leaky basement floor

Waterproofing Your Basement – Inside vs Outside, What Is The Difference?

Leaky basements are a common homeowner's nightmare that plagues the majority of houses. In Canada, 40% of all home insurance claims are due to water damage.

Waterproofing your basement is an important part of routine home maintenance. It can also prevent water damage.


There are two main ways to waterproof your basement: internal and external renovations. Read on to find out the differences between the two, and choose what works best for your home.


Waterproofing Your Basement Internally


Interior waterproofing involves the installation of a de-watering system. You install the system at the lowest point of your structure. It is often a linear drain placed along the edges of your foundation inside your basement.

This diagram illustrates an internal de-watering drainage system. Different solutions apply for each specific home and the customer's situation.

Interior basement waterproofing is usually less expensive and labour-intensive than exterior waterproofing. It also is not weather-dependent, and construction is feasible at all times of the year.

During the installation process, you will be unable to access your basement. Also, it may require removing parts of the existing structure, such as drywall or flooring. This makes it less ideal for finished basements. To help facilitate drainage, a sump pump may also be installed. This system allows water to be pumped away from your home.


External Basement Waterproofing


Waterproofing your basement externally can be an excellent option for some, especially those who have finished basements.

It is appropriate for people who are not concerned about cost or time constraints. It is also recommended for those who or are unwilling to sacrifice access to their internal space.

Exterior basement waterproofing involves excavating the soil immediately adjacent to your basement's foundation. A drainage system is then installed, and it diverts water away from your home. Often, an exterior sealant is also applied.

Exterior basement waterproofing is more expensive than waterproofing your basement internally. It requires the removal of landscaping and walkways in the work area and the use of heavy equipment.

These projects are weather-dependent. Construction isn't conducive to the winter months with below-freezing temperatures. They also can take much longer to finish. Not all homes are ideal for external basement waterproofing. It cannot be completed on additions, attached garages, or areas where homes are too close together.

All this aside, external basement waterproofing has almost no impact on internal space, making it the ideal choice for many homeowners. 


Make the Call


You have a lot to think about when it comes to waterproofing your basement. Now you are knowledgeable about the two forms of basement waterproofing. Only you can decide what works best for your situation.

Your best bet is to call a professional that can handle the whole process from start to finish. Start by getting an estimate today, and make sure to check out our blog for more basement waterproofing information.