Basement Finishing Dos and Don'ts #1: Introduction - Waterproofing

Blog entry by CyFree posted 02-18-2011 07:15 PM 32245 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Basement Finishing Dos and Don'ts series Part 2: Planning and Getting Help »

I am starting a series in this blog, which will run for the next few weeks, concerning proper ways of finishing a basement from start to finishing: things you should do, things you should avoid and why.

I began writing it as a single article, but there was so much to cover that it became quite an extensive chunk of text. unsuitable for a single blog post. Thus, I decided to break it down in small posts, this way we can cover and, hopefully, discuss each topic.

And here’s my first recommendation:

Leaky Basement

#1 Don’t try to finish a leaky or flood prone basement.

This should be a no-brainer. Yet a surprisingly big number of people simply forfeit this important step. They are so eager to make good use of that extra room in their houses that they fail to consider the fact that basements are always prone to moisture.

Even if your basement doesn’t have water stains and puddles around the corners, and looks dry as a bone, if it doesn’t have a good drainage system and a working sump pump system, don’t bother finishing it until you have these in place.


Basements are unpredictable when it comes to moisture. They are imperfect structures, made of porous concrete, and buried in wet dirt. Water is a pretty tricky element. Fail to control it and it will find its way into your basement.

Also, let’s not forget that basement water problems can occur for more reasons than just ground water infiltration. There are plumbing leaks, broken water heater tanks, an overflowing sink or toilette upstairs… in other words, if there is water pouring anywhere in your home there is a chance that it will end up in your basement.

Every year millions of dollars are spent in flood cleanup and replacing damaged property due to basement floods. Typical homeowners insurance usually doesn’t cover these damages, and even flood insurance has limitations when it comes to below grade structures.

Sump Pump

Do: Waterproof it first

Make sure you basement has adequate drainage, and a good sump pump system. A good sump pump system will include:
- A high capacity cast iron pump
- A battery operated backup sump pump to work in case o power outages.
- An air tight sealed container to keep kids and pets safe and the water from evaporating back into the basement.
- An alarm to let you know when the backup sump pump is at work.

In my next post we will be discussing planning and design.

-- "All truth goes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Then it is accepeted as self evident." - Schoppenhauer

View CyFree's profile


10 posts in 5395 days

Basements, crawl spaces and foundation

View Blog Archive
Subscribe to blog entries (RSS)

By subscribing to the RSS feed you will be notified when new entries are posted on this blog.

1 comment so far

View zaiyamariya's profile


25 posts in 986 days

posted 11-09-2020 06:10 PM

This is very useful information that I read on the internet today. I think all of us can take account of this post. realestatephotoservice.com Because we all will face situations like this in our lives and we can overcome them easily if we know the solutions already.

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: All views and comments posted by members are not necessarily those of HomeRefurbers.com or of those working on the site.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

LumberJocks.com :: woodworking showcase