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Your Basement Waterproofing Checklist

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Basement waterproofing is a major part of protecting the investment you've made in your home. To that end, it can be beneficial to build a checklist of what needs to be done. You should also review this checklist every few years. Let's take a look at some of the items that will be on it.

Installing or Replacing a Sump Pump

If you don't already have a sump pump in your basement, you need to get one installed now. Even in the driest of regions, anything from a water pipe break to a sudden rainstorm can cause basement flooding. It's better to have a pump installed and not need it than to get caught without one.

A sump pump replacement should be performed every 5 years unless otherwise indicated by the manufacturer. Likewise, the float system should be professionally inspected annually.

Outside Drainage

The best way to avoid flooding problems is to make sure water will be directed away from your house. This means making sure that all outside drainage systems, such as gutters and French drains, are clear and working as designed.

Check the surrounding terrain, too. If you're near a hill, for example, water may be directed straight for your house. While solving the problem might call for a bit of engineering, that may be cheaper in the long run than repairing a damaged foundation.


It's also important to make sure a basement can breathe. Not only does this encourage water in the basement to evaporate, but it will discourage the growth of mold. Have the airflow of your entire house tested, and make sure there is enough flow from the basement to keep it dry under normal conditions. It might seem like an odd argument, but some of the best basement waterproofing measures are done in the attic.

Checking for Foundation and Wall Damage

Especially if you're planning to have a sealant applied to the walls of a basement, it's wise to make sure there isn't damage already in progress. Sealing up cracks isn't a good idea, and the foundation may need to be repaired before basement waterproofing work can commence. Look for sports where staining is occurring, too, as this provides an excellent clue to where water is already getting in.

It's also a good idea to check for roots from nearby trees and bushes. These can penetrate the foundation and give water a free path to wreak havoc.