Basements have so many advantages from the additional space for storage, living areas, appliances, and more. They can also have a few challenges, mostly to do with water. That’s why it’s best to do what you can to prevent leaks through waterproofing.
Which Metro Areas Need Basement Waterproofing?
Google Trends shows these top metro areas based on the past 12 months of search inquiries for basement waterproofing:
Top 20 Metro Areas for Basement Waterproofing
- North Platte, NE
- Davenport-Rock Island, IA, and Moline, IL
- Cleveland-Akron, OH
- Youngstown, OH
- Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, MI
- Rockford, IL
- Rochester, MN-Mason City, IA, and Austin, MN
- Baltimore, MD
- Lansing, MI
- Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA
- Buffalo, NY
- Madison, WI
- Evansville, IN
- Columbus, OH
- Syracuse, NY
- Detroit, MI
- Peoria-Bloomington, IL
- Chattanooga, TN
- Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, MI
- South Bend-Elkhart, IN
Most of these metros are in the Midwest and Northeast; there are a few from the South. The broader map above shows this same pattern.
Overall, the data didn’t demonstrate a great deal of difference month to month. The top-level of interest occurred in May, perhaps due to spring rains and storms.
Rainfall and Drought
Digging just a bit deeper into the rainfall and drought numbers, the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information provides a precipitation map for the past year.
This shows that a considerable amount of rain happened in and around most of the metros on the list above. Water-soaked ground around a basement builds up pressure and finds cracks and any other openings to equalize that pressure. Then you end up with water in your basement.
There are two general types of basement waterproofing: exterior and interior. The overall goal of both these systems is to keep your basement dry no matter the weather.
This type of protection is designed to prevent water from entering your basement in the first place. Ideally, the protection is installed during your home’s original construction. With an older home, that requires excavation around the foundation.
Once the foundation is exposed, the basement walls can be coated with polymers to prevent water from entering the basement. It’s also the perfect time to repair any cracks.
In addition, a drain tile can be installed at the base of the foundation. This is a flexible pipe perforated and covered with mesh that drains the water away from your basement. The problem is that sometime after construction, these systems become clogged by silt or even crushed from the weight of soil above them.
Additional exterior lines of defense include landscaping, gutters, and downspouts. The landscaping needs to slope away from the house, moving the water away from the foundation. Likewise, the gutters and downspouts need to be free of leaves so they don’t clog and overflow around the foundation.
Another exterior area to watch is the basement window wells. These can easily collect rainwater allowing it to either enter the windows or seep into the foundation. Ensure the windows are sealed properly and that sufficient drainage exists in the window wells to prevent water pooling. You can also use window well covers to keep out the rain.
You can apply sealant to the interior basement walls, just as is done with exterior walls. That can help with moisture accumulation and reduce humidity levels. However, many DIY sealants and so-called waterproof paints are only temporary solutions you’d just have to keep investing in and applying to the walls.
The most effective approach is to install an interior drainage system. These systems intercept the water that’s leaking into the basement and move it out. They need to be non-clogging and tied to a sump pump system that pumps the water out of the basement.
An additional help in many basements is a high-quality dehumidifier to control the humidity level. It too is tied into the sump pump system.
One of the major advantages of an interior drainage system is that it avoids any exterior excavation.
Call on the Experts
As you consider waterproofing options for your basement, it’s wise to call in the experts to fully assess the situation. They will use their extensive experience and expertise to develop the approach that best fits your unique situation.
That’s where we can help with a free inspection to determine the exact basement waterproofing options you need.