The expensive mistake, in this case, is not investing in basement waterproofing before your basement floods. Think about it: if you don’t invest now and your basement floods, the costs of dealing with the damage plus the average cost to waterproof a basement will far exceed what it will cost to simply invest in basement waterproofing now, before there’s a problem. Not only will cleaning and repair of flooded areas cost you financially, but if you store family mementos in your basement, the cost can be emotional too.
50% of the air in the home comes from the basement, so it’s doubly important to have clean air circulating down there. That’s why the first thing we do when inspecting a basement is measure the relative humidity with a hydrometer. Per EPA standards, if the humidity level is above 55%, you’re likely dealing with airborne mold.
Your basement might not have any visible signs of leaking water, but still have up to 70% humidity!
You don’t need to have physical water in the basement to have potential problems brewing, so it’s best to be proactive. But if you don’t have visible signs of water, how do you know there’s an issue?
Moisture typically gets in through very small leaks. You might even see small water marks on the wall. But the thing to really look for is efflorescence: a white, powdery crystallized material that grows on concrete when moisture wicks through. If you see this substance in your basement, chances are that water is pushing up against the blocked wall of the structure.
Blocked wall basements are built with cinder blocks, which have hollow cavities. When you have foundation problems, these hollow cavities get filled with water and eventually cause concrete to break apart – this is when you start to see different types of cracks as the evidence of structural instability. From bowing walls to broken concrete, the structural instability of your home can only get worse over time.
Most of the time, if you’re experiencing moisture issues in your basement, it’s because some part of the drainage system around your house has failed. No matter where the point of failure is within it, the system will stop working. It’s just like a clog in your sink: no matter where the clog might be, your sink won’t work properly.
Sump pump failure is a common issue because most builders install the least expensive products. Since they’re not using commercial-grade pumps, the failure rate goes up, thus increasing the potential to further damage your basement. A sump pump failure can flood a basement up to 2-3 inches, more than enough to ruin everything.
From walls and carpets to personal belongings – everything becomes much less functional and can even be destroyed. All the materials used to build a basement are organic, so EVERYTHING can grow mold. Your basement is essentially a Petri dish!
When you work with DryHouse, your home benefits from our access to commercial-grade drainage systems and sump pumps. We can provide backup systems that prevent issues even when there are power outages, avoiding the common pitfall of sump pump failure.
We offer two solutions: a footing-based system, which sits on top of the footing (a part of the foundation that supports and prevents settling) and runs $50 per linear foot, and a traditional system, which sits in front of the footing and will run $60 per linear foot. Most homes average in the 80-100 feet range. A variety of different factors will determine which is the best solution for your home, which our specialists will ascertain once inspecting the area.
Not everyone will choose to upgrade their sump pump, although we typically recommend it due to our ability to install higher-grade products. Sump pumps can range from $1500 to $3000, depending on the specifications needed for your home. For example, the $3000 model is a dual system that comes with a battery back-up AND smart controller.
The other main component when it comes to the costs of waterproofing a basement is the vapor barrier. We do recommend installation, as it will prevent moisture from getting into the basement. It is completely waterproof and tucked into the drainage system, like putting a pool liner over the concrete. If water comes through, instead of leaking through the foundation and into your home, it hits the barrier and is redirected out through the drainage system. The typical cost is $17 a linear foot.
The estimated average cost to waterproof a basement will always vary depending on the specific conditions of your home. If the basement is finished, selective or complete demolition will have to be employed. Moving mechanical equipment that’s in the way, additional drainage needs, and whether or not a dehumidifier must be installed are all possible additional factors.