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 p