Interior vs exterior basement waterproofing, what’s the difference? What are the pros and cons? Depending on what basement waterproofing contractor or industry professional you ask, you tend to get a different answer to what method is the best and why you should use it.

I have read so many articles about interior vs exterior waterproofing, but the one that stood out the most to me is this article from Integrity Waterproofing out of Lakewood, Ohio. They seem to have a pretty balanced approach to basement waterproofing.

Interior Basement Waterproofing

Although interior basement waterproofing is commonly called waterproofing, it is actually water management and not waterproofing. But to help for the sake of being consistent with what the industry calls it, we will continue to refer to interior basement water management as interior basement waterproofing.

With interior basement, contractors allow the water pressure that is outside of the wall into your basement. Interior basement waterproofing will usually include a vapor barrier which isolates the basement wall and the moisture that is seeping through the basement wall from the air space in your basement.

Interior waterproofers will also dig a trench around the interior walls of your basement and will lay down a drainage system that channel the water to the sump pump which will pump the water outside and away from your house. Interior basement waterproofing systems will usually include a dehumidifier as well.


  • Interior basement waterproofing is usually cheaper than exterior waterproofing.
  • In some cases interior waterproofing is the only option due to there not being enough space between the next door neighbour’s house.
  • Customers have reported that it works for their situation.


  • It manages a problem rather than solving the problem.

Exterior Basement Waterproofing

Exterior waterproofing contractors dig around your foundation to the footings, fix cracks, waterproof the exterior wall with either a spray on application or a membrane, and place a drainage system to channel the water away from your house. The water doesn’t even enter your basement. Exterior waterproofers may also install a sump pump and dehumidifier.


  • Water never enters through your basement wall.


  • It’s costly.
  • in some situations it can’t be done due to the proximity of the buildings around.


The waterproofing solution that is right for you depends on your situation. Do your homework, learn your options, get quotes, take a lot of time before you pull the trigger on any basement waterproofing solution. If you decide you want to hire a contractor, take a look in our directory to find a basement waterproofing contractor near you.

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