Basement Waterproofing Options

Keep your home dry and fix any leaks you already might have with these tips for waterproofing a basement.

Waterproofing Cinderblock

Waterproofing Cinderblock

Girl uses a roller brush to paint and waterproof cinderblocks on wall.

By: Caroline Shannon-Karasik
Related To:

Waterproofing a basement requires more than simply patching up trouble spots. Instead, it's important to not only locate the sources of the leak, but also to check for problems in the foundation of the home and prevent future leaks.

Basement Remodeling Ideas from TV

See All Photos

AFTER: Guest Suite Fireplace

As seen on HGTV's Elbow Room, this basement was renovated by licensed contractor Chip Wade to include a new guest suite for visitors, home beer-brewing area and entertaining space for the whole family. This is the suite's modern lounging area with a deep fireplace. The space has clean, modern feel that is warmed up by the wood accent walls.

Photo By: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Before: Guest Suite Fireplace

Before, the unfinished basement was uninviting and mainly used for storage and the homeowner's makeshift beer-brewing area.

Photo By: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Before: Living Room Area

As seen on HGTV's Renovation Raiders, the seating arrangement in this basement was awkward, forcing people to sit at opposite sides of the room to watch television.

After: Living Room Area

A new seating arrangement allows for the family to sit together with the flagstone fireplace and TV as the focal point in the room.

Before: Desk Area

The basement is a nice size, but wasted space that is rarely used. This dingy old desk looks neglected and very plain against mustard yellow walls.

After: Desk Area

The sleek new desk rolls easily to make for additional space and fits the style of the library area. The color of the built-in bookshelves breaks up the yellow.

Before: Bookshelf

The bookshelf is a similar shade to the mustard walls and does nothing for the space.

After: Bookcase

The color is a vast improvement, but the real upgrade is the super-cool secret passageway from the bookshelf.

Before: Under the Stairs

As seen on HGTV's Cousins Undercover, the basement of this home was damaged during a flood, making it unsafe. It was partly gutted and used for storage. This space needs a full overhaul.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

After: Under the Stairs

Post-makeover, the basement is once again a family hub full of modern cottage style. The new staircase provides an open wall that separates the living room from the dining room. The stairs are stained to create a warm contrast between the two rooms.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Before: Staircase

The original stairs were damaged by water and were too weak. Since they were a hazard, they needed to be rebuilt.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

After: Staircase

The custom open stairs are a bold and strong addition to the basement. Not only are they a wonderful design element, but they also serve a as room divider for the living room and dining room.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Before: Family Room Area

Boxes of assorted storage items took up all the available space, but even if they didn't, the water damage from the flooding made this an unsafe space.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

After: Family Room Area

Once the basement was cleared, a family room area was placed next to the new staircase. There's a great open flow to the space and the soft palette and lighting bring out the brightness of the room.

Photo By: Chris Amaral

If you are already dealing with wetness in your basement, then start by locating the source of the moisture. This is best done by taping a piece of foil to the inside of the foundation wall. Let it sit for several days, then remove the foil to see if the wall or room side of the foil is wet. Both sides may have retained moisture and that means the problem lies on the inside and outside of the foundation.

If you notice moisture on the wall side of the foil, then it means the problem is making its way through the foundation. You may need to consult an expert about making exterior gutter and downspout repairs.

Interior basement waterproofing requires filling gaps with cement and sealing trouble spots with waterproof masonry paint. This will help to ensure basement waterproofing and prevent future problems.

Repairing Basement Walls, Floors and Ceilings

See All Videos
Keep Reading

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.