Five Myths About Basement Waterproofing

There are many misconceptions about basement waterproofing. Here are five myths about basement waterproofing in Willoughby Hills, Ohio and the surrounding areas.


Myth #1: All you need is some kind of black tar or foundation

Black asphalt tar applied to the inside or the outside of the foundation is not a waterproofing membrane. If you are building a new home or putting an addition on and the contractor tells you the black tar will keep the water out, it’s not true. Tar or any asphalt coating is considered a damp proofing material and while it may help, it is not waterproof.  A waterproofing system will keep the interior of your foundation dry.


Myth #2: Your basement will be dry after you have a partial waterproof system installed.

This is a common misconception when only partial work is done in the basement. Many times homeowners have sections or walls waterproofed on their home and don’t have the entire home basement waterproofed.  When only one section of your basement is waterproofed, the other side of the basement could have problems in the future.  Most basements are built of concrete masonry units, otherwise known as block. These “blocks,” are hollow on the inside and water can travel on the inside of the units. The water finds its way on a crack on the outside of the foundation and may travel to another crack or void on the inside of the wall. A good waterproofing contractor will advise you to what is the best way to handle your water issues.


Myth #3: Basement waterproofing contractor disappears after they finish the job.

In the past, the waterproofing industry was full of fly by night contractors looking to make a quick buck. Today the industry is very different. It has a mix of very large companies with high-pressure salespeople, and small family-run businesses. Generally, you’ll get a much better job with a small family-owned company where the owner is a hand on a contractor. Although the large companies have waterproofed many more basements than the small company, it’s very doubtful you’ll get as a quality of a job with a large company. Most of them are profit driven and are only concerned about finishing the job as quickly as possible.



Myth #4:  There is only one system that works for every basement.

Probably the most common misconception with basement waterproofing is thinking there is a one waterproofing system fixes all. This is not the case and every home needs to have a system that’s custom built for each situation. Sometimes basement water problems can be resolved by other remedies such as regarding the property or repairing downspout problems. It takes a trained eye with someone with a lot of experience to troubleshoot these other problems that may be causing water in your basement or foundation.  Many of the large waterproofing sends a professional salesperson to your house who knows nothing about waterproofing or even construction. They’re only concern is signing the job so they get there commission check and you’ll never see them again. Make sure the person who looks at your waterproofing project is hands-on and knows what to look for. If a salesperson for a contractor says they have the best and only system that will work, don’t believe them.  Sometimes a basement water issue can be a simple fix. You owe it to yourself to have a true basement waterproofing professional look at your water issues, not some salesman.


Myth #5: Basement waterproofing costs a fortune

With every job being different, prices can vary greatly. Generally, the interior systems are cheap compared to a true waterproofing system but do little to protect the structural integrity of your foundation. Generally, a good quality exterior basement system costs $100 to $200 per linear foot of foundation depending on the depth and complexity of the foundation.  Installing a basement waterproofing system will protect your foundation from future structural damage that could cost triples that. It will also increase the value of your home. Homes that are being sold with basement water issues or foundations issues are generally devalued greatly.

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