We were recently featured on the acclaimed radio show House Talk.
Close this search box.

Not As-Seen-On-TV: Basement Waterproofing and the Myths Surrounding It

Not As-Seen-On-TV_ Basement Waterproofing and the Myths Surrounding It
Not As-Seen-On-TV_ Basement Waterproofing and the Myths Surrounding It

Taking precautionary steps to prevent damage from occurring in your home due to seemingly unstoppable things like water leaks is never a bad idea. Unfortunately, most people are sucked into the as-seen-on-tv gambits and end up with products and services they don’t need or that don’t work.

Frankly, certain issues deserve your attention and action as a conscientious homeowner. Things such as water damage can wreak havoc on a foundation and create a breeding ground for harmful molds in your walls.

There are means to protect your home from unforeseen damage, including basement waterproofing. This product doesn’t come in a can or have a TV-only price of just four easy payments of $29.95 when you call in the next 10 minutes. It’s a service industry professionals offer to help keep your home secure and structurally sound. Despite being a sometimes necessary precautionary service, there are still myths and confusion surrounding basement waterproofing.

Let’s take a look at a few of those myths.

All You Need Is Waterproof Paint

Basement waterproofing

All waterproofing paint is indeed just paint. They do not, in fact, prevent you from needing professional waterproofing work done. They are a gimmick and will never stop hydrostatic pressure from flooding your basement. They are good for covering up your basement walls before a sale to hide problems.

Pro Tip: If you are doing an inspection on a house you’re looking to purchase and it has this on the wall, RUN.

Professional Basement Waterproofing Is Too Expensive

Although many argue that professional basement waterproofing is too expensive, this is a myth that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny for the following reasons:

The cost of fixing water damage in a basement can far outweigh the cost of professional basement waterproofing done right. Professional basement waterproofing can prevent costly repairs, including foundation damage, mold growth, and structural problems.

Professional basement waterproofing can also increase the value of your property. A basement free from water damage is a valuable selling point for potential buyers.

Not All Basements Can Be Waterproofed

The myth that “not all basements can be waterproofed” isn’t accurate, as several methods and techniques are available to ensure that basements remain dry. While it’s true that some basements may be more susceptible to moisture and water damage due to their location or construction, this doesn’t mean they can’t be waterproofed effectively.

For example, one common misconception is that older homes with basements are difficult to waterproof. However, even older basements can be successfully waterproofed with the latest waterproofing technologies and methods, such as interior and exterior drainage systems, sump pumps, and sealing techniques.

The home’s location is another factor that can contribute to a basement’s susceptibility to moisture. For instance, if the house is near a body of water or on a slope, the basement may be at a higher risk of flooding or water damage. However, with the installation of proper drainage systems and waterproofing membranes, these risks can be minimized.

Furthermore, it’s essential to note that the quality of materials used in constructing a basement can significantly impact its ability to remain waterproof. Basement walls and floors from low-quality materials may be more prone to water damage and leakage. However, constructing the basement with high-quality materials and proper installation techniques can reduce these risks.

All Basement Waterproofing Costs The Same

The cost of waterproofing a basement can vary dramatically depending on a range of factors, including the size and complexity of the project, the materials and techniques used, and the experience and expertise of the professionals involved.

For example, some homeowners may opt for basic solutions such as sealing cracks, which can be relatively affordable but won’t offer long-lasting protection against water damage. On the other hand, more comprehensive approaches, such as exterior excavation and installation of a drainage system, can cost significantly more but will be more effective.

Another critical factor in the cost of basement waterproofing is the quality of the materials and techniques used. While some contractors and companies may offer lower prices, they may also be cutting corners or using inferior materials that can compromise the effectiveness of the waterproofing over time. By contrast, experienced and reputable contractors will typically use high-quality materials and proven techniques that may come with a higher price tag but will offer better protection and value in the long term.

The level of expertise and professionalism of the waterproofing contractors can also impact the project’s cost. Companies with highly trained and experienced professionals who take the time to assess and address the underlying causes of water damage thoroughly will typically charge more than those who offer a one-size-fits-all approach or rush through the job.

Lots Of Maintenance Is Required

Contrary to popular belief, “lots of maintenance is required to keep a basement waterproof” is a myth. While it’s true that basements are vulnerable to dampness and water seepage, the notion that they are high-maintenance spaces that require constant attention is inaccurate and misleading. To begin with, modern waterproofing techniques have advanced significantly, enabling installing a reliable and long-lasting waterproofing system that requires minimal maintenance.

Any Contractor Or Plumber Can Handle This Job

Basement waterproofing is not a simple task that any contractor or plumber can perform. It isn’t merely a matter of applying a coat of waterproofing material on the basement walls or floors. Effective basement waterproofing requires specialized knowledge and skills that only trained professionals possess.

Waterproofing a basement involves identifying the root cause of water infiltration and applying appropriate solutions to prevent it from happening again. This process involves:

  • Thoroughly inspecting the basement.
  • Identifying the source of water infiltration.
  • Developing a plan to address the problem.

This requires specific expertise, including the ability to use specialized tools and equipment and a deep understanding of how basements work.
Several factors contribute to successful basement waterproofing. These include using high-quality materials, knowledge of the local climate, and understanding the property’s unique features, among others. Furthermore, specialized contractors employ technicians with extensive training and experience in waterproofing methodologies and techniques.

Attempting to perform basement waterproofing without the necessary training and expertise can lead to costly mistakes that may lead to further water infiltration, resulting in significant property damage.

Even Waterproofing Won’t Keep The Water Out Completely

If you hire a professional home waterproofing service, you shouldn’t get a half-product. When a reputable company says they will waterproof your basement, you should expect to get a waterproof basement. If you hire the right company, that’s precisely what you’ll get. So find a basement waterproofing company that can come and give you an assessment and tell you exactly what you need.

It Didn’t Work For Them, So It Won’t Work For Me

One of the oldest rules in life is that nothing is the same for each person. You might receive the same end product as someone else, but the road you travel to get there won’t be the same. Often all that’s needed to waterproof a home is a simple gutter replacement or installation; other times, the entire basement needs to be sealed. The only way to know for sure is to get an assessment.

In addition to that, when you have someone who had a system installed that “didn’t work,” consider that they may not have had the best company out to repair the issue. If they opted for a cheaper, lower-quality-material repair, they could have had a bad experience that you could avoid by hiring a reputable contractor.

There are many reasons why you should contact a professional contractor, and if you have problems such as cracks in your foundation wider than one-fourth of an inch or zig-zag cracks in bricks or blocks, then you should call as soon as you can. Problems such as these can become much more severe later on. While your foundation repair company is fixing those cracks, ask them about basement waterproofing.

If you’re thinking about basement waterproofing for your Chicagoland home, contact The Real Seal today and ask for an evaluation.


Austin Werner

Austin Werner is the Owner of The Real Seal LLC, a basement waterproofing and foundation repair company. Austin believes that having a highly trained and happy team is the key to success. This is reflected through hundreds of 5 star customer reviews his company has received online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *