Basement Waterproofing: What Should I Expect?

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Water intrusion damages your home and threatens your health. We can make your basement safe and dry

If we’re installing a waterproofing system in your basement, you clearly have some water issues developing.  It could be cracks from hydrostatic pressure, mold growth, or water intrusion.  Whatever problem we’re solving, installing water drainage will be a temporary but disruptive interruption in your daily routine.

Acculevel is a family-owned and operated company, and we treat each customer’s home as if it were our own.  This means we not only treat you and your family with respect, but that we demonstrate that we recognize your home and property as valuable items to protect.  

To help us meet this goal of protecting your home, we believe you should be well-informed about what to expect during and after the waterproofing installation.  In this blog, we’re going to review the steps you need to take in preparation*, how the installation will progress, and what you can expect to see and experience after the work is completed.

*This article is not meant to take the place of your project advisor’s instructions.  As they have been to your home and are familiar with its details, your advisor is still the best source of information. 


What Should You Do Before Waterproofing Begins? 

Before we can install water drainage and a sump pump pit in your basement, we will need room to work.  This means you will need to move (or remove) everything currently against the walls.  We need at least four feet of room to maneuver.

If you store valuable or heirloom items in the basement, you should probably relocate these for safety.  Our crews try to be aware of your belongings and avoid any contact with them, but accidents do happen.  And the vibrations of a jackhammer can make items fall off of shelves.

basement with furnishings moved aside
This photo was taken by an Acculevel crew member during installation. You can see the homeowner has pulled all the storage items out of their way. 

If your basement is finished, you’ll need to remove the bottom four feet of drywall.  You’ll also need to remove flooring or roll up carpeting 4 feet away from the wall.  Furniture should be covered with a sheet, to protect against dust.

We also strongly recommend that you turn off your HVAC system before the installation- especially during the demolition portion at the beginning.  Our crews use a shop vac to capture the dust they generate, but this method isn’t 100% accurate.  If your HVAC system runs while we’re breaking up the concrete around your basement perimeter, it will pull that concrete dust into other parts of the house. If this isn’t an option, it’s not the end of the world- but it will make your house messier. 


What Will Happen During Waterproofing Installation? 

A major part of the waterproofing installation is creating space for it underneath your basement floor.  Our crews use a jackhammer to break up a small trench around the perimeter, and this makes a great deal of noise.  If you are prone to headaches, or have small kids or pets that will be upset by these sounds, being home during this part may not be an option.

If you are at home, you’ll need to know how our crews remove the broken pieces of concrete.  We will remove any trash or debris that we create during the installation process.  This translates into our crews walking up and down the stairs, carrying buckets of old concrete.  (We will put down drop cloths over your floor to protect it.)  

fast track installation
This photo was also taken by an Acculevel crew member during water drainage installation.  The floor has been broken apart, and the trench filled with pea gravel and drainage track.

If you have a pet that likes to “escape,” you should lock them in a room, crate them, or otherwise block them from accessing the exit door closest to the basement stairs.  We are not here to be an accessory to your pet’s “jail break!”  Likewise, please be sure small children are kept away from both the stairs and the door for their safety and everyone’s peace of mind.

Additionally, if someone in your home has a dust allergy, they may want to wear a mask or leave the home during demolition. 


What Happens To Your Basement After Waterproofing? 

Once the water drainage and sump pump are installed, our crew will pour new concrete around the perimeter.  This will cover the drainage system and replace your floor.  The sump pump pit will be covered by the pump and cover, to keep out pets and nosy children.

sump pump installed in basement
This photo was taken by a team member after completing installation.  You can see the fresh concrete poured around the perimeter, and the sump pump established in the corner.

The concrete will need to be cured (dry) before anything can be placed on top of it.  We understand this is inconvenient, but please don’t put any of your belongings back for at least 7-10 days- maybe even longer.  The curing time for concrete varies, depending on the humidity level of your basement.  

If you have an especially high humidity level, it will take longer for the new concrete to dry.  In this case, your project advisor should have recommended a dehumidifier as part of your whole-home solution.  If you decided against buying one at this time, but find your new concrete still looks wet?  You may need to run a fan across the floor to help it cure. 


Please note! If you are planning to finish the basement, do not use concrete nails around the drainage installation (flooring, bottom plate, bottom block, etc).  Puncturing any of the water drainage system will void your life-of-structure warranty.


Do You Have More Questions About Basement Waterproofing? 

We train our project advisors individually and as a team.  We want to be certain that they are the waterproofing experts you need to correctly diagnose your home.  Our goal is to always provide you with a whole-home solution; this plan should address both symptoms and the root cause of your concerns.

You should have your project advisor’s phone number and email address, so that you can contact them with any further questions or concerns.  But we also strive to answer all of the frequently asked questions we receive from homeowners on our website’s learning center.


Possible Topics Include: 

After installation, if you hear unfamiliar sounds, you can evaluate the noises your sump pump makes and determine if they are “normal.” 

Wondering what could go wrong, and how to deal with potential issues? We review the common “side effects” of waterproofing installation for you. 

If you are thinking about finishing your basement, creating a home office, family room, or extra bedroom, we highly recommend that you encapsulate your basement.  You should also invest in an egress window; this is an essential piece to keep your family safe while they are in the basement. 



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