofing is anywhere between 10 and 25 years.
  • There may be a cost for having services such as air conditioning unit removal, removal of your deck, removal of your patio, removal of a fence, or driveway removal to complete waterproofing. Removing an air conditioning unit will roughly take 1-2 hours and will cost an average of $200-$300. Removing an existing deck or patio, roughly 200 sq.ft. in size, will cost $400-$600 and take 2-3 hours. Removing an existing fence and hauling it away averages a cost of $2-$5 dollars per linear foot. The cost for removal and disposal of the fence could be between $418-$1045. On average, the cost to remove an unreinforced concrete, 2 car driveway, costs $1500-$2500.
  • A list of contractors and advice can be found through the Waterproofing Contractions Association.
  • Working from the outside on a deep foundation requires more labor because more excavation has to be completed.
  • Before sealing the foundation, make sure to check for any cracks or crumbling in the basement floor. If there are any present, they need to be repaired before the sealing. Average cost to repair floor cracks is about $620-$850 per 20 sq. ft.
  • It is always a good idea to get more than one estimate for the job. Some companies may charge you way over what the average price is.
  • Plastic barriers do not last. This is because moisture can get trapped between the barrier and the wall and can cause condensation. This can lead to many issues.
  • Investing in a dehumidifier can help to control your damp basement in a cost effective way. This makes it easier to control humidity and eliminate bad air quality.
  • Make sure that the ground around your foundation slopes away from the foundation and not towards it. The reason for this is to help drain water away from the foundation.
  • For your gutters to function properly, always make sure they are clean. Downspouts should discharge water at least 5 feet (1.5 m) away from the foundation.
  • Plants should be placed at least 12 inches away from the foundation on a slope, to allow water to drain away from the foundation.
  • Always ensure that you look into obtaining a permit for completing a project of this type. Depending on your area, a permit for your job may or may not be required.

FAQs

  • How much does it cost to waterproof your basement?

The average cost to waterproof your basement is $5000.

  • How do I seal a basement floor?

The process of sealing a basement floor can be quite simple. Start by sealing and filling any cracks or holes in the floor with concrete. You then want to apply a sealer to the floor using a large paint brush or a roller. Lastly, you want to apply epoxy 4 paint down on the floor. This will seal the floor against any cracks and leakage.

  • How do you stop water from coming in your basement?

You can stop water from coming in your basement by patching any cracks or gaps using cement, directing water away from your foundation, and adding drainage pumps 7.

  • What is done to waterproof a basement?

Some things that are done to waterproof a basement are: home evaluation, repairing defects, waterproofing walls, cleanings gutters and window wells 1, installing a sump pump 2 or french drain 3, and epoxy 4 injection.

  • How do you seal a leaking basement?

    Start by using a vacuum to remove any loose concrete, dust, dirt, mold/mildew, or

paint that the water has caused. Using an appropriate sealant, seal any cracks or gaps that is causing the leakage. If the leakage is caused by window wells 1, gutters, or drainage from excessive rainfall, then you need to remove the overflow of water to stop the leakage.

  • How much does it cost to fix the foundation of a house?

The average costs associated with hiring a contractor to repair of a foundation of a house ranges from around $5000 to $7000.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Window wells: A semi-circular area around a window below the grade of the house, reinforced by a sturdy material such as galvanized metal or masonry
2 Sump pump: A mechanical device used to remove water from wet areas such as basements and crawlspaces in order to help prevent flooding
3 French drain: An outdoor buried drain line that leads water away from the house. Water runs through a trench filled with gravel into a perforated pipe underneath, which leads the water downhill to a safe area
4 Epoxy: An adhesive, plastic, paint, or other material made from polymers containing epoxide groups. Epoxy is best used for bonding or for creating a protective coating
5 Plywood: An engineered construction material manufactured from thin slices of wood glued together in alternating grain patterns for strength
6 Footing drains: A method of protection against water entering the basement. It runs along the footer - the structure below the basement's floor that supports a house's foundation, collecting excess water and running it through pipe into a sump or away from the house.
7 Pump: A device used to move air, liquid, or gas by mechanical means
8 Footer: (Also known as Footing) A support for the foundation of a house that also helps prevent settling. It is typically made of concrete reinforced with rebar, but can also be made of masonry or brick. It is usually built under a heavier part of the house like a wall or column, to distribute the weight of the house over a larger area.
9 Wet bars: A small bar, usually in a home or hotel room, that has a sink with running water
10 Sewer pipe: Principal pipe in a sewage system

Cost to waterproof a basement varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Allentown, PA
+11%
Athens, GA
-9%
Austin, MN
-23%
Avon Lake, OH
-21%
Ballwin, MO
+14%
Brookline, MA
+51%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Denver, CO
+1%
Goshen, NY
-4%
Gwynn Oak, MD
+9%
Hiram, GA
-19%
Huntington, WV
-11%
Kalispell, MT
-25%
Lockport, IL
+25%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Massena, NY
-9%
Nashville, TN
+21%
Newark, NJ
+27%
Newport, KY
-5%
Oxford, GA
-12%
Paris, KY
-35%
Raleigh, NC
-3%
Rockford, IL
+12%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Wasilla, AK
+15%
Woodburn, IN
-8%

Labor cost in your zip code

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