How Much Does Basement Waterproofing Cost? (2024)

By Amanda Lutz Updated January 23, 2024

Typical costs range from $3 to $10 per square foot.

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Basement waterproofing, from basic damp proofing to total encapsulation, costs homeowners between $3 and $10 per square foot,* averaging $3,250 for a 500 square foot basement. Keeping your home’s basement dry can be difficult in damp climates or areas with a high water table. However, moisture problems in your basement can cause mold and mildew, poor air quality, rot, and structural damage. We’ll outline the available methods and cost factors to help you decide which is right for your basement.

*Cost data in this article was sourced from HomeAdvisor, Angi, and Fixr.

 

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Foundation and structures of an old, historic house with some landscaping.
Foundation Repair Cost

On average, foundation repair costs can range from $2,160 to $7,790.

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Unfinished basement that has been water proofed and insulated.
Basement Waterproofing

Basement waterproofing, on average, costs homeowners between $3 and $10 per square foot.

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Crawl Space Encapsulation

A crawl space encapsulation installation costs, on average, between $1,500 and $15,000.

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Basement Waterproofing Major Cost Factors

Basement size, waterproofing method, and labor costs determine how expensive a basement waterproofing project will be.

Basement Size

Larger spaces require more materials and more labor for installation. Materials are typically priced by square footage.

Cost by Size

We break down the cost to waterproof basements of varying sizes based on a typical cost range of $3 to $10 per square foot:

Basement Size in Sq. Ft.Cost Range

500

$1,500–$5,000

750

$2,250–$7,500

1,000

$3,000–$10,000

1,250

$3,750–$12,500

1,500

$4,500–$15,000

2,000

$6,000–$20,000

Waterproofing Method

A basement can be waterproofed from the space’s interior or exterior. Interior basement waterproofing methods generally cost less, but they’re less effective against severe moisture problems, and you may need to tear out basement finishing materials. Exterior waterproofing methods are highly effective and long-lasting but are also more expensive and typically require excavation.

Cost by Waterproofing Method

Here are some common waterproofing methods and their costs. We’ll explore each of these methods in a later section.

Waterproofing MethodLocationCost Range

Vapor barrier

Interior

$0.50–$0.70 per sq. ft.

Yard grading

Exterior

$1–$2 per sq. ft.

Bentonite clay

Exterior

$3–$4 per sq. ft.

Sealant

Interior

$3–$7 per sq. ft.

Gutter installation

Exterior

$4–$30 per linear ft.

Exterior French drain

Exterior

$10–$50 per linear ft.

Waterproof paint

Interior

$30–$40 per gallon

Interior French drain

Interior

$40–$100 per linear ft.

Excavation

Exterior

$50–$200 per cubic yard

Sump pump

Interior

$300–$1,600

Epoxy injection

Interior

$350–$500

Cementitious coating

Exterior

$1,000–$1,500

Window well drain

Exterior

$3,000–$7,000 each

Exterior membrane

Exterior

Up to $15,000

Labor

The $3 to $10 per square foot price range includes installation by experienced waterproofing contractors, but waterproofing companies typically charge an additional $200 per hour based on the contractor’s experience level and the project’s extensiveness.

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Benefits of Basement Waterproofing

Although a waterproofing project can represent a substantial financial investment, it will benefit your home functionally and structurally in the following ways: 

 


 

Additional Factors Affecting Basement Waterproofing Cost

The following considerations may also affect your project cost:

Location

Climate, water table, and soil conditions affect the waterproofing project’s difficulty and price. For example, sandy soil in a dry climate will require the least extensive waterproofing solutions. Basement walls may require extra structural support in areas with absorbent soil that get a lot of rain. Expect increased labor costs in areas with a high cost of living.

Foundation Condition

A home’s basement serves as its foundation. Cracks or bowing in basement walls from groundwater or hydrostatic pressure indicate a problem with your foundation. Foundation repair may entail patching cracks in foundation walls, drilling support pillars into the surrounding soil, and more. If your foundation is in bad shape, it will need to be repaired before a waterproofing system can be installed. Foundation replacement will cost between $2,200 and $7,800.

Mold or Asbestos Remediation

Homeowners can take care of minor mold and mildew problems themselves with a diluted bleach solution and some elbow grease. Large-scale mold infestations, however, represent a serious health hazard and should be tackled by remediation professionals with the proper gear and expertise. This typically costs between $1,500 and $4,000.

You should also call professionals if you live in an older home and discover asbestos in your basement. Asbestos abatement contractors charge $5 to $20 per square foot to remove or encapsulate dangerous materials.

Water Damage Repair

If you’ve experienced basement flooding or have standing water, particularly in a finished basement, you should repair the damage to the space as you waterproof it. You’ll likely need to replace the basement floor and subfloor, as well as any drywall or other porous materials such as textiles, and you may need new wiring if your electrical system was affected.

Act as soon as you notice water damage. Leaving a wet basement for any length of time only compounds the damage. You’ll pay anywhere from $2,000 to $7,000 for flood cleanup, depending on the extent of the problem.

 


 

Basement Waterproofing Methods

Waterproofing solutions may be interior or exterior, depending on where they’re installed.

Here’s how to handle each method:

Interior Waterproofing Methods

Simple interior waterproofing is more commonly called damp proofing. This method involves patching small cracks and leaks and applying waterproof paint. This will take care of minor humidity or moisture problems, but more severe problems require additional materials.

Crack Repair

To properly patch a crack in a masonry wall, use concrete sealers that can contract and expand with concrete as temperature and moisture conditions change. Homeowners can consider quick-drying hydraulic cement, acrylic sealant, silicate-based sealant, or epoxy injection, which is the most durable choice. These solutions are only appropriate for small or vertical cracks. Large or horizontal cracks will likely require more extensive foundation repair or support.

Waterproof Paint

To prevent water from seeping directly through the concrete in your basement and foundation walls, you can apply several thick coats of waterproof acrylic paint directly to the concrete. Paint won’t plug cracks, but it can be used over hydraulic cement and some concrete sealers.

Sealant

Seal air and water leaks around pipes, ducts, windows, and doors with epoxy or expanding foam in addition to sealing cracks. Pay attention to areas around windows and door frames. This process will fix leaky spots and improve the basement’s insulation and energy efficiency.

Interior Drainage System

To get rid of a basement’s standing water, you may need to install an interior French drain, also called a drain tile system. This system typically requires digging trenches into the concrete floor along the baseboards and installing perforated pipes called drain tiles or weeping tiles. The pipes are surrounded by gravel to filter out dirt and debris. Any water that travels into the pipes continues into a sump pump, which sends water away from the foundation. A drainage system is typically priced by linear foot.

Dehumidifier

Standalone dehumidifier units will dry the air and make the basement more comfortable, but they’re less powerful than units that are part of an existing HVAC system. Installation requires extending your ductwork into the basement, which will reduce humidity but raise your home’s heating and cooling costs.

Vapor Barrier

The most extensive interior solution involves lining basement or crawl space walls with polyethylene sheeting between the concrete and the framing and drywall. Vapor barriers are typically sold in thicknesses from 6 mils (0.15 mm) to 20 mils (0.5 mm). Thicker sheeting is more effective but also more expensive. Vapor barrier should be installed directly against the concrete with no air gaps so moisture can’t build up underneath it, and all seams must be sealed with special tape to prevent leaks.

Exterior Waterproofing Methods

Interior methods are effective for mild to moderate moisture problems, but they still allow moisture into the porous concrete of basement walls. These cases often require exterior waterproofing. This typically entails excavation to expose basement walls or regrade soil.

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite, a highly-absorbent mineral also used in cat litter, will act as a sealant and soak up runoff before it can penetrate foundation walls. It swells as it absorbs water, so it’s best used in dry, sandy soils. Note that bentonite violates some building regulations because it can clog drainage systems if it gets loose.

Cementitious Coating

Another sealant option is to coat exterior walls with a special layer of water-resistant cement, also called parging. This is less expensive than many other exterior waterproofing solutions but can be less effective in the long run. If the foundation shifts or settles or if the soil swells, the cement coating can crack and let water in. It’s usually combined with other waterproofing methods for maximum efficiency.

Exterior Drainage System

An exterior French drain is similar to its interior counterpart but is installed on the outside of the foundation’s perimeter. It’s more expensive because you’ll need to excavate and move landscaping features such as shrubs and walkways. You’ll also likely need a sump pump and plumbing pipes to actively move the water away.

Window Well Drains

A homeowner must outfit a finished basement with egress windows that serve as emergency exits if they want to use the basement as an extra bedroom. Window wells must be dug to allow egress. If these wells don’t have drainage, they can direct runoff directly into basement windows. Adding drains to each well is expensive but effective at preventing leaky windows.

Waterproof Membrane

A rubberized asphalt membrane can be used to line exterior basement walls. This is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process, but it results in a permanent, durable barrier between wet soil and concrete that withstands wet climates. Although this membrane is much easier to install on new construction, it can be retrofitted to existing basements for a premium cost.

Yard Regrading

The slope of your yard can make drainage problems worse if it directs water toward the foundation. Landscaping contractors can regrade a yard by excavating and backfilling soil, creating new slopes to direct runoff away from the house. This is often a large, disruptive project that involves moving landscaping features and replacing them when the job is done.

 


 

How to Reduce Basement Waterproofing Costs

You can reduce the total cost of your waterproofing project with the following tips:

 


 

Other Basement Waterproofing Options

When you combine large home improvement jobs, you can often save on labor costs. The following projects work in tandem with basement waterproofing to improve your home’s value and comfort:

Installing or Upgrading Gutters

Gutters and downspouts are important components of your home’s drainage system. If your gutters are old, rusty, or leaking, consider replacing them at a cost of $3 to $30 per linear foot. Professional gutter installers can add underground downspouts to funnel runoff away from your home, which typically costs $100 to $300 per downspout.

Sump Pump Installation

You may only need a sump pump to get rid of water instead of a drain tile system, depending on the shape of your basement. The pump needs to rest in a pit, which requires drilling a hole into a concrete foundation. This project will ultimately cost between $640 and $2,000.

A pedestal pump will be less expensive, more durable, and easier to repair because the motor sits above the water but doesn’t provide as much power as a submersible pump. Submersible pumps, which sit in the water in the sump pit, are more expensive, but they hold up better against severe moisture problems.

Finishing or Remodeling the Basement

Waterproofing is often the first step in turning a basement into a finished, livable space. Once the bare concrete walls are treated and lined, you can continue framing, insulating, and adding drywall or plasterboard. The cost to finish a basement ranges from $7,000 to $23,000, depending on its size and the projects you want to include. Here are some typical cost ranges for these projects:

Project TypeCost Range

Framing

$700–$1,600

Drywall

$800–$3,000

Ceiling

$800–$9,000

Insulation

$1,400–$6,300

Painting

$1,400–$9,000

Flooring

$1,500–$4,500

Plumbing work

$2,500–$5,000

Egress windows

$2,650–$5,650

Electrical work

$3,000–$5,000

If the space is already finished, you can choose to remodel it for a new look or function. This can cost as little as $2,500 for a home gym or as much as $120,000 for a full apartment with a bathroom and a kitchen.

 


 

How to Hire a Professional

Hiring waterproofing contractors is similar to hiring other home repair professionals. Here are some things to consider:

 


 

Our Recommendation

A dry basement makes a far more stable foundation for your home, and it’s less likely to host mold, mildew, and pests. Basement waterproofing will make your basement a more pleasant space to spend time, whether you choose to fully finish it or simply use it for storage or utilities.

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Basement Waterproofing Cost FAQ

How much does it cost to install a sump pump?

A basement sump pump usually costs between $640 and $2,000 to install, depending on the type of pump and whether it must be integrated into a larger drainage system.

How much does it cost to waterproof a basement per square foot?

You can expect to pay between $3 and $10 per square foot to waterproof a basement. Basic damp proofing costs between $3 and $6, while you will spend between $5 and $10 for thorough waterproofing.

How do I know if my basement needs waterproofing?

If you spot any of the following signs, your basement may need to be waterproofed:Cracked or bowing wallsCondensation on basement windows or wallsEfflorescence (white mineral residue) on concrete walls or floorsSeepage, dark streaks, or water stains on wallsStale or musty odorsStanding waterVisible mold or mildewWarped door or window frames

How long does basement waterproofing last?

Different waterproofing methods have different life expectancies, but professionally installed interior waterproofing materials should last at least 10 years.

Can I waterproof my basement myself?

There are some DIY waterproofing tasks that homeowners can take on themselves, including applying epoxy, sealant, or waterproof paint. More extensive methods usually require professional installation.