It’s no surprise to even the newest homeowner that home repairs can be expensive. Just ask anyone who’s replaced a roof, put in new windows or installed an updated HVAC system.
Of course, not every residential fix requires a major outlay. Repairing a dripping kitchen faucet, replacing a faulty light fixture or patching up a hole in drywall are pretty low-cost jobs and can even be done by a homeowner with middling DIY skills.
For the most part, waterproofing a basement with seepage problems falls somewhere in between, although extensive exterior waterproofing that requires major excavation can be pricey.
There are, however, several ways to waterproof a basement on a tight budget, one of which is a simple, no-cost job that can be done by the homeowner. The others, although they require the services of a basement waterproofing professional, can be done at a surprisingly low cost.
Of course, the type (and cost) of a basement seepage repair is determined by the source and severity of the seepage. Some problems require major repairs; others fall into the category mentioned above.
So, what are the ways to waterproof a basement on a tight budget?
How to Waterproof a Basement on a Tight Budget
The tightest budget is no budget at all and there’s one important way to waterproof a basement that can be done by a homeowner at no cost.
One of the best ways to waterproof a basement is to keep water away from the foundation so it has no opportunity to seep in. One of the main sources of water that surrounds the foundation of a house is a clogged rain gutter system that allows water to sheet over the edge of the roof and to soak into the soil adjacent to the foundation.
Keeping the gutters clean and free of leaves and other debris will let them carry this water, about 600 gallons per square foot of roof in a one-inch rainfall, off to the downspouts and away from the foundation.
Speaking of downspouts, they present another low-cost option in keeping a basement dry. No matter how clean the gutters may be, if the downspout is dumping the water next to the foundation the problem is made worse because the water is concentrated in several spots.
Installing underground downspout extensions that carry water at least 10 feet from the foundation can be done at a reasonable cost whether they run to daylight or terminate in a bubbler pot and the soil outside the foundation will be less prone to saturation.
Inside the basement, one of the most common sources of seepage is a non-structural crack in a poured concrete foundation wall. These cracks are best repaired by injecting them with expanding polyurethane that fills the crack and seals it all the way to the outside soil. The polyurethane stays flexible when it cures to prevent re-cracking caused by minor foundation movement.
A basement waterproofing professional’s fee in the Chicago area for injecting a crack runs in the hundreds of dollars and will usually be discounted for multiple cracks. A reputable contractor will offer a lifetime warranty.
With the exception of cleaning gutters, a homeowner who needs to make one of these repairs will require the assistance of a professional basement waterproofing contractor who can make the repairs quickly, efficiently and at a reasonable cost. At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve been keeping basements dry since 1957 and offer the endorsement of more than 300,000 satisfied customers for our work on big jobs and small ones. Why not ask for our advice? It’s free.