The Most Common Types of Basement Waterproofing Methods and How to Choose the Best On

Posted by: Chris
Date: January 14, 2023

Water can penetrate the basement in a variety of ways, but it most commonly happens because of a damaged foundation or floor. In some cases, the plumbing broke, or the sump pump stopped working. When all of this happens, what types of basement waterproofing methods do homeowners use, and how do they choose the right one? Let’s take a look at the most common waterproofing methods.

waterproofing Types of Basement Waterproofing

Foundation Crack Injections

In some cases, you can repair poured foundation cracks with foundation crack injections. This low-pressure injection will either use polyurethane or epoxy as a form material to repair the home’s foundation. You would use this method to repair cracks in the flooring or concrete slab.

Whether you should use epoxy or polyurethane depends on the type of damage. You would use epoxy when you want compressive strength. On the other hand, you would use polyurethane if you worry about the sealant leaking out the back of the crack before it can adequately seal. Epoxy takes 12 hours to dry before you can walk on it, and it takes seven days before it fully cures. This can be problematic if it leaks out the back part without sealing it fully.

French Drains

French drains have grown in popularity as a waterproofing system because it channels the water out and away from the foundation. This method of waterproofing will lay a perforated pipe in a shallow trench to channel the water away with gravity. In some cases, you will request to have it installed in the basement floor or buried in the soil next to the home’s foundation.

The biggest downside of a French drain is the cost with a national average of $5,000. It costs so much because it requires you to dig around the foundation. While it may cost a lot, you won’t encounter water in your basement anymore. You would think of this as the most effective waterproofing method because it stops water from getting into the basement and channels it away from the foundation.

Cementitious Coating

The cementitious coating consists of sand, inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals and silica-based substances. It works by a chemical reaction. You combine the active ingredients with lime to create a hydration reaction. Once the reaction completes, you have a waterproof seal. Many experts in this field will apply a cementitious coating because of how easy it works.

Most consider it the easiest method to waterproof a basement.

The downside, like with the French drains, will come from the cost of the materials and the labor to apply them. You go through a great deal of cutting, reinforcing, detailing and handling during the process of installation. It requires thorough supervision to ensure that you install it correctly. They also can’t bridge cracks in the substrates.


In some cases, people will waterproof their basements with thermoplastics. Most experts list it as the strongest waterproofing material on the market, and it can provide you with up to 50 years of water protection. The professional who installs it will heat the plastic from solid to semi-solid to seal the sheets and panels together.

Thermoplastic can resist impact better than other waterproofing materials due to the elastomers in it. The material provides you with high elongation and tear resistance. You can even bridge large cracks with it.

The most common places where they use thermoplastics include concrete slabs, foundations and tanks. Thermoplastic’s greatest disadvantage stems from its higher cost. In some cases, it will cost $10 per pound, but it can reach up to $42 for a roll.

EPDM Rubber

This has become a popular basement waterproofing method that deals directly with the home’s foundation. It’s the ideal choice to damp-proof the home foundation. The material remains stable in high or low temperatures. It resists tearing and has good electricity resistance.

EPDM’s biggest drawback comes from its lack of aesthetic appeal. They prepare this waterproofing material with rubber, and it has a simple appearance, but some may not like it. Most commonly, you will see it used to waterproof a roof, but you can use it for the basement as well.

EPDM rubber costs less than some of the other choices at $3.25 per square meter on the low end. The maximum you should pay for this is $15 per square meter. The biggest influence on the cost will be the thickness. You can buy it either in 45-mil or 65-mil. Keep in mind that the thicker choice offers you better waterproofing capabilities.

Final Thoughts of Types of Basement Waterproofing

You can waterproof the basement with several materials, and the more costly methods tend to keep the water out better. To decide on a method, think of your individual project requirements and figure out which one will have the most effective application.