There are two basic types of basement waterproofing services available to the public. First, you can waterproof a basement from the inside. Second -- you guessed it -- you can do exterior basement waterproofing. Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses, so let's take a look at both.
The big thing to understand with the exterior approach is that it is fundamentally an engineering solution. If that sounds expensive, you are right. An exterior project can easily end up north of $8,000.
It involves excavating the area around a building's foundation in order to install what is basically a very advanced French drain. This is a system that involves remediating the soil with looser materials in order to permit greater drainage. Once a base layer of loose stones and clay in installed, pipeworks are added to give the water a direct route to flow in. This increases the amount of water that will go to where you want it.
With the base installed, a membrane is usually sealed to the side of the foundation. Other water-redirection equipment, such as downspouts from gutters and sump pumps, may be tied into the drains, too. Finally, everything is filled in with more clay and stone.
Another approach, and generally the much cheaper one, is to focus on keeping the water from getting into the basement. This is usually best applied when there's a concrete basement because it involves putting in a sealant.
Costs usually range between about $2,000 and $6,000. The biggest factor is how much repair work may need to be done if the basement's concrete is already showing signs of cracking. Even the best system can't hold up well if water already has a path through.
Remediation may also be necessary. Installing a sump pump is the standard operating procedure. Minimal exterior work is also encouraged, such as making sure that gutters and downspouts are in good condition and directing water away from the foundation.
Generally, the question boils down to how bad drainage is on a property. If you're seeing outright flooding in a basement on a regular basis, engineering is probably the answer. Conversely, an engineered solution may be overkill if you're just dealing with a few leaks at the wettest times of the year.
It's worth noting that the two approaches are not mutually exclusive. You can certainly have interior work done after engineering work is performed outside. The opposite is true, too.
For more information, contact a company like J.A. Kilby Enterprises Inc.