Is waterproofing a basement worth it?
Achieving a return on your investment is an important question with many home improvement projects and repairs. You want to get the best bang for your buck. , Home improvements don’t come cheap. Is waterproofing a basement worth it?
First, ask yourself these questions: Does your finished basement have seepage? Does water always find a way in, and do you wonder if you need to shore up the foundation?
Basement waterproofing is a valuable and important home repair. The return on investment for can vary greatly, depending on your region, size of the home and the extent of the waterproofing process you undertake. However, most experts generally agree that this is a valuable home repair and is always worth the expense. And unlike kitchen upgrades, new appliances, or paint and wallpaper, trends won’t affect your outcome. Basement waterproofing methods have changed slowly over the years. You’re not likely to see your waterproofing job become less fashionable in a few years, no matter how you executed it.
The first action a homeowner should try are simple solutions such as keeping gutters free of debris; downspouts are moving water 20 to 30 feet from the foundation and the property slopes away from the foundation. If you decide to retain a contractor, review posts on an independent online site to gage local consumers’ experiences. Look for contractors who are members of the Basement Health Association, a trade organization that offers certification and continuing education.
What’s the Return On Investment (ROI)?
As a rule of thumb, you can expect a direct return on your investment of about 30 percent from a basement waterproofing job. This is a very good ROI value in addition to the many benefits it confers on your home.
What to Expect with Basement Waterproofing
Consider waterproofing as protection on your existing investment. A wet, damp basement is going to sharply decrease interest and value in your home when it’s time to sell. An out-of-date kitchen or bathroom doesn’t do much to increase your home’s value, but a leaking basement creates very valid concerns of standing water or black mold that go far beyond practical or aesthetic concerns.
It is important to do the job right. A poorly waterproofed basement will be much more trouble than it’s worth, even compared to the hassle of waterproofing. Plus, any property in your basement could be subject to loss that probably won’t be covered by your homeowner’s insurance.
And if your basement shows any visible signs of water damage when you put it up on the market, you can forget about selling for top dollar without fixing it. During an inspection, the inspector will warn the potential buyers of any damage. Your prospective buyers could insist you either waterproof the basement or reduce your sale price. One way or another, you’ll be paying out of pocket and/or doing the work on deadline.
How Much Does Basement Waterproofing Cost?
Sealants and epoxies cost as between $4 to $8 per square foot for professional application. Depending on the extent of the tasks, an exterior basement waterproofing project can cost anywhere between $8,000 and $80,000.
There are several methods to keep water out of your basement or remove what gets in. The most expensive, as well as the most effective, requires extensive excavation.
Interior solutions for basement waterproofing
Interior-based basement waterproofing methods also called “negative side” projects, involve moving out water that’s inside the home. Fixing a water problem from the inside may be a cheaper option, especially in cases where exterior work isn’t practical or possible.
Drain: This system moves water out of the house through a hole or trench in the foundation, paired with a sump pump. Such a system should also include insulation of basement walls, with a vapor barrier to protect against future condensation. Drainage systems start at around $2,000. The national average cost of installing a French drain, including excavation and sump pump, is between $7,000 and $10,000.
Sealants: Some waterproofing companies don’t recommend sealants because they say they only fix the problem at the point of attack. The cost of a sealant-based waterproofing project may range from $4 to $8 a square foot.
Epoxy injection: Like sealants, this option may only provide a temporary solution to fill cracks in poured-concrete walls. Epoxy injections can start at $300 and go up from there.
Exterior solutions for basement waterproofing
Exterior waterproofing projects are sometimes called “positive side” jobs because the aim is to prevent future water from getting in the house.
Excavation: Many contractors consider installing an underground trench or perimeter drain to be the most effective method, when done correctly. This can be quite costly. The national average cost of an exterior waterproofing job for a basement is typically between $8,700 and $15,000, but maybe more or less depending on where you live. The price can go as high as $80,000, depending on how accessible the targeted areas are, how much digging is required and how much landscaping or other work must be restored.
Sodium Bentonite: Some waterproofing contractors don’t like this method of adding a clay material to the dirt around the home to fill cracks and absorb water. They say it’s a temporary solution and difficult to control since clay can clog outdoor drains. Costs for this method start around $500.
Always get multiple bids, check references and make sure that the company you hire is properly licensed, insured and bonded. Beware of a prospective contractor who repeatedly offers to lower the estimated price. Also, know that waterproofing work is calculated by the linear foot. Be sure to get all relevant details, including price, in writing before any money changes hands. Understand what type of waterproofing warranty the company offers on its work and what it specifically covers.