Basement Waterproofing Near Me My WordPress Blog Thu, 09 Jul 2020 03:05:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Basement Waterproofing Near Me 32 32 Does my basement need waterproofing? Thu, 09 Jul 2020 02:20:12 +0000

Does my basement need waterproofing? So you just bought this beautiful house cheap and easy. But you have your suspicions that the house has leaks in the basement. There are signs to look out for to prove it and be sure. We will be discussing them in this article. Read on.

Houses with leaks in the basement need waterproofing to avoid further damages. Not sure of what waterproofing is? Let’s fill you in.

Basement waterproofing simply means using specific techniques and materials in a basement to stop water from penetrating.

How do you know if your house needs waterproofing?

It’s quite easy. There are simple ways to figure this out on your own before inviting a waterproofing company for inspection.

First, do some assessments in the basement. Walkthrough the basement observe the wall, ceilings, and floors. Check out for these signs;

Some areas are damp or have a cooler temperature than others.

  • Space separation between the walls or floor.
  • Bugs and other insects in the basement.
  • Water stains that never seem to go away.
  • Wall paints are peeling.
  • Warped or swelling doors
  • Efflorescence are present on the walls.
  • The basements smell damp and musty.

If these signs are eminent, then you need some waterproofing done. Honestly, it is very unpleasant to see these wrecks in your basement. And most importantly, they may cause more damage if not fixed in time.

Another way to check if your basement needs waterproofing is to observe the exterior of the house, where the foundation meets the lawn. That means, checking everywhere the house meets the ground. Are there cracks or holes in the foundation near the ground? Then, your basement may be under threats from pests or rodents invading through cracks or holes, not to mention these cracks and holes allow easy access for water.

Excess water logging around this area can cause holes in the foundation. These holes are not only ugly and displeasing. They are signs that your foundation is under huge risk and may be dangerously damaged. Calling an expert for help will save you from severe foundation breakage, which may lead to the collapse of certain parts of the house. Something you won’t like to imagine.

Well, if you have checked the basement and the exterior of the house, but you still find it hard to conclude, wait for snow or rainstorm. Observe the house during or after a snow or rainstorm. Any leak you see, no matter how tiny, can cause serious damage to your home. Water and finished buildings are certainly not jolly friends. Water puddles can cause water damage, support mold growth, and later on structure failure. So, you must not take it likely. Call up an expert urgently and have them repair the damage. Waterproofing is a lasting solution. Find basement waterproofing contractors near you.

What do you do?

You are probably wondering if calling up an expert is the only way to fix this. Well, the answer is no. Some people prefer to DIY their basement waterproofing. It is only advisable when the damage is still mild and has been detected early.

So, how do you DIY basement waterproofing? There are certain products available in the stores for easy waterproofing. But before we go into the details. You must know the first step.

Trace out where the leaks are coming from and fix them. Leaks in the basement may come from interior water leaks from the sink, shower, toilet, washing machine, dishwasher, or bad pipe. Sometimes, the moisture in the basement is coming from the ceiling, water heater, or washing machine. It is caused by interior water leaks. This is one of the most straightforward problems to solve. You can just trace the leak, fish out wherever it is coming from and fix it.

But, if your leak is from a crack in your foundation, defective gutters, poor grading, or missing drain tile, you may want to consider seeking solutions from an expert.

When you have fixed your leakage, cover up all cracks in the walls, floors, or ceilings. If you don’t fix the leakage and cover the cracks adequately, you are still going to experience water damage even after the waterproofing.

Leakages fixed and cracks sealed, you are good to go to the store and get the materials you need.  

What materials do you need?

Two DIY products that you can try are concrete sealers or basement waterproofing paint.

Concrete sealers are used for coating basement walls and floors. They are not had to come by as they are available in most stores. Sealers offer semi-effective waterproofing for basements. They are durable and easy to apply. You don’t need to be an expert with concretes to use a concrete sealer, just follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The sealers can be applied to damp surfaces as long as there is no standing water.

Basement waterproofing paint is another option that you could try. We believe waterproofing paint to be a temporary fix. You can read our article about basement waterproofing paint here.

The issue with both concrete sealers and basement waterproofing paint is they both need to applied to clean surfaces. One major problem with old basements is many of them have been painted at one time rendering waterproofing paint and concrete sealers useless. 

In Conclusion, 

Remember, when you see leaks, cracks, and molds in the basement or foundation area, it’s a water damage alert that needs urgent attention. You can still fix the damage yourself if they are minor and detected early. Trace the leakage and fix it before using any basement waterproofing material.

If you still see signs of water damage offer doing a DIY, call for professionals. You can search the internet for waterproofing companies near you. Some companies offer financing options that will help you bear the cost easily.

Don’t wait a minute, walk to your basement and inspect it to check if you need basement waterproofing! And if you see the signs, don’t let the damage linger on, or you will be putting the building at risk of total structure failure. Make the repairs or contact a professional. Get a free basement waterproofing quote below.

Tired of your wet stinky basement or crawl space? Get a FREE basement waterproofing quote.

  • Fix cracked foundations
  • Install/fix sump pumps
  • Install/fix french drains
  • Fix wet/musty basements and crawlspaces


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4 Types of Basement Waterproofing Systems Wed, 15 Apr 2020 04:11:38 +0000
types of basement waterproofing systems
In this post, we will discuss 4 types of basement waterproofing systems. Your basement could very well be a clean, dry, odor-free extra living space for your home. Unfortunately, basements also have the potential to be just the opposite of the basement of your dreams.

The truth is your basement is probably the most likely space in your home that is susceptible to moisture, mold, and bugs. If you are unfortunate enough, your basement walls may even show signs of structural damage. Some signs of structural damage are stair-stepped pattern cracks in your foundation or crumbling walls.

If you are experiencing any type of dampness or your basement smells like your great-aunt’s old musty basement or you see signs of foundation structural damage, you will need some sort of basement waterproofing system to alleviate your problem.

There are at least 4 types of basement waterproofing systems. Some may need to be installed by a professional basement waterproofing company while others can be a do-it-yourself project. The basement waterproofing system that you need will depend on the severity of your basement problem. Check out the types of basement waterproofing methods below.

The 4 Types of Basement Waterproofing Methods


  1. Exterior water management – This would be the first thing a homeowner should do or at least look into to ensure that their basement is moisture/mildew free. The first place to look is at the gutters. Does your home even have gutters? If your home has gutters, are they clear of debris and working properly? If so, how is your soil graded next to your house? Rainwater should flow away from your foundation and not towards it. Some homes only need the rainwater to be managed properly to fix your basement woes.
  2. Basement waterproofing paint – can sometimes help prevent minor basement moisture issues. The thing about using paints like Drylok and others is most require that your basement wall be clean and paint free. Many basement walls have at some point been painted over rendering this method not as effective. Some claim that the waterproofing paints/sealants shouldn’t be used at all.
  3. Interior basement french drain system – Interior french drains can help alleviate hydrostatic pressure, lower the humidity/moisture level in your basement, and get you one step closer to having the usable basement space that you have always wanted. Interior French drain systems are cheaper to install than exterior systems and in some cases are the only waterproofing option.
  4. Exterior basement waterproofing systems – are the most costly basement waterproofing system. The process includes digging around the exterior of your home. Contractors will dig all the way to the footer, either coat your foundation with a waterproof substance or attache a membrane around the entire foundation. This method is the most intrusive method. That will definitely disrupt your landscaping.
nice basement

Which Basement Waterproofing Systems Are Best for Me?


You may be asking which basement waterproofing systems are best for me? That question could likely be answered by asking another question. How big of a problem do you have? If you don’t have signs of a damaged foundation, crumbling walls, stair-step cracks, and if you don’t have standing water in your basement, either exterior water management or basement waterproofing paint may be the right choice for you. Both of these options can be DIY methods.

As stated earlier exterior water management is the very first place to start. Do what you can to divert rainwater away from your foundation. You may need to hire a company to install or fix your gutters. We personally used the shallow French drain method around the exterior foundation and found good results. Start here first.

If you don’t see results from the above approach or you are simply not handy, reach out to a basement waterproofing contractor near you by searching our list of highly-rated basement waterproofing companies in your area.

This leads us to the last two systems, interior basement waterproofing is the most affordable and the least intrusive. I wouldn’t personally try this method as a DIYer unless you are extremely handy. The exterior waterproofing system is definitely not something you will want to try to do yourself. It is extremely hard work, it can be very dangerous, and you risk the chance of damaging your foundation especially if you tend to use heavy equipment. Both of these methods will help you to have a cleaner, dryer, safer, and useable basement space.

4 Types of Basement Waterproofing Systems Conclusion


The low hanging fruit of basement waterproofing is to first divert the rainwater away from your home with exterior water management. Look into basement waterproofing paints, if your basement is a dry, clean, paint-free canvas, this may be the system that is right for you. If these two types don’t solve your problem or if you are way over your head with foundation damage or major basement leaks, reach out to one or more of the basement waterproofing companies that are part of our network to get a free quote.

Tired of your wet stinky basement or crawl space? Get a FREE basement waterproofing quote.

  • Fix cracked foundations
  • Install/fix sump pumps
  • Install/fix french drains
  • Fix wet/musty basements and crawlspaces


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Basement Waterproofing The Inside/Outside Approach Wed, 29 Nov 2017 04:25:49 +0000
The inside/outside approach refers to an incredibly expensive water control system. The system involves a limited outdoor system such as exploration trenches rather than full outdoor work. Partial work has absolutely no benefits to the homeowner. Instead, it benefits the salesman. They can sell potential customers on all the benefits of excavation, but the company won’t have to do much digging. An interior dig that doesn’t get lower than your basement floor is useless. Your drain tiles are on your basement floor, so the ground water collects there. This is why any digging that doesn’t reach lower than the basement floor is useless. It also benefits the company by allowing them to charge money for (completely useless) digging as well as the interior drains and pumps that are still necessary. When actual waterproofing is performed, there’s no need for inside work.

Control systems need several different devices in order to work. A sump pump is a pump that discharges the water. These will generally be called different things by different companies. You may hear them referred to as a “pressure release system” or something more ridiculous like “super water extractor”. Some unscrupulous salespeople will even claim their system isn’t the same as a sump at all. Regardless of what they call it, a pump underneath the floor is a sump pump. That’s the technical definition.

If a company claims to do waterproofing, ask to see a waterproofing permit. Since most municipalities issue separate permits for waterproofing and water control, you can use this to see if they actually do perform waterproofing. A company shouldn’t claim to offer basement waterproofing when they’re actually performing water control.

The Inside/outside approach does nothing to prevent structural damage
Expanding clay is another common cause of leaking. You’ll often see wall shearing, which is sometimes referred to as horizontal cracking. Clay expansion is so common that it’s estimated to be the leading cause of home damage. If you notice the walls along your foundation are beginning to crack. If you notice bowing, or if there’s any movement, then you likely have a problem with clay expansion. System companies have come up with a number of different devices to stabilize walls. Not only does it let them avoid digging, it allows them to sell even more devices. Rather than keep the symptom under control, doesn’t it make more sense to fix the problem? Not only will it save you money, but it’s difficult to sell a home that has anchors and beams attached to the inside of your walls.

What’s more, a control system may actually make the cracking or bowing worse. The basement floor helps stabilize the bottom of the foundation walls. If there’s a sign of moving walls or horizontal cracking, taking a jackhammer to the concrete (which is necessary to install a control system) can destroy that support. A cracking wall that loses even more support is the opposite of good!

Why are there so many companies that install control systems rather than perform actual waterproofing? One word. Profit. Water control systems can be installed with very little equipment. It also takes little in the way of skilled labor, nor are the material costs very high. It’s not uncommon to see companies making a profit of 70% by installing these systems.

About the author
Gianni DiFranco, the president of DiFranco Contractors Inc, has over 25 years of experience in the basement waterproofing field and general construction. Please visit his blog if you’d like to read more about basement waterproofing and the different types of systems being installed.

Tired of your wet stinky basement or crawl space? Get a FREE basement waterproofing quote.

  • Fix cracked foundations
  • Install/fix sump pumps
  • Install/fix french drains
  • Fix wet/musty basements and crawlspaces


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What to Do About Water Seeping Through Basement Floor Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:55:00 +0000

Water Seeping Through Basement Floor?

water on basement floorDon’t panic just yet, this can be fixed! If you have water seeping through your basement floor, you may have a high water table and the hydrostatic pressure is pushing up under your basement floor and forcing water into your basement. But before you diagnose this as your problem, be sure that you first check for the following:

  1. Check for leaking pipes or appliances in your basement. Sometimes water ends up in your basement from a leaky water heater, water pipe, or a leaking washing machine. Wherever the water is puddling up try to trace where it might be coming from. If water is only puddling up next to your washing machine, it could just be your washing machine leaking.
  2. Does water only leak in your basement after it rains? There’s a chance that rainwater isn’t being diverted away from your house very well. Make sure that you have gutters and that your downspouts are connected extend away from your foundation. If you connected the downspouts to drainage pipe and diverted it even further away to a dry well, even better. Lastly, make sure the soil around your house is graded away from your house and not towards it. (Check out what I did at my house.)

How to Fix a High Water Table Problem

water seeping through basement floorIf you’ve concluded that water is simply seeping through your basement floor and the water isn’t coming from any other source, you need to relieve the hydrostatic pressure. In order to do this, you will need to install a sump pump and probably a french drain as well. You can either try to do it yourself or hire a professional.

I try to do most things myself before hiring a professional, but for some things I draw a line. For example, if I have to climb higher than one story on a ladder, I’m hiring a professional. Doing things yourself is often cheaper if you do it right the first time, but if you mess up, it can become a major headache. If you are skilled and you are confident that you can do a good job, do your thang. (At your own risk)

The upside of hiring professionals to do it is that many basement waterproofing companies offer warranties.  Many even offer transferable lifetime warranties. This can be great for peace of mind and if you ever decide to sell your home you can disclose to the buyers that you had your basement professionally waterproofed and that it comes with a transferable warranty.

I hope this article helped you at least learn your options about water seeping through your basement floor. If you are considering hiring a professional, click here to get free quotes from basement waterproofing contractors near you.


Tired of your wet stinky basement or crawl space? Get a FREE basement waterproofing quote.

  • Fix cracked foundations
  • Install/fix sump pumps
  • Install/fix french drains
  • Fix wet/musty basements and crawlspaces


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Interview with The Basement Kings – Texas basement waterproofing Sat, 03 Dec 2016 19:05:20 +0000

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Interview with The Basement Kings – Texas Basement Waterproofing

Video transcription:

Hello and welcome to the Basement Waterproofing Near Me podcast. If you are looking for basement waterproofing in Dallas, Texas, San Antonio, Texas, Houston, Texas, Amarillo, Texas, All of Texas or most of Oklahoma, you gotta to listen to today’s podcast. This guy literally wrote the book on basements and basement waterproofing. His name is Willie King Jr. with The Basement Kings. So without further ado, let’s listen to the call.

By the way did you see my book online?

Yeah I saw that. I was going to ask you.

I got a pretty good response.

Do you have that on Amazon or is it just on your website?
Oh no, it is on Amazon, Barnes and Noble. It is sold in about 50 different bookstores around the world. I’ve even sold some books in Israel.

Oh awesome. Very cool.

I know that’s what I said. I did it just for Texas.

Yeah awesome. We are recording now and I am going to ask you some questions. How did you get started in basement waterproofing? What’s your history? I read a little bit about you on your website and stuff but…

I am a third generation pool builder. My father and my uncle, which my father is there are 22 kids in his family, so my father’s brother was almost as old as most people’s father. He started in the swimming pool business. He trained my father and my father was training me. When I was about, I remember going out to the job with my dad when I was 9, and when I was 9 that was the summer when I started working with my father. All the time and when I wasn’t in school, I was with my father out on the job.


My father was a specialty builder. My father didn’t just do one job. What he did was, my father would go to a company site and then train hot pick-up laborers and guys that were working for the company and trained everybody a job. Either be a guy who is shooting a concrete as a novelman, the guy who’s going to be finishing, the guy going to be doing the steps, the guy who is throwing out what we call the rebine, all the extra concrete and spillage. Everybody’s job my father trained every individual guy what his job was going to be. And then they would start building swimming pools all summer long and then at the end of the summer or the next year somebody would offer my father more money and my father would leave and we would move. For a while I thought I was part of a military family with as often as we moved.


We started off in California and ended up in Burlington, Massachusetts and Boston, and then Nashua, New Hampshire and Connecticut and then we started travelling back to California and my father got hired here in Texas. After we stayed here in Texas, the companies here took turns in paying my father to stay here until he retired. After while we were putting in swimming pools there were basements here in Texas that were leaking and nobody knew how to fix them. Since my father was already doing some minor repairs with swimming pools, they started calling my father and he started going out repairing a lot of those swimming pools that were leaking. Of course, he drug his son along, which was me.

How many years ago was that?

Oh man, about 20 about 30 a little more than 30 years ago. I remember out on the job and my father was patching a couple of swimming pools. When I graduated from college in 1992, the second time, I graduated and I was supposed to take over the family business. I was building; I wanted to build my first home. I couldn’t find any builder to build a basement. They were all trying to convince me of all the reasons that we couldn’t put in a basement. I knew it was all false because we had been putting in swimming pools for 40 years, in Texas! They would say the soil was too hard. Well if the soil was too hard, we couldn’t put in a swimming pool. They would tell us the soil was so bad that it was going to crack. Well none of our swimming pools were cracking. I knew it all was garbage. When I had one guy out explaining to me that the reason they didn’t do basements in Texas was because of the tectonic plates, I knew that I had found a niche because none of these guys had a clue what they were talking about. What I did was, I drew up my first basement. I built my first, I designed it and engineered and built my first basement in part of North Dallas. When I finished the basement all these builders showed up and started giving me their business cards. The next day, I knew that rather than anything else, I was not going to be doing swimming pools, I was going to be doing basements. From then on, I’ve been designing, engineering and waterproofing. I’ve always researched what is the best method to waterproof. I have used every method out there to waterproof a basement. Now we’ve come, we have, we devised our own method combined with another method. Now we can guarantee that when we waterproof a wall that it is not going to leak. When we seal that wall we can guarantee that it will be dry on the inside that basement for the life of that basement. We are the only ones in Texas that can do it.

Do you have that warranty pass on to the next home owner? Is there like a lifetime?

We call it a lifetime transferable warranty.

Awesome. Do you find yourself doing more basement repairs than waterproofing or do you find yourself building more basements? Are these, I am assuming its mostly for newer homes or do you get older homes as well? I know here..

We have done everything under the sun. We have added a basement to an existing house. We have enlarged a basement on an existing house. And we have added a basement to a 120 year old house that had nothing on it structure wise. We added a full size basement that was larger than the general full print of the house to that location. I guess we can say we’ve added a larger basement to the interior footprint of the house. We do it two ways.

What do you find yourself doing the most of: basement waterproofing or constructing basements?

Well, when we first started, we were constructing more basements than anything else. Now that a lot of people know who we are and what we do. We are waterproofing and repairing basements more than anything else. I’d say now basic waterproofing and repairing basements is about 75% of our business.

There aren’t a ton of basements in Texas. Your service area is not just Texas you go into all of Oklahoma or just part of Oklahoma?

Well we service most of Oklahoma but what we find now is that there is more basements than you can imagine in Texas. What most people don’t realize is that the majority of the basements that were built in Texas were built past 20 years ago. When you go past 25 – 30 years ago, an average basement, I mean an average home that was built outside of town, outside on farming areas and a lot of other communities, they built a basement on top of that house, I mean below that house. There’s communities, right now I am in Houston driving, and I just and I am here in a community where there is 30 basements, in this just one small community. There’s more basements than you can imagine in the state of Texas. Since we serve all of Texas, we see ‘em built every way that you can possibly imagine. We call it the Wild West the way the average basement was built in Texas. There’s a lot of basements in Texas.

So you come across mostly cinderblock basements in Texas or the ones that you’re waterproofing?
It depends on where you are in Texas you are in. If it’s part of North Dallas, then it is poured walls. When you go further the south of Texas they are all primarily cinder block. And cinder block leaks faster and more than any other type of basement that you are going to find. Our method, we repair a cinder block wall just as easily as a poured wall.

Can you tell us about your method or is it like your “secret sauce” that you can’t share?

No, the way we do it is proprietary, but our method is pretty simple. The first thing we do is, let’s say somebody calls us, they have a leaking basement. We can repair that basement no matter how bad it is. It doesn’t matter how the the humidity, a wall caving in, it doesn’t matter. If the wall is caving in, we will redo the wall that is caving in and tie it to the existing wall. Then, if there’s any cracks or holes in that basement, we repair the walls. Then we waterproof. What we find is 75% of the walls that we see in Texas, they’ve already made the mistake of going out and buying the paint waterproofing type of method. They paint them and they are white. They think it is waterproofed. What they failed to do is read the container. The container says that is a sealer or it tells them it is a damp proofer. In the sub notes it will say, “Does not work under hydro static pressure” which just told you that it doesn’t leak, I mean it doesn’t repair leaks. Because if it’s a basement any type of leak you have is hydro static pressure. Which means that when you put this material on the wall, if it’s leaking it is not going to stop it from leaking. All you’ve done is make an expensive defect.

Does that paint cause the, like for my basement is cinder block, does that paint cause it to crumble? Because now the water is having issues, it still comes out but it’s not coming out like, it’s not being able to breathe through the block.

No, what causes that block to crumble a lot of times is that the average person does not have a dehumidifier. When that moisture gets into that block, over time, the water erodes it simply, it just gives way because a large number of the older style basements that were built, the cinder blocks were hollow or they fill them up with sand or dirt. When you end up with a hole in it that it begins washing out all of the structure and over time it just begins to crumble up.

How do you fix something like that? Do poured basements have the same issue? Do they begin to..?

Believe it or not, a lot poured basements have the same issue because a lot of those poured basements they didn’t pour them to a strong mixture which we call it a PSI. They poured the wall to the same concrete PSI as they had for the floor which means that wall is really not all that strong. Over time, it just tends to crumble and erode because the water is able to slide through it. Most people think concrete is a really strong structure and the thicker they pour the wall the better chance they have of the wall never leaking. It doesn’t really matter how thick they pour that wall. That wall is going to suck water no matter what it does. It just, depending at what rate it’s going to suck water based on the PSI. What people don’t understand is just walk outside and get a cup of water pour it on concrete and see how long it takes for that concrete to suck up the water. That’s your basement.

Right next to my house, I had a sidewalk. I just took it out. It wasn’t sidewalk. I think they put it there to help keep the water away from the house. I think it was just causing damage. Water would just puddle up on top of it and I think it would either just soak into that cement or go into my basement and I had big holes in the block that were missing. You know like it ate away at the basement. You’ve probably seen some of that.

I’ll tell you one thing, out of all the conversation with people who think they know what they are talking about, you have just made one of the best comments I have ever had with somebody, including an engineer because a lot of these people, they are under the impression that if they pour concrete around the structure that it’s going to keep the water away. What they have just done is they just guaranteed that the water that is around the structure is going to flow toward the basement and stay there.

Even if the cement is graded, away from it?

The problem with grading away from it is, over time, depending on how graded, they don’t need concrete to do it. When they pour that concrete, that concrete may fall pretty well but unless they make that angle where it falls, it should fall 6 inches for the first 10 feet. Usually that means it has a pretty good dip. Usually when they pour that concrete around it they try to make it look flat but with a little bit of slant on it. The problem is, depending on the structure, everybody’s got trees and bushes and when that stuff falls down and those leaves fall down it fills in those little areas. Then when it floods, that water immediately raises up and you have poured that structure where it immediately forms around the structure and goes up the walls. They would have been better off not pouring any concrete around and putting in a proper drain. They simply don’t do it.

What do you do? Is there, it seems like a battle between from what I have been reading online, with exterior waterproofing and interior I should say is water management when it is interior rather than waterproofing. What are your thoughts on that?

My thoughts is, those arguments on both sides are correct believe it or not. When they say hey if you stop the water from the, if you channel the water on the inside you are not waterproofing. You are channeling the water. You are giving up on stopping the water from coming in and what you are doing is you are bringing it in and you are controlling it. That’s not waterproofing. They are correct. Waterproofers that waterproof on the outside tell them that when you waterproof on the outside and you put the pump on the outside, you’re not necessarily catching all the water, what you have done is you’ve put in what we consider a deep well on the assumption that the water is going to flow into the well and keep the basement from flooding. That doesn’t work over time as well. They are right. I am more of a, being a martial artist, I am more of a Bruce Lee kind of thing. All martial arts is good. There is no one art better than the other art. It’s all based on the quality of the martial artist or in this situation, the quality of the basement waterproofer. Our method is, we do both. If we go out to a job and we see a basement that is leaking and the walls are really bad, the first thing we do is we is we re-do the areas that are crumbling. Then we repair, waterproof repair all the crack, all the holes, all the seams,all the gaps and then we waterproof the entire area. Now we know that water is never going to come in, to our walls. Because what we do, and the type of waterproofing that we use, we call it “self-healing” concrete. It penetrates the entire wall. Our waterproofing, it doesn’t matter if it’s applied on the outside or the inside. If we apply it on the outside, over time it penetrates the entire wall. It doesn’t matter if it is concrete block or if it’s a poured wall. what we do is, we apply it base on whatever is feasible. If we are looking at a basement that is totally finished out and it is totally going to cost them 30, 40, 50,000 dollars to totally gut the basement in order for us to properly fix all the walls and waterproof them, then we do it from the outside of the basement.

That makes sense.

If the basement is open and they haven’t finished it out because a) it has always been leaking so they never got a chance to finish it out, in that case we repair it from the inside. We waterproof the interior walls which make the walls waterproof within 5 days. We put the, we apply the waterproofing on and 2 different type of coats and we water them, literally water the walls for the next 2 days, and after that the walls will not accept water. It’s crystalline structure after that. Our walls don’t leak and they are warrantied to not leak for at least 20 years. After that’s done and our walls are dry, then we put up a moisture barrier material all around the inside with drains. Now we can guarantee that the basement walls no long going to take it. Then if they ever crack for whatever reason, it would slide into our drains and we can guarantee that moisture doesn’t enter the walls and water will never hit the floor. We do both of those methods when we warranty the basement to never leak again. We do both of them.

Then with cinder block basements do you drill out the cores of each block if it’s the hollow kind? Are you doing that so that it releases the, like if water gets in there it comes out, and if you do or if you don’t, one thing I am curious about is, I’ve heard that people do that, doesn’t it seems like it would weaken your foundation? You have all these holes in the bottom.

Well, really they are small holes because water is always going to find a way. Number one you are not drilling a very large hole through. I’ve seen people do a lot of different methods and we used to do those kinds of methods. What we do is, we drill a hole and we do what we call pilot test holes and if they are full of water, it’s not a problem. What we’re doing is we’re drilling to make sure that we don’t have an issue as far as the block crumbling. If you drill a hole through it, and you get a lot of mud and a lot of material comes through, then we know that that block is breaking down.

What do you do in a situation like that?

Then what we’ll do is, a lot of the times we’ll build a thin wall on the outside of that wall. We think that that wall may be compromised.

That means you’re digging. You have to excavate outside?

No we’re adding that thin wall on the inside. We only do that maybe 2% of the time. It’s for rare cases. Most of the time what we find is that the concrete block is still structurally sound. You can see the concrete block which is disintegrating on average is because you can see it literally sliding off of the footing or you can actually see it that the walls are being pushed away from each other.

I saw in one of your Facebook videos that you guys were sandblasting walls. Is that to get the paint off so you can put your solution on the walls? Is that pretty much what you’re doing?

Yeah, it’s not sandblasting because sandblasting is not environmentally friendly. We blast with other materials. That we don’t tell exactly what we use because we are able to shoot those walls in a way that it literally will strip it back to the original state back to what it was before anything was on it.
Are you concerned; when you do that is there any concern with mold spores or any of that like being released into the atmosphere of the home or is it not an issue or do you take care of that?

No, If we notice that there is mold we would have them do a mold remediation before we started or we have a couple of chemicals that we shoot on mold areas and it literally eats the mold.
I’ve seen some videos on YouTube or Facebook, they’re selling some stuff and I am curious if it’s the same stuff.

Oh, all I know is it eats the mold. We spray on one day. The next day we go in there, all the mold is gone that we normally see and we are able to go to work.

I have some other questions that I wrote down. How do you prevent your basement from smelling moldy? What’s the, that’s just water that causes it?

Yes, that’s moisture. That’s moisture inside the basement. What we do is we put our material on the wall that I was telling you kills the humidity. We put a material on the wall that is a thermal material on the wall and it blocks moisture. Once we put the material on the wall that blocks the moisture then we put another material over the floor and it blocks all the moisture from coming into the foundation. Literally, the next day, we can walk into that basement and we can notice that the humidity level drops from 60-65 down to right around 58-59 without a humidifier. Then our levels drop right down to the 40’s.

Where is supposed to be in the 50 range?

Yes, anywhere between 45 to 50 is a good healthy range for it to be in.

Basically, it encapsulates the basement so that the air inside your basement is not connected to the walls or flooring and all that?

Exactly, and we use a clean air system along with it. It literally cleans the air while it is inside. The basement tends to smell cleaner than the rest of the house.

I saw that you have products for sale on your website. One of them was called, The Exchanger or something like that, so you can blow air out at the same time?

What we’ve gone to now, that’s our old website. What we have gone to is portable. There’s a much smaller unit now. That sits outside the basement wall. It sucks the air in and transforms, cleans the air. It’s a, we use now, we’ve gone standard to, it’s an easy read system.

The airflow that’s coming in, one thing that I’ve read was that you don’t want the temperature in your basement, if the air on the outside is hotter on than what it is inside or vice versa, you don’t want that. You want the temperature to be basically the same or lower? Correct my information.

Yes, this is the thing, most of the time, once you block off the humidity it’s easier to control the air in the basement just for normal breathing. Now if you actually had let’s say you had a, let’s say you’re using it for wine. Well that’s different. Then what you would use is you would actually have a system that’s going to keep the temperature of the cellar exactly what you want. It will regulate the temperature. If you have a regular standard basement that’s a decent size, you usually don’t have to worry about that. You just need a dehumidifier and a clean air system and that usually handles everything you need.

How about efflorescence? Is there a way to get rid of that if you see it on your walls or is pretty much you’re going to have it?

Yes, There’s a lot of chemicals that are sold that you can treat efflorescence. All that is the salt content coming out of the structure, coming out of your block or your wall. It’s leaching the salt coming out. If you have, you can treat it. The main thing is if you have a dehumidifier you’ll notice most of the time you tend not to have the same problems as everybody else. That’s primarily because they don’t have anything in their basement to help bring down the humidity level. Moisture is coming in and there is no way for it to get out.

Let’s say if somebody has efflorescence, a musty smelling basement and no signs of water, would you recommend that their basement be waterproofed or is that like, or are there other methods that you do?

I would encapsulate the basement. If you encapsulate the basement, you serve both messes at one time. 1) you stop the water from coming in and 2) you reduce the moisture level. If they see water, then we are talking waterproofing. Then it becomes a matter of budget. You have some people that will tell you that the moisture level isn’t a major issue for them. Their issue is they see water all in their basement. In that case, you are going to waterproof the wall and stop all the water from coming in. You can always encapsulate it later on. The first thing you have to do is you have to stop the water from coming in so it won’t damage everything you have inside.

Then, if somebody is looking for a basement waterproofer, what should they be looking for? How do they know that they’re hiring the right company?

What they should do is, the first thing I suggest is, look at their rating. Look and see if they have any bad reviews. When somebody spends, 2, 3, 4, 10, 15 thousand dollars on their basement, if they get burned they are going to write about it. I don’t care how big. I had a customer the other day, she was explaining, she had a very big company come in. They gave her a very very very good price and it was much better than my price. She asked me, “Would I give her a much better price?” I told her, “No”. She said, “But I’ve got this big big company.” I had my phone. (I said) “Why don’t you tell me their name?” She told me their name and I looked them up. We did a review, search for “fraud”. Then another search for “bad reviews”. We found 20 different reviews that were bad on the company. I said, “Cause you told me they were a very big company.” She said, “Oh yeah, they’re really big.” I said, “The bigger the companies are, the more they can absorb bad language against them.” You pick a company that has very good reviews that is customer oriented only. Like, we are. We are serious about our reviews. We’re anal about our reviews as we say. It’s because if you keep your customer happy, everybody that they talk to, is your future referrals. Up to, last year, I think it was within the last 2 years, we didn’t even advertise, anywhere at any time. We stayed busy just by word of mouth. We’re advertising now because we have so many people working. We serve all of Texas now. Now we’re actually are advertising to keep everybody busy, all the time. Before then, we never even advertised and we stayed busy. We work 7 days a week.

You’re talking about reviews and I had a basement waterproofing company come to my house and I was looking up their reviews. Something I would recommend if people are looking up reviews is, don’t just look at the reviews that they place on their own site but like through Yelp and some of the different places and read the reviews. One thing I’ve found, was this company hired people from like India and other places to write reviews for them. I was able to look on their profile and see that this person that gave them the review lives in the UK or somewhere. This person didn’t get their house waterproofed by them.

That’s the thing about doing a general search. When you do a general search, you read the reviews on their site, and then you read the reviews of other places, you get a sense of what they’re saying they’re doing. What I’ve had some of my customers say was, and they asked me for a couple of dozen of references. We post our videos. We post video reviews of our reviews of the actual customer talking about us coming out and what we did. We’re constantly adding to them every month. We have general reviews that we have where somebody types up as email and you know send it in. We let them choose between the reviews and a couple of them what they asked us for, they choose and we saw a couple of the reviews online and could you give us the phone numbers. We’ll give them the phone numbers. Let them actually talk to them. If they’ve got the money to call India. We tie a lot of our, that’s why lately what we’re doing now is we’ve made a point to create a new site. We’re going to be posting new pictures, every month, of new jobs. Therefore, every job isn’t the same. Some people don’t even want their whole basement done. They may only want a French drain. If they get a chance to see those pictures and see how it is done, it makes them feel much more comfortable with hiring us. What I say is, you do a well-rounded search. You search online reviews. You search from Angie’s List. You search from Thumbtack. Maybe Home Advisor. All those places post reviews, but guess what, those reviews have to actually come from customers. They follow up those reviews by calling those customers. Those become more real than just a general review that you said look this is what somebody said about me. Then you have those reviews where you actually see a customer and he’s standing there saying, “We hired The Basement Kings. They came out and this is what they did for me.”

For basements that you’ve done, what’s the longest, I guess, how many years has it been since your first basement, second, third and you say it’s still doing the job. It’s still doing what it’s. How long, what’s the lifespan of what you’ve seen so far?

In the last 10 years, we’ve gone back to only 2 jobs to actually have to do a modification. So when we say it’s fixed. We know it is fixed. Each time what we found was it wasn’t anything of our materials. It’s just there’s a lot of fracking going on in Texas right now. You put up a basement wall that is built to never move. Now the ground is shaking. What you’ve got is you’ve got cracks in this wall that was impervious to leaks. What we use do to do is we use to use membrane on the side of those basements and we’ve had to go back and repair some of those membranes. The membranes were all warrantied for 10-12 years. Some of those membranes we’ve actually gone out now and replaced those membranes with waterproofing that we use now, self-healing concrete. We no longer use liners of any kind. We used to use a product that was sprayed on that created a rubber on the wall. We’ve had to have gone back and repair one of those. That is why we have had 2. One was a spray on liner and one was a liner that was on the wall, you know placed on with glue. Everyone that we did, other than those 2, they’ve lived up to the warranties.

If someone was to ask why they should hire you as a contractor what would you tell them?

I’d tell them that since we, for our level of service, we take it personal if a job that we have is not effective. I’ll give you a good example, we did a job one time in Colorado. We do all kinds of states. People fly us in now. We totally repaired the floor. The young lady couldn’t sell the house. It was, she had major cracks in her floor. I mean, we told her we could fix it without having to totally tear up her foundation and everybody else told her she had to tear up her foundation. We took pride in being able to totally fix all the open holes and seal it all up making sure water didn’t come in. After we did that, the basement was sealed and she was selling the house. She called us back and let us know that we guaranteed that after we fixed the floor that she would not have to fix the foundation and she’d be able to sell the house. After she did, she put the house up for sale. The comments was that they saw all the repairs in the floor even though we warranty them that they were never going to leak it scared them. She said it didn’t solve my purpose on the end. What we did is we went back and tiled the floor for free because we knew it wasn’t going to leak but if it doesn’t look like it then you can’t. Since we told her that she was not going to have an issue selling that house, we took it personally. We spent maybe, I think right around 3-4 thousand dollars for tiles. We went and re-tiled that whole basement. I think those pictures are right online of how big that basement was.

Do you do basement remodels as well?

No, we don’t do remodels of any kind. Everything is just waterproofing and sticking with what we promised that it was going to do.

That concludes our interview with Willie King Jr. of The Basement Kings. If you are a homeowner in Texas or Oklahoma and you are looking for basement waterproofing you can go ahead, if you are in YouTube you can click the link in the description to get a consultation with Willie. If you are on our website there is a form on the left or right that you can fill out and he will get a hold of you as well. Otherwise, if you are in other parts of the United States, and you are looking for a basement waterproofing company, you can go ahead and just visit our website,, and we can help you find a basement waterproofing contractor near you. I hope you have a great day. Thank you for listening or watching. If you are on YouTube, thank you for watching. If you are on a podcast thank you for listening. Have a great day. We’ll see you on the next one.

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4 Ways to Waterproof a Basement Thu, 01 Dec 2016 05:32:48 +0000

4 Ways to Waterproof a Basement

There are many ways to waterproof a basement, but in this post I’m going to share 4 of them. I’m dividing the different methods into two categories interior and exterior.

Exterior Basement Waterproofing

The concept of exterior basement waterproofing is pretty self explanatory, but to be sure we are all on the same page, exterior basement waterproofing is waterproofing that is done around the exterior of your foundation.

Rainwater management

ways to waterproof a basementIf you are lucky enough to not have a problem with a high water table, you may be able to get away with just managing your rainwater better. Since this method is the cheapest and easiest to accomplish, this method should be your first step to basement waterproofing/basement water management. In some cases better management of rainwater will leave you with a dry basement. Here are 3 ways to manage the rainwater that flows off your roof and into your foundation.

  1. Install gutters
  2. Install a gutter drain system – This will help you to get the water away from your foundation and further into your yard or other drainage field.
  3. Create a french drain system to help keep other access water away from your foundation.

Traditional Exterior Excavation and Waterproofing

Commonly known just as external basement waterproofing, this method is probably the most expensive since it requires excavation around the foundation all the way down to the footer. A waterproofing material is applied to the foundation and a french drain is placed below the footing in order to drain water away from the foundation.

Bentonite Clay Basement Waterproofing

This method seems to be the least common method of basement waterproofing. It is usually done externally, but can also be done internally. From my understanding the service is more affordable since there isn’t as much work involved. The video below was the only video that I could find on Bentonite basement waterproofing.

Interior Basement Waterproofing (water management)

Interior basement waterproofing companies employ various techniques to waterproof or manage the water that finds it’s way to the basement. The techniques are very similar to each other with small variances. I’m going to try my best to explain what some of the variances are.

Nearly all interior basement waterproofing techniques use some kind of internal french drain. (If a french drain is installed, a sump pump needs to be installed as well.) Some companies place their french drain on top of the footing while others place their french drain at the bottom of the footing. There are arguments to which is better. I personally lean towards the belief that french drains should be below the footing.  Here’s a convincing video to why that its.

Some interior basement waterproofing companies use a vapor barrier to channel any water that seeps through your foundation down to the french drain while others do not. One company that I interviewed removes the paint off the inside wall of the basement, sprays the walls with a sealer, and then installs a vapor barrier.

Which Basement Waterproofing Method is Best?

For the past 10 years I’ve been studying up on the many ways to waterproof a basement. The only answer I can give you with almost 100% certainty is you need to do your own homework. Every homeowner should do their best to manage the rainwater that finds it’s way to their foundation. Then you’re left with the decision between traditional exterior basement waterproofing, bentonite clay waterproofing, and interior waterproofing.

In some cases exterior basement waterproofing can’t be performed due to the lack of room between the homeowners foundation and the neighbors foundation. Sometimes there are other obstructions. At this point, I don’t have much to say about bentonite clay. If you do decide to go the interior route, be sure that you know exactly what the contractor plans to do. Also be sure that you are comfortable with their method. Many companies have a lifetime warranty that passes onto the next homeowner.

If you need help finding a basement waterproofing company near you, click here!

For some homeowners the cost of exterior and the risks involved see


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Basement Wall Systems Mon, 28 Nov 2016 03:07:36 +0000

Basement Wall Systems

Most basement wall systems are designed specifically for basements where moisture can be problematic. Basement wall systems can also help you finish your basement quicker than using traditional building materials, but which wall system is best for your situation? I’ve spent the last decade searching for ways to waterproof and finish my basement. This post is the result of my research. If you know of any other basement wall systems not mentioned below, tell us about it in the comments below.

There are systems out there such as Insofast that I would consider to be only insulation systems and not complete basement wall systems so I’m not going to talk about them in detail.

Owens Corning

Owens Corning has two types of basement systems available they are:

  • Basement Finishing System™ Unlimited
  • Basement Finishing System™ Core
Owens Corning Basement Wall Systems

The previous owners installed the Owens Corning basement wall system in a portion of the basement . Notice the nice scribble marks.

The upside of the two Owens Corning systems is they allow you to have access to your walls after installation. The downside that I see is there isn’t a DIY option. Both system must be installed by a certified an authorized installer.

When I purchased my house, a small section of my basement was partially finished with the Core system. I can say from experience that I don’t like the Core system because the fabric gets dirty easily. In my house walls become a canvas for art. 🙂 Even semi-dirty hands make the wall panels look dirty. The Unlimited system, however, is interesting because it can be painted. Here’s a video explaining that system:


DRIcore SMARTWALL® is an interesting system. I haven’t personally used this system, but from my research these are the things that I like about this system:

  • The panels are in 2 x 8 sheets instead of 4 x 8 sheets. This is great if the entrance to your basement is a tight squeeze. I’m not sure I can fit 4 x 8 sheets through my side door, around the corner, and down my basement stairs.
  • DIYers can use this system.
  • It seems to be very easy to install.

The things that I’m not 100% impressed by are:

  • This system uses wood frames which is susceptible to mold.
  • Drywall is being used with this system.

However, the point that DRIcore points out is the wood frame encapsulated by the foam insulation and the drywall is mold and moisture resistant. I wouldn’t completely rule out using this system.

Check out this video about DRIcore products:

Wahoo Walls

I really like the Wahoo Wall concept. Their panels are made of magnesium oxide and polystyrene insulation.The entire board is made of material that doesn’t mold or absorb moisture and are strong enough to hold flat screen TVs. The only negative that I can see is the wall panels come in 4 x 8 sheets. I wish they offered 2 x 8 sheets.

Here’s the install video for Wahoo

Basement Wall Systems Vs Traditional Wood & Drywall

What I like about Wahoo Walls and the DRIcore SMARTWALL® is they appear to be the best options to prevent mold. Your basement is the most likely place to get water damage in your house. If your basement ever floods, a traditional wood framed basement with drywall will be ruined. However, if you compared basement wall systems to traditional wood and drywall framed basements, traditional would probably be the most cost effective. Due to that fact, I’m not completely convinced that I should go with a basement wall system.

Here’s a quick estimate of the cost to semi-finish 16 x 11 (This doesn’t include electrical, paint, or ceiling.) I’m not a builder so my numbers could be way off. If you are a builder or more experienced DIYer, feel free to post a better estimate below.

Traditional wood frame

  • Plastic vapor barrier $55
  • Lumber $165
  • Insulation $83.84
  • Drywall $140
  • Drywall mud $12.49
  • Drywall tape $2.00
  • $473.40 DRIcore 2×2 subfloor panels (probably could save money on these)

Total $931.77

DRIcore Walls

  • panels $1,784.57
  • panels with outlets $345
  • DRIcore 2×2 subfloor panels 473.40

Total $2,602.97

Wahoo Walls

  • panels $1,890.00
  • DRIcore 2×2 subfloor panels $473.40

Total $2,363.40


These are the three basement wall systems that I’m aware of. If you know of other systems or have had experience with any of the above systems, please comment below.



Tired of your wet stinky basement or crawl space? Get a FREE basement waterproofing quote.

  • Fix cracked foundations
  • Install/fix sump pumps
  • Install/fix french drains
  • Fix wet/musty basements and crawlspaces


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Need Help Finding a Contractor? Fri, 25 Nov 2016 00:11:44 +0000

Need help finding a basement waterproofing contractor?

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Basement Waterproofing Dallas TX by The Basement Kings Sun, 20 Nov 2016 21:23:58 +0000

Basement Waterproofing Dallas, TX by The Basement Kings

basement waterproofing Dallas TXLooking for a basement waterproofing company in Dallas, TX? The Basement Kings not only serve Dallas, but all of Texas! Many basement waterproofing companies have one or two solutions that they sell to all their customers. Willie King Jr. literally wrote the book about basements and basement waterproofing. If you are tired of dealing with large pushy waterproofing companies, you might want to give The Basement Kings a try. When you hire Willie King Jr., you hire a real professional.

Get a consultation. Fill out the form below!

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The Basement Kings Interview

Customer Reviews

Finally, for the first time since May 2015 when our basement walls were damaged and cracked due to a storm and a lightening strike that caused a broken water pipe and severe flooding in our basement, our basement is now completely DRY! Thank you so much, Willie King for doing such an awesome and professional job in our basement. We are just sorry we didn’t find you sooner!

Mary Siegler

My first encounter was by telephone with Willie King in response to an inquiry I left on The Basement Kings website. Willie seems very knowledgeable was most helpful – very willing to listen to my issues, answer my questions, and offer advise to help me solve my basement issues. He must have spent 30 minutes answering questions and offering solutions. I am pleased to have found this company.

Linda Dudensing

We’re second-generation concrete specialists informing Texans about the benefits of Repairing or building basements in Texas & O.K.

We offer solutions to fixing any basement or crawlspace. We offer consults to help you decide how to build a basement.
We offer consults to diagnose your basement leak any where in Texas.
We now not only repair the basement but kill all the moisture and make it healthy again and offer lifetime warranty that it will never leak again.

Wrote the 1st book on building basements in the U.S., and soon to release new books on how basements are built in diverse soils.
We hope to change the way Texans build homes.
Granted a certification from the Texas Real Estate Commission, we provide inspections and basement repair advice.

We received our inspection training from Texas State University – San Marcos, Texas.
A Better School of Building Inspection – Salt Lake City, Utah.
Best Inspectors – Los Angeles, California.

Members and achievements:

Members of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED Green Associate
The Nature Conservancy, Inter Assoc. of Certified Home Inspectors
(Inter NACHI), American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
Living Building Challenge, Net Zero Energy building
Cradle to Cradle and Hanley Wood University
Kings Basement College



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My DIY Basement Waterproofing Journey Fri, 11 Nov 2016 05:38:30 +0000
efflorescence in basement

Efflorescens on my basement wall

This post is my personal DIY basement waterproofing journey. Disclaimer: In this post, I’m going to explain what I did/ what I’m doing to try to waterproof or at least manage the rainwater away from my foundation and out of my basement. I’m just sharing my experience and opinions. If you decide to try my method, you’re doing it at your own risk. I don’t guarantee what works for me will work for you…. and who knows, it may not even be code in your area.

A Little History

My house was built in 1922. It has a block basement. Right now as I type up this post, my basement smells musty. Efflorescens are coming through the walls like nobodies business, and every once in awhile (about 6 times or less since we’ve owned the house) during a hard rain, water seeps in our basement.

We thought we had the rainwater problem fixed as we haven’t seen any  water seepage for a few years. We were surprised after the last two heavy rains that water began to puddle up again. This is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Our main concern was water getting to our furnace. We’ve had water destroy two control boards in our furnace since we lived in our house. Thankfully the furnace was under warranty both times that happened. We felt like we have to do something more than the every 2 -3 year caulking around the outside of the foundation thing. It was time to either get a basement waterproofing company out or do it myself. During the process, I did have a basement waterproofing company come out and give me a quote.

My Basement Waterproofing Research

I’ve been researching basement waterproofing for almost as long as I lived in our house (10+ years).  I’m very aware what my options are. There are many basement waterproofing techniques out there, but it really comes down to two options. Do it yourself or hire a professional. However, I don’t currently have the cash to drop for a basement waterproofing company, and I wasn’t ready for the DIY basement waterproofing gig until my neighbor, who happens to be a home inspector, came and checked out our issue. His house was built around the same time as ours and he had the same problems that we have. We don’t have a high water table here and there aren’t any signs of water trying to force it’s way through our floor. My walls don’t look so bad on the north and south sides, but the east and west walls of my basement look horrendous. My roof runs off on the east and west side of my house.

My neighbor pointed out that my problem is rainwater and I just need to manage it better. I knew that, but sometimes it takes another person saying it so that I get the full revelation. My neighbor suggested widening our driveway all the way up to the house and then grading the portion right up by the house so the water runs away from the house. We went back and forth with it. Part of my concern is that the cement might be part of the problem. We called a concrete guy and found out it is too late in the year for them to come out. I’m pretty sure it would be quite costly to do what we would want done.

DIY Basement Waterproofing

If you plan to waterproof your basement, you first have to determine what the cause of the problem is. Is it rainwater attacking your foundation? Or do you have a high water table and water is forcing it’s way up from the floor? After you determine the source of your water problem, you can attempt to fix it appropriately.

Since I don’t have a high water table and it appears that most (if not all) of my efflorescence and water seepage has been caused by the rainwater rolling off my roof and up against my foundation, I decided to do what I could to divert the water away from my foundation. In my opinion, being that it’s the cheapest and easiest way to get a dry basement, it should be tried first. You may find out that you need to do more than just divert water, but it’s a real good start.

There are many ways to help divert rainwater from your home.

  1. Get gutters on your house (During heavy rains, water pours over the top of my gutters.)
  2. Make sure your gutters channel the water away from your house. This could require that you install an underground drainage system made of PVC pipe. (In my case, water was puddling up next to my house because the cement around my house was lower than the grass creating a pond next to my foundation.)
  3. You can grade the soil away from your house and create a french drain.
  4. You can do all the above.




Pat’s French Drain
(Click through the pics below.)

Intro to the French/Trench Drain

The French/trench drain concept was first introduced to me by a co-worker named Pat. Pat has had two houses that has experienced basement water problems. The first was his own house and the second, his daughter’s. He fixed his own leaky basement over 10 years ago after getting an idea from This Old House. He was able to finish his daughter’s basement after using the technique mentioned in this post.

The basic thought is to dig a trench 3′ – 4′ feet out from your foundation grading it away from your house, and then lining the trench with plastic. By the time rain water seeps down into your soil, it doesn’t reach your foundation.

My co-worker didn’t add drainage pipe in his last project, but I did. (You can see pictures from Pat’s work in the slider above or to the left.) I’ve been studying this as a viable basement waterproofing option and saw that others have had success with this method. Read this article and this guy talks a lot about French drains. These two articles in particular have people talking about the success they had with the french drain. I even found a professional waterproofer that uses this technique. He calls it grading and regrading.


Pat's Before and After basement waterproofing

Pat’s Before and After

How I Did It

Taking all the information that I compiled over the years, hearing about and reading about others having success with this method, realizing that every time it rained hard or any time the outside faucet was left on for a long period of time, water puddled up on the cement next to my foundation, I figured I should just go for it.

I ended up renting an electric jackhammer to bust up the concrete next to my foundation. (If I end up doing this for the east side of my house, I might use something a little less intrusive next time.)

I made my french drain similar to Pat’s. The only difference is:

  1. I put in a drain pipe.
  2. I went 4 feet out instead of 3 feet.
  3. Pat went about 4 inches down next to the foundation and then 10 to 12 inches in the deepest part of his trench. I had nowhere to put the dirt that I was digging out so threw some of the dirt next to the foundation so that I started grading at ground level. The deepest part of my trench was about 18 inches.

See images and my supply list below.


efflorescence on wall

This is what the inside of my basement looked like before I got started.

ugly basement

ugly basement

concrete by my house

This concrete was lower than my grass causing rainwater to puddle up on it after a hard rain.

other side.

The other side of my house has the same situation. Cement all the way up to the foundation. I’m convinced that the concrete was/is part of the problem.

started digging

Started digging up some of the dirt around the cement. To see how far I wanted my trench to go out. I ended up using spray paint to mark what needed to be dug out.

I rented a jackhammer to bust up the concrete. I probably won't use the jackhammer on the other side of my house.

I rented a jackhammer to bust up the concrete. I probably won’t use the jackhammer on the other side of my house.

holes in foundation

I’m pretty convinced that the water that was puddling up on the concrete over the years found it’s way to the foundation and created this holes. I filled the holes with hydraulic cement.

broken up concrete

Look at all that broken up concrete.

load of rock

Load of rock in my small trailer.

After digging out about 4 feet and down 28 inches, I through the dirt back up against the foundation so the dirt was graded towards the deep part of my trench. I placed pipe in to make sure it was deep enough and pitched towards my drainage spot.

After digging out about 4 feet out from the foundation and down 18 inches in the deepest part, I threw the dirt back up against the foundation so the dirt was graded towards the deep part of my trench. I placed pipe in to make sure it was deep enough and pitched towards my drainage spot.

My drainage layout

This cheesy diagram gives you an idea of how I connected the drainage pipe together. I placed an elbow and a cap at the beginning of the drainage pipe so I had access to clean it out if ever needed.

solid pipe

This end is where I placed the solid pipe.

end of drainage

My property is basically flat so at the end of the solid pipe I placed a Tee. We dug down as far as we could with post hole diggers and filled it with pea gravel. When it rains, water can either drain straight down or overflow and out the top of the Tee.

plastic I used

Plastic that I bought from Home Depot. The plastic was doubled up.

plastic down

plastic down

adding rock

Drainage pipe in place. Starting to add rock.

The final product

The final product.

Supplies Needed + Cost

My trench is about 50 feet long plus I added another 10 feet of solid drain pipe in order to get the rainwater further away from the foundation. The following is what I needed and what it cost me to do one side of my house. If all goes well, I will try to do the other side of my house in the summer. I also needed some hydraulic cement to fill some of my holes, but I’m not adding it to the list since it won’t be needed in every case.

  • 2″-3″ round gravel – $126.28
  • (2) 4in x 10 ft solid drain pipe – $18.66
  • (4) 4 in. x 10 ft perforated pipe – $47.52
  • (4) drain sleeves – $23.88
  • (1) 6 mil plastic – $54.98
  • (1) 4in. tee – $4.12
  • (1) 4in. cap – $2.10
  • (1) 4in. elbow $4.90
  • (1) 4in. round green grate – $2.25
  • jack hammer rental – $45 for 4 hours

Total cost $329.69

How Long Did It Take?

It took me a week to get one side of my house done. I took two vacation days and had a limited amount of time to work on my project on the weekends and on weeknights. My 11 year old son helped me a lot. And my family all jumped in one day to help. I had to make three runs to the gravel place to pick up rock.

My Basement Waterproofing Quote

After deciding to go the DIY route, I had a basement waterproofing company swing by to give me a quote as well. I want to keep all the options on the table. They quoted me $7,375 or $8,350 depending on what type of wall paneling I went with. I think the quote sounded reasonable. I was actually thinking it was going to be higher.

The one good thing about this company is they have a lifetime warranty that is transferable. If we were to sell our house, we would disclose that our basement has leaked in the past. But it would be great to tell the buyers that we got our house professionally waterproofed and they offer a lifetime guarantee.

In Conclusion/Updates

I think the first action that needs to be taken to keep water out of your basement is to divert your rainwater as best as possible. If you are already doing this and are still having problems, maybe it’s time to hire a professional. I will keep you posted on how my project works out. So far I have been doing some small tests to see if it works like it’s supposed to.

Let me know how your DIY basement waterproofing project is going, or if you have questions, feel free to comment below.

  • Throughout the process we’ve been spraying the rock with our water house. The draining system appears to be working like it’s supposed to. Water is draining where we piped it off to.
  • My hose was left on all day today as I washed small loads of rock. It leaks like crazy at the faucet. I was able to see the water draining out the other end of my draining system. So far so good, no water in the basement.
  • 11/19/2016 It’s raining today so far so good.
  • 12/26/2016 We had  at least 1.5 feet of  snow accumulated. Today we had temps in the 50s. Needless to say, most of the snow melted. The basement is still dry.


Are you a DIYer that waterproofed their basement? Let me know in the comments what method you used and how it worked out for you.

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