Exterior Basement Waterproofing


Your foundation must be watertight in order to avoid costly structural damage.

Waterproofing is a complex task best handled by professionals. Instead of relying on interior solutions that don’t address the source of moisture, exterior methods prevent rainwater from penetrating your concrete foundation and reduce damp air levels in your basement. Obtain the Best information about French drain installation.

Installing a Vapor Barrier

Moisture infiltration through basement walls is a serious hazard that can result in extensive damage and other issues. This issue can aggravate existing cracks, form mold and mildew growth, cause games and storage containers to deteriorate quickly, compromise air quality indoors, and worsen foundation issues by expanding and contracting concrete irregularly. Waterproofing the exterior basement walls provides a cost-effective way of protecting against moisture infiltration while helping prevent further problems in the future.

Installing a vapor barrier during waterproofing reduces moisture infiltration and helps protect against mold and mildew growth. It works effectively alongside other solutions for basement waterproofing, such as sump pump systems and dehumidifiers.

Vapor barriers are installed outside the basement walls and can be composed of various materials. Polyurethane sheeting is both effective and long-term; other choices could include a rubberized coating or waterproof membrane.

At the heart of it, all is an excavator with gravel to reduce hydrostatic pressure, an installation crew with a vapor barrier, and a drainage system at its footer – this combination redirects any penetrating water away from walls into a sump pump for draining out from the home, while simultaneously acting as an atmospheric seal against moisture infiltration into walls through their installation of vapor barriers, providing seal against concrete walls while helping reduce moisture infiltration into homes.


Exterior basement waterproofing requires contractors to dig a trench around all foundation walls from the outside, which may necessitate taking measures such as clearing away landscaping that was present before. Although this method is more expensive than interior waterproofing due to more labor-intensive excavation work requiring heavy equipment to get into proximity with foundation walls, this process typically takes more time.

Excavations allow a waterproof membrane to be installed on the exterior walls, preventing water from coming in contact with concrete and reaching its core. This membrane may take the form of liquid-applied coatings, sheet membranes, or dimple boards or be combined with an external drain tile system consisting of drainage tiles buried beneath gravel covers that channel water away from foundation walls in flood situations into weeping tile networks that have been set up within homes.

Weeping tile networks catch leaks as they occur, keeping the basement dry until a sump pump can be activated to dispose of excess moisture into a storm sewer. This method effectively protects house foundations and basement walls against moisture, which could otherwise lead to structural damage, mold and mildew growth, decreased resale value, or other complications that reduce property resale values.

Installing a Drainage System

Waterproofing your basement from the outside prevents leaks before they enter, rather than managing them once they seep in. This method is less intrusive than interior waterproofing and works for both concrete and masonry block walls.

At the core of exterior basement waterproofing lies an installation of a drainage system: exposed foundation walls are given access and fitted with drain tiles and gravel drainage channels; then, to keep standing water at bay away from your home, sump pumps are utilized to pump it away and dispose of it through various means.

An efficient drainage system is crucial to any waterproofing solution but is especially important when waterproofing exterior basements. This is because exterior drains may become clogged over time with dirt accumulation that allows groundwater to gather beneath foundation walls – increasing the possibility of leakage and leading to possible foundation failure.

An installation of a drain system during waterproofing prevents this from happening by diverting any excess water to a drain tile, which is then covered with gravel before being backfilled into the soil.

Exterior basement waterproofing can be more complicated than using sealants, but it provides long-term protection from foundation damage as well as reduced mold and mildew risks, keeping your basement usable for storage purposes. A professional can assess your property and recommend the most effective method of waterproofing.


Backfilling may occur before or after waterproof membrane installation, depending on your home and the type of basement work required. As backfilling involves replacing soil around the foundation, selecting a reliable contractor is critical if you want a smooth experience and no unpleasant surprises in the future. Reference checks should also be completed to avoid surprises further down the line.

Exterior basement waterproofing can not only help safeguard against water damage but can also increase the property’s value. Potential buyers will likely be more attracted to homes with dry basements rather than those damaged by groundwater or excess moisture.

Interior waterproofing involves installing a drain system beneath your basement floor to collect and divert any seeping through walls or vapor barriers and pump it away from your home. However, if the surrounding area has an unusually high water table or poor soil drainage, more might be needed to stop groundwater from seeping into your basement.

Exterior basement waterproofing takes a more comprehensive approach to water management by preventing it from entering your home in the first place. Though more costly than interior methods, exterior waterproofing provides enhanced protection from moisture and hydrostatic pressure damage. To find out more about how exterior basement waterproofing could benefit your home, schedule a free assessment with Olshan today.

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