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Everything to Know About Foundation Waterproofing

Many homes in Northern Ohio are built with unfinished basements or unsealed crawl spaces. Unfortunately, these unfinished foundation areas are susceptible to water and pest intrusion. This potentially leads to damage or destruction of any stored items and poses risks to the structural integrity of the basement or crawl space.

It’s crucial to protect these areas from moisture and maintain your home’s safety and longevity. Proactive foundation waterproofing measures can effectively seal off these entry points, safeguarding your investment and providing peace of mind.

This article explores foundation waterproofing and the effective methods local professionals like Ohio Basement Systems use to keep your home free of water for good.

poor foundation waterproofing

Why Should You Waterproof Your Foundation?

Preventing water intrusion not only enhances your home’s structural integrity but also protects your family’s health and safety.

Many sources of foundation leaks originate in the way your home was built. While constructing your home, some measures—including footing drains and exterior wall dampproofing or tar coatings—are implemented to help mitigate water entry into below-grade areas such as basements. However, these techniques are designed to merely slow down the flow of water vapor rather than provide a complete barrier against leaks.

The effectiveness of these methods can diminish over time. The tar coating may degrade, and the footing drains can become clogged or damaged, leaving your home vulnerable to water intrusion.

Recognizing the limitations of these initial preventive measures and their potential for deterioration highlights the importance of implementing comprehensive foundation waterproofing solutions to ensure your home’s long-term protection from moisture-related issues.

When Should You Waterproof Your Foundation?

It’s never too late to protect your home with foundation waterproofing solutions. Here are some symptoms of water intrusion that indicate it’s time to invest in these crucial measures:

How to Waterproof Your Foundation

Foundation waterproofing is a complex process that is best left to experienced professionals. Do-it-yourself repair attempts, such as reapplying exterior dampproofing, using “waterproof” basement wall sealants, or installing drainage systems on your own, are often temporary fixes that can prove costly in the long run.

For lasting and effective solutions, you can rely on the expertise of local professionals like Ohio Basement Systems. After a thorough evaluation, we’ll recommend customized solutions tailored to meet your specific foundation waterproofing needs, including:.

Basement Waterproofing

Interior Drainage

foundation waterproofing with basement drains and sump pumps

The goal of foundation waterproofing is to keep water away from your home. The best way to do that is with interior drains installed in your basement floor. These drains intercept water from the walls, floor, and cove joint (where the wall and floor meet).

Sump Pumps

Water from the interior drainage system drains into a sump pump system. Once the water reaches a certain level inside the basin, the pumps are activated and remove the water through discharge lines. Exterior anti-freeze discharge line attachments can also be installed to prevent freezing and flooding.

Wall Vapor Barriers

Avoid vapor intrusion and waterproof basement walls with durable wall vapor barriers. These thick plastic sheets cover the walls, curtail humidity and moisture, and aid in waterproofing. If any water leaks through the wall, it automatically runs behind the waterproof vapor barrier and down to the interior drainage system.


Excessive humidity can still be an issue, but an energy-efficient basement dehumidifier helps maintain ideal humidity levels between 30 and 50%. Opt for a self-draining unit that also cleans and filters the air.

Crawl Space Waterproofing

Crawl Space Drains

crawl space drainage matting and sump pump

Specially designed interior drains are placed in the dirt crawl space floor to catch leaking water and direct it to a sump pump. Drainage matting placed on the floor also helps steer the water to the perimeter drainage channels or sump pump.

Crawl Space Sump Pumps

Like their basement counterparts, crawl space sump pumps placed in the lowest area of the crawl space collect water from the interior drains and pump it out through discharge pipes.

Insulation Panels

Fiberglass insulation holds onto moisture, encouraging mold growth and pest infestations. Instead, insulate your crawl space walls with thick insulation panels integrated with a termiticide. Sections of these panels can also be cut to fit interior crawl space vent openings, effectively sealing the vents.

Vapor Barriers

dehumidifier and sump pump in an encapsulated crawl space

Fully sealing your crawl space is key to mitigating foundation moisture issues. A thick and durable vapor barrier placed on the walls and floor encapsulates the crawl space, isolating it from the earth.


Dehumidification and air purification are just as essential in a crawl space as in a basement. Typical dehumidifiers are not equipped to handle excessive crawl space humidity, but a specially designed unit installed by Ohio Basement Systems effectively controls humidity levels and improves air quality.

Ohio Basement Systems Provides the Best Foundation Waterproofing Services!

Investing in foundation waterproofing solutions for your basement or crawl space is a long-term commitment that requires a comprehensive and high-quality approach. Temporary or subpar waterproofing measures may provide short-lived relief but are unlikely to address the underlying issues effectively. To ensure lasting protection and maximum benefit for your home, you need to partner with experts who can deliver a robust waterproofing process tailored to your specific needs.

Ohio Basement Systems specializes in providing superior basement waterproofing and crawl space encapsulation services, backed by years of experience and a dedication to quality solutions. Don’t settle for quick fixes – contact Ohio Basement Systems today for a free inspection and invest in a truly effective and enduring waterproofing solution for your basement or crawl space.

Ohio Basement Systems inspector meeting with homeowners


In most cases, it is recommended to waterproof your foundation from the interior, focusing on the basement or crawl space area. Interior waterproofing solutions tend to be more effective and longer-lasting compared to exterior methods. Additionally, interior waterproofing is generally easier to implement, especially for existing homes with basement foundations.

Absolutely! By preventing moisture intrusion and controlling humidity levels, proper waterproofing can have a positive impact on indoor air quality. This helps mitigate the growth of mold and mildew, which can cause respiratory issues and other health problems. Ohio Basement Systems’ waterproofing solutions, combined with dehumidification systems, create a healthier living environment.

The lifespan of foundation waterproofing solutions varies depending on several factors, including the quality of materials, installation methods, and environmental conditions. However, professionally installed and maintained solutions from experts like Ohio Basement Systems provide reliable protection for multiple decades.

Holly Richards-Purpura

Holly Richards-Purpura

Content Writer

Holly is a Content Writer for Groundworks who has written and edited web content for the foundation services industry for almost 10 years. With a background in journalism, her passion for the written word runs deep. Holly lives in Columbus, OH, with her husband. Along with educating homeowners, she also has a big heart for the Big Apple.

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