People say I need to waterproof my basement. How do I do that?

- Friday, May 03, 2024

Basement waterproofing is quite a broad topic. How do you waterproof a basement? Adam explains basement waterproofing at the 30,000 foot level.

Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Daddy himself, Adam Tracy. Adam and The Crack Man Rich have over 30 years’ experience in the construction industry. Rich as over two5 years as the president and founder of A1 Foundation Crack Repair. This podcast provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: People say I need to waterproof my basement. How do I do that? Link:

Narrator: So, Adam, basement waterproofing seems like a pretty broad topic. How do you waterproof a basement?

Adam: It is a very broad topic. In fact, it's a very big catch-all term for a lot of different services that could be provided for a home and things that have maybe already been done to the house prior to you moving in. The joke that we like to use here is that, basement waterproofing or asking to have your basement waterproofed is like asking somebody to play sports.

There's a million different things you could do, and it really comes down to what aligns with what the issues are there. In broad terms, a house that is built anytime in the last 50 years or so will have been damp-proof, waterproofed from the exterior so you might see it when you're doing some work around the garden or on the house. You'll see a little bit of a black tar line that is just right around the dirt line. And that is applied to the foundation shortly after construction to protect the concrete against constant moisture. Does not prevent water from coming through seams and cracks and tire rods and pipes. It’s really meant to kind of make sure that there's no standing water against it.

Basement waterproofing could mean that in the construction phase where you're actually applying these coatings to the foundation to protect it. But most people are really concerned about it after the fact when they own the house and where they're having water issues. Generally, people aren't asking to waterproof their basements unless there's an issue with water. There are preventative things that everyone can do to their basements to help prevent water from coming in, but really, what it comes down to is people who are getting water and having water come in, what do we need to do to prevent that?

Basement waterproofing can mean a lot of different things. And where we look at, is a very small segment of what waterproofing could be. So, the first thing that we always ask, and we've talked about it many times on this podcast is what kind of foundation do you have? Because that will depend on what things are available to help prevent water from coming in. You can't use a stone foundation method of using mortar and insert materials on a concrete foundation, you can't use things that you would use in a block foundation on a stone foundation, and they kind of don't interplay.

Really, it's about working with a contractor like A1 Foundation Crack Repair to understand what things are available to target and approach the water issue. So, a lot of people will say, well, what about sump pumps? Yes, sump pumps are part of a solution for waterproofing a foundation. What about paints and such? Well, that's another solution that helps with kind of higher humidity. Foundation crack repairs are also used there. Dehumidifiers are also used.

You can see there's a number of different things that can help to put into a foundation or a basement space to help keep it waterproof. So, when we get a question from somebody, it's like, hey, I'm looking to waterproof my basement. My next question is, well, what is the situation? What do you have going on here? And usually it's after some event, whether it's a large rain, maybe it's a snow melt, maybe it's the spring thaw and the water table's high, and they're getting water coming in. Once we understand, kind of what the issue is and how it is present, it will really determine what we need to do to solve the issue.

Most foundations were waterproofed at the original stage of construction. And that means they may have put drainage around the house. They may have had tar barriers around everything, but this is really kind of finding out why these systems have failed and what we can do to make sure that you stay dry. So, when you ask for a basement waterproofing project, it could mean a lot of things to a lot of different contractors. And if you really want to work with somebody who understands what the problem is rather than selling the solution that they do, that's why we use multiple repair methods.

We use multiple techniques. We know a lot about all the different types of construction and how they apply to waterproofing projects. Then we make sure that we match the right solution to the right problem. Just like we've talked about in the past, putting a sump pump in is not the right solution for fixing a wall crack and fixing a wall crack is not going to deal with a solution where a sump pump would resolve a water table issue.

It's really about making sure we marry the right solutions. So it's a good term. We use it. It's in the opening of our podcast here for basement waterproofing, but remember, it is a very broad term, and it's very important to know what the right specific solutions are for your home.

Narrator: Well, thanks, Adam, for explaining basement waterproofing at the 30,000 foot level.

Narrator: If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit or call Rich at (866) 92 9-3171. Or you can email Rich at Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.

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A-1 Foundation Crack Repair, Inc. is a fully registered home improvement contractor. Contact us today to talk to a knowledgeable, master waterproofing professional.

Toll Free: 866-929-3171

Call Us Today at 866-929-3171

A-1 Foundation Crack Repair, Inc. is a fully registered home improvement contractor. Contact us today to talk to a knowledgeable, master waterproofing professional.