Like any other home repair, basement waterproofing costs money. No one is surprised by that.
A minor repair will cost less than a major repair – also pretty obvious. But, what else dictates the price of basement waterproofing? Is it materials? Labor? Permits?
The answer? Mostly yes to all of those questions, but there are factors that are less obvious to the average homeowner and having a better understanding of them will make it easier to evaluate a basement waterproofing estimate and make sure he or she is getting value for their money.
Source of Seepage/Type of Repair – There are several sources of basement seepage in the average home and each has a corresponding method of repair, some simple and inexpensive, others complicated and higher-priced. For example, the most common source of seepage in a poured concrete basement is a non-structural crack in the foundation wall. This crack is repaired by the polyurethane injection process, which is done in a matter of hours by a single technician. On the other hand, a concrete block foundation that is seeping badly through numerous deteriorated mortar joints calls for the installation of an exterior waterproofing membrane or interior drain tile, either of which requires several days work by a full crew; exterior work may require the use of excavating equipment.
Home Size – A larger home can have more sources of seepage and require more resources. For example, if drain tile is needed, it will take more than a smaller house. A large home will require a more powerful sump pump, more labor and more of everything than a smaller home. It’s all based on the home’s “footprint” so it may cost more to do basement waterproofing in a 4,000-square-foot two-story home than in one of the same square footage that is three stories.
Type of Foundation – As mentioned above, a crack in a poured concrete foundation can be fixed by a simple injection process. When cracks occur in a masonry foundation like concrete block, brick or stone, however, injection cannot be used because the cracks are generally in mortar joints and the material wouldn’t seal the crack all the way to the outside soil. If concrete block itself cracks, the injected polyurethane would just end up in the empty void within the block.
Municipal Requirements – Some municipalities require permits for basement waterproofing work and the cost must be added. Others may have physical requirements that also dictate the price of a basement waterproofing job – requiring that sump pump discharge lines tie into a storm sewer or empty into a dry well, for example. Still others may mandate the use of certain materials that can increase the cost of the job.
Age of Home – Just like people, homes can decline with age. Years, if not decades, of settlement and lateral pressure on a foundation will produce cracks that seep water. Exterior drain tile systems can break down from soil movement or root damage and require replacement. Primary sump pumps can fail and batteries for back-up pumps may no longer hold a charge.
Any and all of these factors will dictate the price of a basement waterproofing project but, regardless of how many or how few of them are present, a savvy homeowner will seek out a reputable basement waterproofing contractor that offers a complete line of services and is familiar with requirements of their city or village.
At U.S. Waterproofing, our 57 years of experience in basements all over the Chicago area, including southeastern Wisconsin and northwest Indiana, has made us experts in waterproofing homes of all shapes and sizes, no matter what the source of seepage. It has also thoroughly briefed us on meeting the requirements of municipalities from the City of Chicago to the smallest village in the farthest suburbs. There’s no better source for free advice when your basement shows signs of trouble.
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