How Long Does Basement Waterproofing Last?

Basement waterproofing involves different methods and materials to prevent water damage to the space. But how long do these basement waterproofing solutions last? We researched for your convenience and here’s what we found.

Fairly small basement waterproofing techniques and materials, such as using injection seals to close cracks, may only last about two years. Large waterproofing projects like foundation excavations will occasionally last for the home’s serviceable life.

It’s best to act now than later to waterproof a basement. Otherwise, the costs and labor to fix water damage to the space might be greater than intended if you encounter issues like basement floods. Keep reading to know the signs when to waterproof your basement. We’ll also talk about the service life of basement waterproofing in more detail.

A worker spraying waterproof insulation on the basement exterior wall, How Long Does Basement Waterproofing Last?

How Do I Know If My Basement Needs Waterproofing?

It’s best to waterproof a basement to prevent potential water hazards. You can shield your basement before any signs of moisture damage become apparent. Take immediate action if you experience the following indicators of water damage to your basement:

Shiny Walls

Efflorescence can cause the basement’s walls to shimmer. This substance is a white, crystal-like deposit caused by migrating moisture from masonry. It’s also usually more common in brick and concrete surfaces than other materials.

Curved Walls

Basement walls, especially those located below ground, are often adjacent to the soil. If the soil expands because of significant moisture, it can cause the nearby wall to bow or curve. The damage can also increase if the adjacent earth reverts to its original size, causing the wall to crack and shift.


Mold is usually always present in the environment, albeit it often has miniature dimensions that make it almost invisible to the naked eye. But these tiny spores typically thrive on moist surfaces. If so, mold can grow and propagate, causing harm to household members, guests, and objects in and near the basement.

Moldy Stench

A musty odor in the basement usually indicates the existence of a significant amount of mold in the area. Take note that mold can grow within cracks, crevices, and between walls. In turn, you may need to check behind different surfaces in the basement if you smell a foul odor even if the mold isn’t immediately visible.

Watermarks and Drips

Water leak in the basement

Perhaps the most noticeable sign to need basement waterproofing is when you see water coming out of the ceiling and walls. These water hazards can come from different sources, including basement plumbing leaks.

How Many Years Does Waterproofing Last?

A worker spraying waterproof foam in the basement exterior wall

There’s no definite period when waterproofing expires, particularly for the basement. Different factors are at play that may extend or shorten the serviceable life of certain waterproofing solutions.

For instance, a primer and crack injection to small cracks and gaps may last around 10 years, assuming that the application is correct. However, temporary solutions such as plugging small holes with duct tape may not last the same period.

Flex Seal, a liquid rubber sealant, can also be a good solution for fixing small- to medium-sized crack fissures in different surfaces in the basement. But this product only lasts about two years before its adhesive becomes ineffective. You can find more information about using Flex Seal to waterproof a basement in one of our posts.

Check out this product on Amazon.

On the other hand, interior and exterior waterproofing remodeling and repairs may last as long as the property’s serviceable life. These techniques often use a more extensive approach to preventing water damage to spaces like basements.

In particular, exterior waterproofing operations typically require digging 7- to 8-foot trenches around the home. Certified technicians will also apply strengthening techniques for long-term waterproofing solutions.

Is It Better To Waterproof The Basement From Inside Or Outside?

Waterproofing the basement wall using a specialized sheet

Different interior and exterior basement waterproofing solutions have unique pros and cons. Therefore, there’s no definitive solution that would indicate that interior basement waterproofing is better than exterior techniques or the other way around.

Take a look at the advantages and shortcomings of interior and exterior basement waterproofing methods to check which option is ideal for your specific project’s requirements:

Interior Basement Waterproofing

Many basement waterproofing operations are often accessible without demanding minor or major renovation projects. For example, fixing a gap in a wall in the basement that allowed some moisture to seep into the space may only require a relatively simple injection seal job. It can also mean lower overheads.

But these methods may only be suitable for fairly minor repair and preventive jobs. Waterproofing large gaps and holes, especially those close to the soil, can become more challenging than intended when using interior waterproofing techniques.

You can also check out our guide on how to fix a leaky basement from the inside if you need help in that regard.

Exterior Basement Waterproofing

Waterproofing operations completed outside the home but within the perimeter often demand more expenses and labor than interior basement water prevention jobs. Contractors would usually excavate the area to ensure proper water flow around the property.

Although you may need to prepare a significant sum of money and you might need to consult professional help, the results of exterior waterproofing are often longer-lasting than its interior counterpart.

How Do You Waterproof A Basement From The Outside?

Before proceeding, make sure that you have a complete understanding of the upcoming project. If you’re not confident with your skills to waterproof your basement, consult with trustworthy contractors instead.

Still, you can apply DIY methods to ensure water doesn’t invade your basement from the outside. Aside from excavating the foundation, you can also apply the following solutions:

Install Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts can help divert water from the roof away from your basement. Make sure to extend these fixtures at a minimum of 10 feet. That way, these fittings can protect your home from issues like hydrostatic pressure and water leaks.

Watch the videos below to learn how to install gutters and downspouts:

Slope the Yard

If you wish to add a slope to your lawn or grade your garden, start this project by standing in your driveway or the nearby sidewalk. It’s because you can only proceed with this operation if your home isn’t on flat ground. In turn, adding the incline will enhance natural drainage. Adding a slope on a flat property might still be possible, although it might become significantly laborious.

You can also watch the short video below for a quick lesson on how to grade around your property properly:

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Waterproofing?

The typical homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover waterproofing or the damage caused by moisture damage to secured properties. This coverage would generally secure sudden and accidental losses, which may include fire and bad weather. But basement water damage doesn’t fall under those classifications.

But opting for waterproofing your home may reduce your insurance premiums. Applying water damage prevention techniques might help the insurance company see you as a low liability concern. This saving may aid you in different ways, such as offsetting the expenses to shield your basement from moisture damage.

Final Words

A worker spraying waterproof insulation on the basement exterior wall

Basement waterproofing may last for about two years to generations, depending on the method and material used. Temporary and inexpensive solutions are available but may need frequent reapplication to maintain optimal efficacy. Long-term solutions like foundation excavations are more expensive but will offer stronger and longer-lasting prevention to basement floods and water damage.

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