For Basement Waterproofing, Less Is Sometimes More

There are few projects that can potentially take more effort and money than waterproofing the basement of your home, whether it's brand new or a century old. More than a few homeowners have seen basement waterproofing jobs that they assumed would be little balloon into fiascoes that end up costing thousands of dollars and weeks of time. Fortunately, most of these cases were preventable and probably could have been solved with a vastly less extravagant solution. When it comes to protecting your home from flooding and water damage, you might be surprised to learn that less is sometimes more.

What exactly do we mean by "less is more?" While completing a thorough basement waterproofing on your home that hits all possible points is a smart idea if you have the money to fund it, there are sometimes more affordable ways to protect your basement from flooding that aren't quite as elaborate. No one is advocating a "quick fix" or cutting corners on any project that involves protecting your most valuable investment, but if you aren't able to finance a complete basement waterproofing, there is nothing wrong with putting a patch on the problem that will last a few years until you save more money.

Take, for instance, a typical older home that has experienced some mainline drain backup in the basement. In this case, simply snaking the drain or using a high-pressure jet system to clean away obstructions will probably be all the further you need to go in order to keep your basement dry. Some companies, however, will try to convince you that in addition to the drain cleaning, you should do a complete basement waterproofing including excavation, block work, and footer drain emplacement.

In most cases, this really isn't necessary at all, and could end up costing you thousands of dollars. Now, is it wise to fully waterproof an older basement that hasn't been properly maintained in many years? Sure, if you have the money to do it; in fact, basement waterproofing is one of the best ways to insure long-term security of your investment and resale value. And due to unpredictable precipitation levels and an increase in flooding problems in some parts of the country, you could be gambling with your financial future by not taking the precaution.

But will your home necessarily be doomed if you fix the immediate problem and save a thorough basement waterproofing for a time in the future when you can afford it? Of course not. Budgeting your money wisely is just as important to keeping your home as is insuring against any possible emergencies. By waiting until you can really afford to waterproof your basement, you can research local contractors more closely, plan for the project, and stay well within your own personal budget, too.