Wet basements are messy and unsettling. When water seeps or floods into your unfinished basement, it may prevent you from using the space for storage. If this area of your home is finished, then a wet basement can cause serious trouble. Knowing what to expect from a basement waterproofing estimate will help you deal with the cost and inconvenience of the repair.

Basement Waterproofing Options

Basements can be waterproofed from the inside or the outside. For interior waterproofing, a channel will be dug around the basement’s inside perimeter. The waterproofing technicians will then install a French drain that connects to a sump pump. The sump pump will extract any water that pours into the French drain. If a basement requires exterior waterproofing, then a basement repair team will excavate around the home’s foundation. Once the foundation can be reached, a crew will waterproof it with a sealer and a membrane.

How Waterproofing Estimates are Calculated

The size of your basement is the most important factor in determining a waterproofing estimate. You can expect to pay around $7.02 to $7.63 per square foot to waterproof your basement area. This estimate includes:

• Material costs
• Equipment transport to and from your home
• Worksite preparation costs
• Cleanup charges
• Hourly labor wages

The waterproofing estimate does not include general contractor charges, so if you’re hiring an expert to oversee the job, add 12 to 19 percent to the square foot estimate. Also, add more for the sales tax on the material resources that the project requires. Inspection and permit fees are other expenses that you may need to include in your estimate. Minor repairs may cost as little as $300 to $500 while intricate waterproofing projects can total $2,000 to $20,000 depending on the extensiveness and size of the job. Before hiring a contractor or a company to waterproof your basement, make sure the person or business is licensed, insured and bonded.

How Long will a Basement Waterproofing Estimate Take?

Most estimates are completed within 45 minutes to an hour. If your waterproofing project is involved or your home is large, then the estimate could take a little longer. The estimator should complete a thorough appraisal of the inside and outside of your home. During the estimate, be sure to ask the technician any questions you have about the process. Estimators should also ask fact-finding questions about your home. Common questions include:

• When was your home built?
• How long have you owned the home?
• When does your basement leak?
• Has your basement leaked before?

When Will the Estimate Arrive?

In most cases, you will receive a written copy of your estimate directly from the technician who completes the assessment. However, some companies will send you the estimate by regular mail or email, which will take a few days.

Sump Pump Estimate

In some cases, basements can be waterproofed with just a sump pump installed inside a window well. Standard sized sump pumps cost from $100 to $300, but the total price will also be based upon:

• The horsepower you need or select
• The device’s flow rate
• How far the pump needs to lift the water to dispel it
• The type of material used to make the pump

A durable solid brass sump pump will likely cost you from $250 to $350. If you purchase a unit that includes a built-in backup pump, you should expect to pay from $300 to $500. Extremely hardy models can run from $600 to $1,200.

Plan to Pay More to Waterproof a Finished Basement

Depending on the type of waterproofing your basement needs, a finished basement may make the waterproofing process more complicated. For instance, if the interior of the basement is the area that requires waterproofing, then finished walls add a complication because the basement waterproofing team will need to install drain lines along your foundation walls. To reach this area, the repair crew must take out the lower section of your finished walls.

Does Your Basement Need a Dehumidifier?

Even after you install a waterproofing system, your basement’s humidity levels may be high. Keep in mind that humidity levels should be lower than 60 percent. To prevent the development of mold and dust mites, consider installing a dehumidifier. The device’s capacity is typically measured according to the amount of water it can remove from your home’s air in a 24-hour period. For your home’s basement, you’ll probably need a large capacity dehumidifier that can eliminate 25 to 70 pints of water from the air. You can expect to pay from $150 to $400 to buy a large size unit. Higher priced dehumidifiers usually come with additional features like frost control or a large capacity tank.

How Long Does Waterproofing Take?

Interior waterproofing can take just a few days while exterior jobs may take several weeks due to the extensiveness of the project. If you’re calling for waterproofing repair during times of heavy rainfall, then many companies may be booked, so you might have to wait.

Last Thoughts

Be sure to order bids from several basement-waterproofing companies. Also, request a written contract, and verify that it contains an assessment of your basement problem as well as details regarding the repair, start date and completion timeframe. Make sure that the company adds a clause to the written contract that they will not perform additional work without obtaining approval from you. A wet basement is frustrating. Fortunately, several waterproofing options are available.

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