3 Benefits of Waterproofing Your Basement That Homeowners Should Know

Ahh, the basement… the stalwart classic of scary stories told around the campfire.  It’s damp, dark, smelly, and potentially full of things that go bump in the night. As a kid, it was fun to be creeped out by these spaces.  But as a homeowner? It’s not a great feeling, knowing your children are using your basement as a Halloween attraction for the neighbor kids. Your basement is part of your home.  And it can be an attractive and useful space that adds value to your home.  You don’t have to tolerate the ick factor of a wet basement! But it does require some investment and maintenance. We’ve been helping homeowners refinish basements since 1996, and we are confident that your home is worth the work.   There are three major reasons you should waterproof your basement, and we can sum them up in three words: health, stability, and profit.

A Wet Basement Causes Health Problems

If you’ve ever cleaned out the refrigerator and opened a mystery container, you are completely aware that mold is gross and smelly.  There are a number of mold types that appear in a basement, and they all have two things in common. They can grow anywhere there is moisture to feed them, and they’re a very real threat to your health.  

white basement wall with splotches of black moldThis picture was taken by an Acculevel project manager on a routine free estimate appointment.

You may only be a bit sensitive to it- breathing in mold spores may just give you a headache, a runny nose, sneezing- the usual allergy symptoms.  These are an irritant for a healthy person but are rarely fatal. For someone with a compromised immune system- like diabetes, kidney or liver disease, hepatitis- this is a different story.   According to the CDC, if you or a family member have a lung disease or compromised immune system, you are more likely to develop serious infections.   Scientists have also found evidence linking indoor mold exposure to respiratory illnesses  (like asthma) in otherwise healthy children.  This is not to say that breathing in mold causes asthma, but it is a contributing factor to developing it.  

Waterproofing a Basement Adds Stability to Your Home

If water is collecting around your foundation, your foundation is deteriorating.  That sounds harsh, and it is.  But it is also accurate; water has been carving its way through rock for millennia and it’s not ever going to stop.  This isn’t to say your foundation will resemble the Grand Canyon in a few months, but it will gradually lose stability.   Is it causing a significant problem yet?  That will depend on where the water is concentrated, and how long it’s been there.  The most common one is hydraulic pressure (water pushing against a foundation), and that leads to bowing walls.  Left unchecked, this can have disastrous consequences. A bowing wall is a wall that will eventually collapse, costing you significant amounts of money and stress.  For more information on the impact of a bowing basement wall, please go to It is Urgent That You Fix a Bowed or Bulging Basement Wall.

An Updated Basement Increases Profit

The immediate benefit of waterproofing your basement is improved air quality and overall peace of mind.  As you are able to better use the additional living space, this will contribute to your overall quality of living.  If you decide to sell your house, the value of it will be higher if your basement is in good condition.   Once waterproofed, a basement can be upgraded, remodeled, and/or finished with a wide variety of additional living spaces: an inlaw suite, home theater, fitness room, you name it.  Updating your home like this generally produces a 70% return on home value.  To optimize the return on your investment, it’s recommended that you keep your basement budget below 10% of the existing home’s value. 

Are You Ready to Waterproof Your Basement?

If the answer is no, you would like to do more research… we have a detailed guide to basement waterproofing that reviews the process and all the related topics.

If the answer is yes, then you need to find an experienced local foundation company, and make an appointment.  Before you sign a contract for any service, you should always verify the company is reputable, insured, and accredited by the Better Business Bureau.   If you live in Indiana or the surrounding states, contact Acculevel.  Established in 1996, we specialize in foundation repairs and basement waterproofing.  If you have water getting into your basement, you can request a free estimate.  An experienced project manager will evaluate your home and recommend the best course of action for you, to keep your home strong and healthy for years to come. If the answer is no- or you have questions about costs and methods- then we encourage you to check out our article on waterproofing pricing.  We have also created a free tool that any homeowner can use to see what could be causing problems in your home and how to fix it. Identify problems, explore solutions, and get advice on how and when to take action with our Symptom Checker.

 

Over her twenty year career, Kelly has worked in a wide variety of fields: secondary education, nursing, biology, elder care, the postal service, multicultural development, and academia. She has developed a skill for translating industry-specific jargon into everyday language. Her goal is to share the knowledge and experience of the Acculevel team with homeowners, in a way that is both engaging and informative.