How Much Does Basement Waterproofing Really Cost?

<p>Petra Richli / Getty Images</p>

Petra Richli / Getty Images

Basement waterproofing gives homeowners the ability to prevent moisture from seeping into the basement or damaging the foundation walls. This project typically costs about $3,000 to $7,000, with an average cost of about $5,500. However, the total cost can be lower or higher based on the specific type of basement waterproofing.

Use this guide to find out more about the factors that can affect basement waterproofing costs.

Waterproofing vs. Damp Proofing

Waterproofing is intended to completely prevent soil moisture and flowing water from penetrating the basement walls or floor. This can be achieved with special protective membranes, cement coatings, and several other methods, which will cost about $5 to $10, on average.

Basement damp proofing essentially provides the basement with mild or moderate protection from leaks and water intrusion. It can be helpful to prevent soil moisture from seeping through the concrete, though it isn't as effective when it comes to flowing water. Damp proofing costs less than waterproofing, with an average cost of $3 to $6 per square foot.

Basement Waterproofing Cost Factors

Basement Size

The first factor to consider when building a budget for basement waterproofing is the size of the basement and the layout, as a more complex layout will take longer and may take more materials to fully waterproof. On average, basement waterproofing costs range from about $5 to $10 per square feet.

This means that it may only cost about $2,500 to $5,000 to waterproof a 500 square foot small basement, but if the basement is 2,000 square feet, then the cost increases to $10,000 to $20,000.

Full basement waterproofing will often including treating the home both indoors and outdoors, which can increase the total square footage.

Interior vs. Exterior Waterproofing

Adding protection to the inside of the home is a great way to prevent water from entering the basement, but it doesn't protect the exterior foundation walls, which is one of the reasons why full basement waterproofing typically includes both interior and exterior work.

  • Interior waterproofing is generally less expensive, ranging from about $200 to $3,000 for concrete sealing, waterproofing paint, epoxy crack injection, baseboard channel drainage, and other interior waterproofing methods.

  • Exterior waterproofing costs about $1,000 to $15,000, depending on the type of waterproofing method. Exterior waterproofing can include weeping tile installation, French drain installation, cement waterproofing, yard grading, or membrane installation.


Typically, basement waterproofing will cost about $200 per hour in labor. If the basement is overly complicated, it may increase the time it takes to complete the job, leading to a higher overall cost.

Sealant Type

Common sealant options include acrylic sealer, silicate sealer, and epoxy sealer.

  • Acrylic sealer costs about $3 to $4 per square foot, making it one of the more affordable sealant types. Acrylic sealers are both flexible and durable, though they may crack or flake over time.

  • Silicate sealer offers good protection against moisture, relatively easy application, and a moderate cost of about $4 to $6 per square foot. This type of sealer is one step up in cost from acrylic sealers, though it isn't as expensive as epoxy sealers.

  • Epoxy sealer is the best option for high-quality, long-lasting waterproofing. However, this type of sealer is more difficult to apply than acrylic or silicate sealers, and it has a higher overall cost at an average price of $5 to $7 per square foot.

Additional Basement Waterproofing Costs

Permits and Foundation Repairs

Typically a permit for this type of work will range in cost from about $75 to $150, though the cost can vary between cities, town, or states. The cost for foundation repairs can be as little as $500 for relatively minor issues or could exceed $25,000 for major foundation repairs, like patching large, horizontal cracks, fixing severe leaks, or repairing bowed walls.

In most cases, a permit will not be required to waterproof the basement, but if the foundation is cracked, crumbling, or otherwise damaged, then you may need a permit for foundation repairs before the waterproofing project can begin.


Excavating the ground around the home may be necessary to apply or install exterior waterproofing solutions. Contractors will also have to excavate the ground if they need to make any repairs to the foundation before starting the waterproofing process.

Excavation will typically cost about $50 to $200 per cubic yard of dirt, though you may choose to rent the equipment for about $75 to $350 per day and handle the excavation work on your own.

Mold Remediation

One of the main reasons to invest in basement waterproofing is to protect the home from mold and mildew growth. However, if the home already has a mold problem, you will need to pay between $1,500 to $4,000 for professional mold remediation services. The pros will come with all necessary safety equipment, allowing them to address the mold problem quickly and effectively.

Water Damage Remediation

Any existing water damage should be repaired as a part of waterproofing the home. If the basement was recently flooded, still has standing water, or has had chronic water intrusion issues, then you will likely need to replace the basement flooring, subflooring, and walls. Water damage cleanup and remediation will typically cost about $2,000 to $7,000, though the total cost will vary based on the extent of the damage.

Basement Waterproofing Costs by Method

There are a range of options for both interior and exterior waterproofing, including concrete sealing, waterproof paint, baseboard drainage channels, and more.

  • Concrete sealing will typically cost about $1 to $3 per square foot, though the exact cost depends on the type of sealant. This process creates a solid, rubber-like barrier to prevent water from seeping through the foundation.

  • Waterproof paint is a relatively inexpensive waterproofing method that will cost about $200 to $1,100 on average. Block out soil moisture by sealing the exterior of the concrete foundation with this waterproof paint.

  • Baseboard drainage channels can be installed inside the home for about $30 to $150 per linear foot. These channels remove all water above or near surface of the floor around the basement perimeter.

  • Interior French drains are one of the more costly interior waterproofing methods. Plan to spend about $4,000 to $17,000, or about $40 to $85 per linear foot to have this subfloor drainage system installed.

  • Sump pumps can be used to remove water from the basement. These appliances cost about $600 to $2,500 for professional installation.

  • Epoxy injections are used to seal cracks in the floor and foundation. This type of waterproofing method costs about $250 to $800 per crack, based on the length and depth of the crack.

  • Vapor barrier installation will generally cost about $2 to $4 per square foot. For the average size basement, this works out to about $1,500 to $4,000.

  • Exterior French drain installation ranges in cost from about $30 to $90 per linear foot, so depending on the home, it may cost a little less or a little more than interior French drain installation.

  • Weeping tile installation is another great exterior waterproofing option. It costs about $1,500 to $4,000 per side of the house, or about $10 to $35 per linear foot.

  • Waterproof membrane installation is one of the more popular exterior waterproofing choices, ranging from about $4 to $7 per square foot. The contractors apply liquid membrane or rubberized asphalt sheet membrane to the basement walls and foundation footing.

  • Cement waterproofing uses a cement-based foundation coating to make easy-to-apply patches and repairs to seal foundation cracks. This type of waterproofing method costs about $20 to $22 per square foot for excavation and application.

  • Sodium bentonite clay waterproofing involves injecting a slurry of bentonite clay in the ground next to the exterior walls in order to seal cracks, though this is widely considered to be a temporary fix. Plan to spend about $2 to $5 per square foot for this service.

  • Yard grading may be necessary if water is constantly draining toward the home. Depending on the scope of the job, this process will typically cost about $500 to $3,000, on average.

Do You Need Basement Waterproofing?

There are several key signs to look out for if you aren't sure whether the basement needs waterproofing or not. Inspect the floor, walls, and foundation to find out if the basement should be waterproofed. Typically, if there is any standing water, water staining, drywall discoloration, foundation cracks, musty odors, or mineral staining, then you should invest in waterproofing. If you notice water pooling in the yard, then this is a sign that the basement could be at risk of water intrusion or leaks.

DIY vs. Professional Basement Waterproofing Costs

DIY basement waterproofing may seem like a good idea. After all, homeowners can save about $2 to $7 per square foot on the cost of waterproofing if they handle the project without the help of a professional.

However, if basement waterproofing is not completely properly, the basement is at risk of leaks, mold growth, and flooding. With this in mind, it's more cost-effective to hire a professional basement waterproofing contractor so that you know your basement is protected before the next big storm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is basement waterproofing worth it?

The main purpose of basement waterproofing is to prevent water from entering the home where it can cause mold growth, rot, and water damage to the interior of the home. While this project may have a steep upfront cost, it's worth the investment to ensure that the basement foundation and the interior of the home are safe from leaks and water damage.

What is the cheapest basement waterproofing method?

Sometimes a quick fix can help to manage a problem until it's possible to take more serious actions. The cheapest basement water proofing method is water proof paint, which typically costs just $1 to $2 per square foot. Just keep in mind that this method is relatively limited, so it should be used in conjunction with other waterproofing methods for the best results.

Can I waterproof my basement myself?

Full basement waterproofing is a complicated project that must be done correctly or risk serious damage to the home. While there are some waterproofing methods that can be handled by a DIYer, such as applying waterproof paint or patching minor leaks, it's recommended to hire a crew of professionals for this job.

Read the original article on The Spruce.