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5 Tips for Waterproofing Basement Walls

Man placing vapor barrier on a basement wall, standing on ladder, and holding power tool.

Waterproofing your basement is crucial for keeping your home safe and your property value high. When water seeps into your basement, it can cause mold, weaken your home’s structure, and even damage your belongings.

By waterproofing the walls, you can prevent these issues and ensure a healthier living environment. Our team has put together this page to guide you through the best waterproofing solutions.

Best Ways to Waterproof Basement Walls

Man installing a vapor barrier on a basement wall.

1. Install a Vapor Barrier

A vapor barrier is a material that prevents moisture from passing through the walls of your basement. It acts like a protective layer between your home and the damp earth surrounding it.

They are especially useful in humid climates like Northern Georgia, where moisture can be a constant battle during the summer. With a properly installed vapor barrier, your basement will stay dryer and cleaner, making it a usable space in your home.

Basement dehumidifier set up.

2. Utilize a Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers play a key role in keeping your basement dry by removing excess moisture from the air. This is crucial for preventing mold and mildew, which thrive in damp environments. By maintaining a dry basement, you also protect the structural integrity of your home and improve the air quality throughout.

It’s important to select a dehumidifier that matches the size and conditions of your basement. A unit too small won’t effectively reduce humidity levels, while a too-large unit can consume unnecessary energy. AquaGuard can help you find the perfect dehumidifier for your space, ensuring it operates efficiently and effectively.

BasementGutterâ„¢ installed along the base of a basement wall, sitting atop gravel.

3. Insert an Interior Basement Drain

Interior basement drains are designed to handle water that enters your basement, channeling it safely away from your home. These systems are installed beneath the basement floor to catch water before it causes damage. They are an essential part of any comprehensive waterproofing strategy.

Sump pump fully installed in the corner of a basement.

4. Use a Sump Pump

Sump pumps are essential for removing water that accumulates in your basement, especially during heavy rains. These pumps are installed in the lowest part of the basement, where they pump out water and divert it away from your home.

Keeping your basement dry with a sump pump can prevent long-term damage and costly repairs. Choosing the right sump pump depends on your basement’s size and typical water volume.

Regular maintenance is also crucial to ensure your sump pump works when you need it most. AquaGuard offers high-quality sump pumps and provides installation and maintenance services to keep your system running smoothly.

FreezeGuardâ„¢ discharge line attachment on black background.

5. Add an Anti-Freeze Discharge Line Attachment

In colder climates like Northern Georgia, anti-freeze discharge line attachments are vital to prevent the water in sump pump discharge lines from freezing. Frozen lines can cause a backup and potentially lead to basement flooding. These special lines ensure that your sump pump continues to function effectively, even during freezing temperatures.

Can I Waterproof Basement Walls Myself?

Waterproofing basement walls is typically best handled by professionals. Unfortunately, DIY projects rarely work for several reasons:

First, accurately diagnosing the source of water leaks requires professional expertise, which homeowners often lack. Second, DIY solutions like sealants only offer temporary fixes and don’t address underlying issues such as hydrostatic pressure.

Third, incorrect methods can lead to structural damage over time, as these solutions fail to alleviate the pressure on foundation walls. Fourth, handling mold and using waterproofing materials improperly can pose serious health risks.

Fifth, while DIY might seem cost-effective initially, it often leads to higher expenses due to recurring problems and ineffective results. Lastly, professional services provide guarantees and warranties that DIY methods cannot offer, ensuring longer-lasting protection and peace of mind.

What Causes Wet Basement Walls?

Porous Materials

Basement walls, often made from materials like concrete or cinder block, are naturally porous. This means they have tiny holes that can absorb moisture from the surrounding soil.

When it rains, water seeps into the ground around your home and can penetrate these porous materials. Over time, this moisture can lead to dampness inside your basement, making it feel way too humid and uncomfortable.

Hydrostatic Pressure

Hydrostatic pressure is another major cause of wet basement walls. This pressure builds up as water accumulates in the soil around the foundation of your home.

The heavier the soil gets with water, the more pressure it exerts against your basement walls. Eventually, this pressure can lead to leaks and bowing basement walls if not properly managed.

What Happens if You Don’t Waterproof Basement Walls?

If you ignore basement water issues, the problems will only get worse over time. After all, water isn’t something that just goes away or stops completely—you’ll always have to deal with moisture of some kind, be it rain, snow, or humidity.

Failing to waterproof basement walls can lead to the following problems in your basement:

None of these issues are fun to deal with, and they have the potential to cause both health issues and structural damage if left unchecked. Your basement should be an extension of your home, but when the basement walls are wet, it ends up being a nuisance.


Waterproof paint can temporarily block surface moisture, but it does not address deeper issues like water seepage through cracks or hydrostatic pressure. For long-term protection, more comprehensive solutions like interior drains and sump pumps are more effective.

DIY basement waterproofing can be cheaper upfront, but for more severe water problems, a DIY approach might end up being more costly in the long run due to potential for mistakes or failure to address the root cause. Professional waterproofing, while more expensive initially, offers a more reliable and lasting solution, potentially saving you money over time.

If you notice water stains, mold growth, a musty smell, or visible water on the basement floor, it’s time to consider basement waterproofing solutions. These symptoms indicate moisture in the basement that can lead to more serious damage if not addressed.

    Professional Basement Waterproofing Solutions With AquaGuard

    AquaGuard work truck

    Don’t let wet basement walls make your basement uncomfortable or unusable—take action today and consider working with AquaGuard Foundation Solutions. We’ve been serving homeowners in Northern Georgia since 1995, and our fellow Georgians trust us with their basement waterproofing needs.

    Put water back in its place with our industry-leading solutions, and contact us today to schedule a free inspection. Let’s get that basement back on track for you and your loved ones!

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    Ted Dryce

    Ted Dryce

    Content Writer

    Ted is an SEO Content Writer who has been with Groundworks since 2021. He’s covered home repair topics ranging from crawl space encapsulation to regional soil conditions. When he’s not working, Ted is performing improv comedy and working on his own creative projects.

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