Which Choice: Basement Waterproofing from Inside or Outside?

One of the most valuable investments you can make to your home is a basement waterproofing system. When there is a leak in your basement, you may start to notice signs such as cracks in your foundation walls, mold growth, and damage to items stored in your basement. That is why as soon as you start you get signs of a leak, you should consider waterproofing your basement.

The interior and exterior basement waterproofing systems are the two major solutions that you can choose from. The common question to ask when it comes to choosing between these two is: which of them is the most effective solution for your basement? Learn more on our website shreveportfoundationrepairspecialists.com about basement waterproofing services.

Exterior Waterproofing

Exterior waterproofing ensures that the basement remains dry and also prevents the buildup of moisture, stains, mold, and mildew around the basement of your home. This method of waterproofing keeps water far from your home and is most effective when coupled with interior waterproofing.

The process of exterior waterproofing begins with redirecting water away from your foundation walls and basement. This will require the installation of gutters and downspouts. These installations are simple and won’t cause much disruption to your landscape. If you already have gutters installed, ensure that they are working properly and not clogged.

The second step is the installation of a waterproofing membrane by excavating the ground around the foundation. The membrane will then be topped by drainage panels to prevent contact between the groundwater and the basement walls. This also creates a free flow of water down the drain below the foundation. To prevent water from gathering around the foundation’s perimeter, the installation must be sloped.  

Reasons to consider exterior waterproofing

  • Exterior waterproofing is considered to be the most complete solution to protect your basement from flooding or leaks because it ensures that it gets to the root of the problem through excavation. 
  • When water seeps so deep into the structure, it causes unimaginable damage to the walls and floors of your home. However, with exterior waterproofing, this is prevented from happening, thereby keeping the home’s structure strong.
  • A lot of work and materials go into exterior waterproofing, and that makes it more expensive. However, it does a great job at ensuring that water never gets to leak through the foundation of your home, thus, protecting the foundation from being weakened. When considered in the long run, this method saves you from unexpected expenses in terms of repair in the future.
  • There is constant improvement and evolution in the exterior waterproofing techniques. This means that the home becomes more protected.
  • The process is considerably fast and efficient. Depending on the size and the complexity of the project, you can expect an exterior waterproofing job to be completed in one day, and sometimes two weeks.

Interior Waterproofing

When flooding or leaks have already occurred, interior waterproofing serves as a remedial solution to address the issues. In this technique, the contractor opens up a trench inside the basement in a parallel direction to the affected section, after which a sump pump (or any other effective drainage system) is installed to redirect water out and away from your property. After these have been done, the contractor then seals the trench.

With this done, the basement is made dry and intrusion of water is prevented in the future. In comparison to the exterior waterproofing systems, the interior waterproofing technique is often less expensive and is most useful after the basement has been affected by water.

Reasons to consider interior waterproofing

  • Interior basement waterproofing is not as expensive as exterior waterproofing. You can expect to spend between $75 and $250 per foot.
  • There are many things that could make it impossible to do exterior waterproofing. This includes restricted space, the closeness of neighboring houses, the looseness of the soil around the home’s exterior, or the presence of a deck at the home’s exterior. When compared to exterior waterproofing, the interior waterproofing technique is not limited by these disruptions.
  • Part of the interior waterproofing process is the insulation of the basement wall. This ensures that there is no formation of condensation behind the wall through the addition of spray foam on top of the membrane after the completion of the waterproofing.
  • While the exterior waterproofing keeps water out of the basement, the interior waterproofing aims to expel the water that is already in the basement. Therefore, it remains an effective method to keep your basement safe and dry.
  • Interior waterproofing is a comprehensive system with many built-in such as the sump pump to collect water from the drain system that has been installed around your home, and then the water is pumped out to a safe location far from the basement. Knowing that your basement remains dry even when there is a power failure comes with peace of mind. 

How much on average does it cost to waterproof a basement?

According to Home Advisor, the average cost of waterproofing your basement is around $4,736, and as low as $600 for minor repairs. When it comes to more extensive repairs such as adding drains and gutters or fixing foundation cracks, you can expect to spend from $10,000 upwards. 

Based on many factors, the cost can sometimes range between $2,255 and $7,285 per square foot.


Each basement waterproofing technique has its benefits and downsides. While any water already accumulated in your basement can be removed with the interior waterproofing option, it becomes ineffective at protecting the basement from flooding in the first place. 

You should expect to spend a lot more on exterior waterproofing. However, it ensures that your home and basement are protected from water getting inside.

Irrespective of the waterproofing method you go for, the aim remains the same: ensuring that your home and basement are kept warm and dry. The best way to conclude on the best solution for your basement is to consult a professional basement repair contractor to inspect your home and give you the most suitable method for your home.

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