Comparing Interior Vs Exterior Basement Waterproofing Systems

Should I waterproof my basement from the inside or outside? Here, we will be comparing interior waterproofing with exterior options.

Basements are the most vulnerable sections of homes where lots of moisture issues are reported. Without waterproofing, there’s bound to be a lot of damage.

Now, two types of basement waterproofing approaches exist. Each caters to a particular aspect of flooding. Now, the debate is whether one type can replace the other.

This article is all about providing much-needed answers on the suitability of either type (interior or exterior waterproofing) to your basement moisture problems.

As you’ll soon find out, each waterproofing technique has its advantages and we’ll be providing a side-by-side comparison to determine what’s best for your situation.

Basement Interior Vs Exterior Waterproofing

Before we jump into details or make comparisons between interior and exterior basement waterproofing techniques, it’s important to first provide some background information on what these techniques are.

In doing so, you get a better grasp of the concepts being discussed.

This type of basement waterproofing technique comes into play when moisture issues are noticed within your basement.

Apart from addressing immediate problems like leaks and seepage, it helps prevent issues that arise from moisture presence such as property damage, mold & mildew growth.

Interior basement waterproofing involves the adoption of a variety of moisture control that includes the installation of vapor barriers, wall treatments, as well as installation of safe wall waterproofing panels.

What more? Other interior waterproofing interventions may include the introduction of dehumidifiers, installation of French drains, as well as introduction of sump pumps.

One or more of these moisture control strategies may be implemented for basement waterproofing.

As the name suggests, exterior basement waterproofing adopts an external approach to tackling moisture issues.

Here, water movement is critical to the process. As such, unwanted water sitting more moving close to a property is directed away from the building.

When not redirected, such water gradually seeps into the soil and increases hydrostatic pressure on basement walls and floors. So, where is such running water coming from? It’s mostly common after heavy rainfall.

Running water will readily collect at the nearest depression closest to your home.

This is worsened for homes having no gutter systems. For such, rainwater drops right next to your foundation leading to problems.

Apart from water getting into cracks, concrete is quite porous and will let in water which ends up in your basement.

So, with exterior basement waterproofing, multiple lines of defense are made available. These include drainage tubes, gutters, as well as drain tiles.

With these in place, external moisture is better controlled and redirected in a way that doesn’t put pressure on your basement.

Interior Vs Exterior Basement Waterproofing

With brief explanations provided on both interior and exterior basement waterproofing techniques, it’s time to make key comparisons between these two approaches.

With such distinctions, you’re able to figure out what works best for your situation.

i. Interior Basement Waterproofing

As stated earlier, interior basement waterproofing strategies are aimed at containing and eliminating moisture presence within a basement area.

This requires taking action such as installing water control systems like sump pumps, as well as having waterproofing panels installed on walls to contain seeping water.

What more? Vapor barriers and other forms of treatments are performed by a waterproofing contractor to keep out all forms of moisture.

The result is a drier basement that’s free from moisture-related problems like mold & mildew growth. This improves general air quality as well.

Several benefits are derived from interior basement waterproofing.

These include the prevention of condensation forming behind walls, a moisture control system that comes with a backup, is less expensive than the exterior option, and is also ideal for areas with little exterior space.

What more? Water within the basement gets pumped out.

  • Prevention of Condensation Forming behind Walls

During interior basement waterproofing treatment, walls are insulated.

Such insulation action involves the application of water-resistant membranes that help keep prevent condensation from forming behind walls.

  • Moisture Control Systems with Backup

Another benefit you get from using the interior waterproofing technique is that water control systems like sump pumps come with built-in backups (battery power).

Such backups ensure water still gets pumped out in the event of a power outage.

  • Less Expensive than Exterior Option

Interior basement waterproofing is the least expensive option when it comes to moisture control. It also serves its purpose.

  • Ideal for areas with Little Exterior Space

If your home is located within a densely populated neighborhood, it will be practically impossible to go with exterior waterproofing. This is where interior waterproofing adequately serves your basement waterproofing needs.

  • Water Gets Pumped Out

While exterior waterproofing helps to keep out water from reaching the basement, it doesn’t go beyond that. In other words, water already in the basement isn’t removed.

This is where interior waterproofing goes the extra mile. Water is pumped out of the basement while also preventing further seepage or leaks.

ii. Exterior Basement Waterproofing

Exterior basement waterproofing prevents water and moisture problems in a basement by redirecting water away from the building. Drain tiles, drainage tubes, and gutters are introduced to help channel water away.

When this is done, less water finds its way into the basement.

This method is known for its unique advantages. However, certain aspects such as its cost, and the need for spacious surroundings might make it unsuitable to implement in some homes.

This method takes care of water seepage. Installation is also fast, hence providing quicker waterproofing solutions to the basement.

One of the clear advantages of this technique is the continually evolving nature of external basement waterproofing. Newer and better innovations are being made to help combat moisture issues in homes.

However, you’ll have to deal with the higher expenses involved.

The absence of water seepage or leaks means your walls are kept strong. In other words, there’s an improvement in your home’s structural integrity when adopting the exterior basement waterproofing technique.

If you’ve read to this point, you should have a better understanding of the differences between interior and exterior basement waterproofing techniques.

As a homeowner, you can have the best of both worlds by having both measures in place. You’ll have to rely on competent advice to determine if it’s possible or not.

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