exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?

Wet Basement? What is the Cause and Best Solution?

Wet Basement? What is the Cause and Best Solution?

Ever wonder what causes a wet basement or what the best solution is? Having a wet basement and trying to figure out the best solution can be quite stressful to a homeowner.  First of all, lets discuss what causes a wet basement.  To put it simply, there are two sources of basement seepage; ground water and surface water.  How can you tell the difference between the two?

Some basements may have wet walls, which includes moisture on more than just the bottom row of block.  This is an indication of water getting into the foundation from surface water activity.  The best way to dry out the basement in this case is to restore the waterproofing seal on the outside of the basement walls by installing an exterior basement waterproofing system.

fixing a wet basement

Exterior Basement Waterproofing

On the other hand, if your basement walls are dry but there is seepage where the floor and wall meet, it is most likely a ground water problem under the foundation.  You may notice heaved floor cracks or discoloration in the cement.  When ground water builds up under a basement floor, the best way to fix a wet basement in this case is with interior sub floor footer drains.  This allows diversion of the water before it builds up to floor level.

Fixing a wet basement

Interior Basement Waterproofing

How Can You Find the Right Contractor?

Look for a basement waterproofing contractor that offers all methods of basement waterproofing.  Beware of companies that tell you that there is only one way to fix a wet basement.  They may claim to be a full service waterproofing company, yet they only offer their “patented system” and tell you that this is the best and only option.  Many of these companies claim to be full service.  They train their sales force to review the options they don’t actually install in a way that would cause you to say you do not want them, such as exaggerating the cost or minimizing the benefits.

There is no “one size fits all” solution that works for everyone.  Each type of basement waterproofing system works differently so it is important to know what the cause of your issue is.

Call Pioneer Basement Solutions for a zero-obligation quote and basement evaluation.  We can offer a no-nonsense solution to fix your wet basement.  We do not use pushy sales techniques nor try to use scare tactics in order to intimidate homeowners.  Contact us today and learn more about fixing your wet basement permanently and correctly!

basement waterproofing warranty

Waterproofing a basement

Waterproofing a basement

When looking at options for waterproofing a basement there are only three.  You can waterproof your basement from the outside, from the inside or a combination of both to some degree.

You should start by identifying what type of problem you have.  Most basements have either a problem with surface water getting to the walls or ground water building up from below.  The symptoms of each are quite different.  For the most part surface water problems will lead to wet basement walls and ground water problems lead to wet basement floors.

If you have wet basement walls that are wet more than just at the bottom row or two you likely have a surface water intrusion into the basement wall from the outside.  This causes bubbling paint, white powder on the walls, mortar rot and can lead to weakness and cracking of the foundation. Waterproofing a basement from the outside will restore the exterior seal of the basement / foundation wall preventing water and dampness from getting to it.  Our multi step process starts with excavation of the basement walls to the bottom of the footer exposing the entire foundation.  Next we clean the surfaces for a thorough inspection looking for weak points and cracks. We them repair the basement foundation cracks and weak points before applying a full seal coating to your basement walls.   The “icing on the cake” is the unique dimpled air gap basement waterproofing membrane that is bonded to your foundation walls resulting in a guaranteed dry foundation wall.  New PVC footer drains are installed with gravel and the soil is put back with a nice positive grade away from the foundation walls.

Waterproofing a basement from the outside

Exterior basement waterproofing membrane for permanently dry foundation


Note: It is very important that your roof water is directed away from the foundation.  Overflowing gutters and improperly draining downspouts are major contributors to wet basements and wet basement walls.

You may not need exterior basement waterproofing if you have paint on your basement walls that is more than a year old and it still looks like it did when you painted it.  Basements that leak water on to the floor through the seam where the wall meets the floor typically are a result of ground water build up.  These issues may result in wet basement walls at the bottom row or two but the remainder of the wall is all or mostly dry.  Waterproofing a basement from the inside may be a great option if this is your basement.  In fact, if you have water under the basement floor the only way to dry that up is from the inside.  Exterior drains will not get water under the floor since the foundation separates the two areas.

On top of footer gutter

Level water trough installed on top of footer has no slope to drainage point and holds water

Waterproofing a basement from the inside, commonly called interior basement systems, involve drainage installed under the basement floor relieve the “hydro-static pressure” or water pressure in the ground that builds up around your foundation. There are many companies that offer this type of solution for wet basements but they can vary greatly in design and performance.  Look out for systems that are level.  Level water trough systems that are installed on top of the footer or next to the footer hold water.  Only when water fills the trough can it build up movement as it seeks a level and make its way to the drain point.

Look for a system that is a true interior footer drain.  A true interior footer drain is installed in a trench down next to the footer and it slopes down hill towards the drainage point, usually a sump pump system.  There should be about 1/2″ fall for every 10 feet of drain pipe to promote a good flowing drain and many municipalities actually require this method.




If your basement has mostly ground water issue and some areas of the basement walls are wet, a combination of interior and exterior basement waterproofing may be a good solution.  In some cases there is a wet spot on a basement wall that is not reasonably accessible from the outside.  An interior waterproofing system for the wall may be a good alternative in this case.  Interior basement waterproofing panels are non permeable, meaning non porous.  So they will not grow mold or mildew in them and they are a vapor barrier as well.  This stops any wicking or transmission of exterior dampness into your basement space and it is a permanent, maintenance free solution.

Waterproofing a basement from the inside with waterproof wall panels

Interior Full Wall Basement Waterproofing System brightens up your space and is maintenance free!


No two basements are identical and there is no one size fits all solutions for wet basements.  Be on the look out for basement waterproofing companies that have a “system” that they are promoting.  Typically they are patented or the sales person says they are the only ones who install a particular product or technique.  This is a marketing ploy to attempt to stand out in the crowd. The best companies will have capability to customize any solution to fit your needs and solve your wet basement problems whether waterproofing a basement from the inside or the outside.

Call Pioneer today for a free consultation with no sales pressure and no gimmicks. get-arrow

Award winning service since 1979.  No other basement waterproofing company has a better reputation than Pioneer when it comes to waterproofing a basement

How to fix a wet basement

Every homeowner I visit asks me, “what the is the best way to fix a wet basement?” If you have done any homework on basement waterproofing or if you have been interviewing basement waterproofing contractors you are undoubtedly getting some differing opinions.

One problem is that the industry has a reputation for having unscrupulous pushy salespeople that will camp out in your house until you sign or you throw them out.  And then there are those who tell you there is only one way how to fix a wet basement which is of course the only option they offer.  Some companies are a combination of both of these issues (clue: if they have a patented system then they are selling that one system to everyone regardless of if it is the best solution for you).

There are two types of basement seepage problems and each one has a different solution.  There are those basements that have wet basement walls which are more than just the bottom row of block.  This is an indication of water getting into the foundation from surface water activity.

Wet basement wall

Wet basement wall with efflorescence is a sign of surface water problems

You could do an internal basement waterproofing system in this case but you will still have a damp foundation.  The best way to dry out the foundation in this case is to restore the waterproofing seal on the outside by installing exterior basement waterproofing.  If that is not an option there are solutions that will give you a dry basement such as full wall interior waterproofing panels but again, there likely will be dampness that you can’t see behind the panels.

If on the other hand your basement walls are dry but you get seepage down low where the floor and wall meet, you likely have a ground water problem under the foundation – especially of you see heaved floor cracks, discolored areas in the floor etc…  When ground water builds up under a basement floor the best way how to fix a wet basement in this case is with interior sub floor footer drains that will get the water before it builds up to floor level.

Look for basement waterproofing contractors that offer all methods of basement waterproofing.  This can be tricky now because the ones who sell the same system over and over are now catching on that they should say they are full service and then steer you to the solution they install.

For a no obligation inspection and estimate on what will fix your wet basement call Pioneer Basement Solutions.  Pioneer has been serving North East Ohio since 1979 with a Perfect Award Winning Customer Service Record!  Pioneer offers all basement waterproofing and foundation repair solutions and does not send out a trained sales killer who will press for an order or use pricing games.

Contact us today (click here) and learn how to fix a wet basement permanently and correctly!