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Make Your Wet Basement Dry in a Week

Make Your Wet Basement Dry in a Week | RadonSeal®

Waterproofing Solutions for Wet Basements

Its no secret that traditional basement waterproofing methods do not last. After all, wet basements are one of the most frequent complaints of homeowners. But what can be done?

If you’re dealing with wet basement walls, a seeping foundation crack, or water coming up through your basement slab, picking up the phone and calling on a local basement waterproofing service may seem like the right thing to do. Well, don’t reach for the phone just yet!

Your local waterproofing company will send a service technician to your home to tour your basement. After a short while, they will either recommend installing an interior drainage system with a sump pump, or suggest excavating down to the footers and waterproofing the foundation walls on the outside.

While they are both excellent options, these waterproofing solutions are not cheap!

Exterior waterproofing will run you north of $20,000. Installing interior perimeter drains with a sump-pump could cost a homeowner up to $10,000. You may be asking yourself, “Could I waterproof my wet basement myself?”

Basement Waterproofing – Identify the Source to Stop the Leak

Understanding where and how water is getting into your basement is the crucial first step to keeping it out. Sometimes, this can be a straightforward task. For example, seeing water seeping through a foundation crack. Other times, you may need to open walls, remove flooring, or use various testing devices.

Try waiting in your basement during a heavy rain to pinpoint the exact source of water. Its easy to confuse a leaking floor-to-wall joint with water seeping through your concrete slab. Either can leave a puddle on your basement floor, but their repairs are very different.

If one or more of your basement walls seeps water, your can use a garden hose to wet the soil around your basement. By simulating heavy rain, one area at a time, you can find drainage issues and identify tiny cracks and leaking seams or joints.

Reduce Water Around your Foundation

Take measures to reduce the amount of water that can accumulate around your basement.

Gutters and Downspouts: For every inch of rain, a 2,000 sq.ft roof will send more than 1,200 gallons of water into your gutters and through your downspouts. If you do nothing else, divert this rainwater far away from your foundation walls by adding long extensions to your downspouts.

If your home has a basement, gutter extensions should run at least 6ft away from your house – 10ft+ is better! If your home is on-grade, gutter extensions should be 4-6ft long.

Routinely remove leaves and debris to keep your gutters clean and in proper working order. This simple corrective action can sometimes solve wet basement issues entirely.

Grading: Proper grading is crucial to preventing wet basements. The grade of the soil around your home functions like a natural drainage system, diverting water away from your foundation and reducing the hydrostatic pressure exerted on its walls. This works best when the ground around your house slopes away from the building, ideally at least 6 inches over the first 10 feet. A downward angle channels rainwater outwards, preventing it from accumulating against the foundation.


  • Install window well covers to prevent water accumulation.
  • Caulk corners and seams. Check the joint between patios or hardscaping and your foundation. Sheeting water from your patio can be directed right to your foundation walls if the patio is sloped incorrectly. This joint should filled with a waterproof material, like epoxy.
  • Apply penetrating sealers to the any exposed exterior concrete around your foundation. This will help prevent water from seeping through to the inside.

Once you have exhausted all the waterproofing opportunities outside, you should move indoors. Interior waterproofing is generally more difficult, but the most practical option for many homeowners.

Understanding why your basement leaks can make waterproofing it yourself easy and affordable.

How To Waterproof Wet, Leaking, Foundation Walls

Although building codes in most areas require exterior waterproofing on the outside of basement walls, the protection wont last. In fact, foundation coatings and membranes have a life expectancy of 5- 10 years. Furthermore, exterior waterproofing can be damaged during backfill, making your basement vulnerable to water on day-one.

If you’re not willing to spend the money to excavate and reapply your exterior basement waterproofing, waterproofing from the inside is the next best choice.

The best time to apply interior waterproofing is before your basement starts leaking. Concrete with a history of water seepage is much harder to seal. Remember, if your foundation walls are not currently leaking, its only a matter of time before they do.

You may notice spots of efflorescence (white “powder” or “whiskers”) on tour foundation wall. Efflorescence is a telltale sign of capillary seepage and water vapor movement through your foundation. If this sounds familiar, now is the time to act before your wet basement gets worse – making repairs much more than preventative measures.

If your foundation walls are already wet, allow the concrete to dry out for the best basement waterproofing results. You can speed up the drying time by drilling weeping holes in the bottom of concrete blocks, installing a fan in the basement to improve evaporation, or simply waiting for dry weather. Once the concrete is sufficiently dry, seal the porous concrete foundation walls with RadonSeal Penetrating Concrete Sealer.

Why RadonSeal? RadonSeal is not your average cement waterproofing sealer like those found in big box stores. Waterproofing paints, cementitious coatings, and membrane coatings will eventually loosen, crack, or peel, as they are pushed off by hydrostatic water pressure, trapped water vapor, and efflorescence.

It could take a couple of years, but eventually, all waterproofing paints or coatings will fail, requiring another application. A big problem if you have already finished the basement!

RadonSeal is different. Negative side water pressure and efflorescence cannot budge it. Once cured inside the concrete the internal seal is PERMANENT, which is backed by an unmatched limited lifetime Money-Back Warranty. RadonSeal works by penetrating deep into the concrete (up to 4″), chemically reacts with lime and alkalis, expands inside the pores, and cures as a mineral. It waterproofs concrete internally against water seepage, water vapor, and even against radon gas. RadonSeal combines concrete waterproofing, damp-proofing, concrete preservation, and radon mitigation in one sealer!

Sounds too good to be true. What’s the catch? There is none. RadonSeal does not change the appearance or surface profile of the concrete. It does not contain chemical solvents, is non-corrosive, has ZERO VOCs, and can be easily applied using a hand-pump “garden or bug” sprayer.

If you want a painted basement wall, you can always apply waterproofing paint after you have deep-sealed the concrete with RadonSeal. That will protect the waterproofing paint against water, moisture vapor, and efflorescence.

How To Waterproof Wet Concrete Floors

Many homeowners have found out the hard way that paints and coatings alone are just not suitable for below-grade concrete floors. Latex waterproofing paints are too soft for floors. And if you apply an epoxy or urethane coating, concrete floor paint, or concrete overlay, water vapor pressure and efflorescence coming through the concrete will eventually make it fail, crack, or peel.

Seal Your Basement Slab or Garage Floor Against Water Vapor Transmission – The proper method is to deep seal the concrete floor first with RadonSeal Concrete Sealer. RadonSeal is a permanent basement waterproofing solution for concrete slabs. It stops capillary water seepage due to hydrostatic pressure or wicking water. It also restricts the inflow of water vapor through the pores. It practically eliminates efflorescence and concrete dusting. RadonSeal does not change the surface appearance or profile, leaving the concrete suitable for paints, adhesives, tiles, flooring, epoxy, and coatings. It is a great waterproofing primer!

How To Repair A Leaking Concrete Slab Crack

A popular method is to route out the crack 1/4″ wide by 1/2″ deep and fill it with self-leveling caulk or hydraulic cement. The bad news is that these “fixes” are temporary at best. The caulk or hydraulic cement are certain to get loose and you have to route it out again. (Read more about the pitfalls of hydraulic cement crack repair.)

Instead, permanently repair the crack using CrackWeld Concrete Floor Repair Kit. It provides a strong, full-depth repair of cracks in concrete slabs, be it hairline or 1/2-inch wide. Stronger than concrete – the crack will not move, get longer, or wider. And there is no need to chase the crack before application.

Foundation Crack Repairs Made Easy

Most homes, both new and old, will develop a crack or two in their foundation walls. If the cracks aren’t leaking, it is only a matter of time until they do, as the exterior waterproofing coating has likely cracked as well. If your basement cracks are not leaking yet, now is the time to repair them to avoid water damage and mold growth. If they already seep water, the best time to repair them is as soon as they have stopped leaking.

Repairing foundation cracks yourself may seem like a daunting task but you may be surprised to learn it can be quite easy. RadonSeal DIY Concrete Crack Repair Kits or Professional Kits allow you to repair cracks in poured concrete walls like a pro! You will save $100’s and the repair is permanent!

Water Seepage through a Leaky Floor-to-Wall Joint

A common complaint from homeowners is; “Water is coming up from the corner floor-to-wall joint!” or “There is lots of water pushing up from underneath the slab!” However, this is not always true.

In some cases, when the water migrates through a poured concrete wall, it sinks and comes out at the bottom of the wall. In the case of concrete blocks, the hollow cavities fill up and the highest pressure is at the bottom of the water column. This seepage makes it appear like the water is coming up from the floor-to-wall joint. The solution is usually easy – seal the walls with RadonSeal to stop the water migration.

However, sometimes water building up outside the foundation seeps through the joint where the wall sits on the footing and then travels up through the floor-to-wall joint. The solution to this problem would be to chase the joint 1/2″ deep with a hand-held grinder and fill the joint using ElastiPoxy Joint & Crack Filler Kit (to provide a flexible repair). Alternatively, you can avoid having to use a grinder and inject the joint with our Easy-Peel DIY Foundation Crack Repair Kit – more expensive per linear foot, but the expanding polyurethane will also seal the leaky wall-to-footing joint.

In rare cases, water actually comes up from underneath the slab and at the same time, it will also seep through any cracks or contraction joints in the floor. It may push through the pores in the concrete and in the most extreme cases, form hissing mini-geysers on the floor. The solution is sealing the floor with RadonSeal Concrete Sealer and installing a sump pump to relieve some of the hydrostatic water pressure.

Waterproofing Stone or Brick Foundations

Many older homes have foundations constructed of limestone, sandstone, or fieldstone. The weak link in these types of foundations is the porous, soft, and crumbling mortar. It provides an easy avenue for water seepage which gets worse and worse as the mortar deteriorates.

Stone Foundations – First remove any loose or crumbling mortar with a wire brush or a wire wheel attachment for an electric drill. If needed, repoint the mortar filling small fissures and separations. Type S mortar is commonly used but a better option would be to use ElastiPoxy Joint & Crack Filler Kit (mixed with sand). Apply IonBond Armor to strengthen and waterproof the old mortar.

For limestone and sandstone and foundation walls use RadonSeal. RadonSeal will react inside limestone and sandstone, and strengthen the surface against crumbling and dusting.

Brick Foundations – To properly waterproof clay brick & mortar foundation walls use Use Ion-Bond Armor. Like RadonSeal, Ion-Bond penetrates deep into porous bricks and mortar. Ion-Bond is the ONLY silane/siloxane rated for negative-side hydrostatic pressure. The seal will never peel or crack because it does not form a surface film.

Once cured, the waterproofing seal will be practically permanent. There is no similar product compared to Ion-Bond sold on the marketplace today!

DIY Waterproofing Solutions Can Save You $1,000’s

Whether you need to waterproof a new or old basement, damp concrete floor, wet concrete block wall, crawl space, stone foundation, or leaky brick wall, RadonSeal has a long and well-proven history (est. 1997) of providing expert customer service and the most advanced, professional-quality basement repair products on the market.

Our line of Waterproofing SealersDIY Foundation Crack Repair KitsConcrete Floor Crack Repair KitsMortar & Joint Repair Kits are not only for professionals but also easy enough for use by the average homeowner.

Instead of investing in cookie-cutter waterproofing systems, which may not perform well or for very long, do-it-yourself basement waterproofing can be accomplished with a little know-how and by using the best products for your specific basement leak(s). We guarantee you will get long-lasting results without having to break the bank on expensive waterproofing methods.

We know from over 25-years of experience that basement waterproofing solutions are not always clear-cut! If you have questions about your basement or a particular project please contact a RadonSeal technician for expert advice.

CONCRETE BLOCKS – Moisture, Water VaporUse RadonSeal Plus
POURED CONCRETE WALLS – Dampness, MoistureWaterproof using RadonSeal Concrete Sealers
BASEMENT FLOORS – Water Vapor, DampnessWaterproofing using RadonSeal
FOUNDATION CRACKS – Leaky settling cracks.Repair using DIY Foundation Crack Repair Kits or PRO Crack Injection Kits
CONCRETE BLOCK CRACKSElastiPoxy Crack & Joint Filler Kit
BASEMENT FLOOR CRACKS – Hairline, Stress CracksCrackWeld Concrete Floor Repair Kit
BRICK WALLS – Dampness, MoistureWaterproof brick and mortar LastiSeal Brick & Concrete Sealer
MORTAR JOINTS – Separations & CracksReplace mortar using ElastiPoxy Crack & Joint Filler Kit
FLOOR-TO-WALL JOINT – Cove Join LeaksFill using ElastiPoxy Crack & Joint Filler Kit
CORNER CRACKS – Poured ConcreteDIY Foundation Crack Repair Kits
EXPANSION CONTROL JOINTS – Saw CutsElastiPoxy Crack & Joint Filler Kit
PIPES & CONDUITSSeal leaking penetrations with PipeTite Gap Filler Kit.
WIRE TIESPipeTite Gap Filler Kit
MAIN SUMP PUMP FAILInstall an Emergency Water-Powered Backup Sump Pump

Surprising Solutions That May Save You a Bundle

Leaking Water Pipes – Is your basement leaking or sump pump always running in rain or sunshine? Suspecting a spring under your basement? Call your water company first to have them check it! The water main to your curb box or the pipe to your house may be leaking, particularly if made of plastic. Usually, the serviceman will detect slight hissing in the pipe entering your basement.

Clean the Exterior Footing Drains – Footer drains, which are crucial to relieving the water pressure on your foundation may get clogged by silt or tree roots. If there is access, hire a contractor to clean them using high-pressure water jetting or with an auger snake. Old clay tiles may have collapsed and just a small section may need replacement.

Clean the Floor Drains – Make sure the floor drain is not clogged. Some experts recommend getting the entire drain cleaned by a drain cleaning company on an annual basis. Make sure that the drain has a U-trap filled with water so it does not let in soil gas, water vapor, and radon gas.

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Basement Waterproofing Companies

Solutions proposed to homeowners by basement waterproofing contractors typically require intrusive and expensive work. Each method has its pluses and minuses. None, however, provide a solution for both basement walls and floors, and all cost much more than using RadonSeal basement waterproofing products:

Hollow Baseboards – A plastic channel system (“interior gutters”) glued around the perimeter of the floor to collect water seeping through the basement walls and route it to a sump pump. Instead of keeping water out, it works after the water has entered – a bad idea! You cannot finish the basement walls because it would trap all the moisture evaporating from the channels, causing molds and mildew. It does not do anything against water seepage through the floor. Usual cost $5,000 to $10,000.

Floor Perimeter Drainage Gap – A “floating slab” design with a wide gap (1/2″ or more) around the floor in order to allow water seeping through the walls run down below the slab. A very bad concept! The walls should be built waterproof in the first place. The gap will let in tons of soil gas saturated with moisture and radon gas. Framing the walls would trap water vapor and lead to molds and mildew.

Sump Pump – Sump pumps relieve excessive water pressure by draining the gravel bed underneath the slab. Note: Not effective for leaking basement walls. Digging the pit and installing a sump pump will costs several $1,000. Be sure to install an airtight cover to prevent the release of water vapor and radon into the basement. Complete reliance on a sump pump is unwise – it may fail or the power may go off. If the basement is finished, make sure to install a backup sump pump to protect your investment.

Interior Footing Drains – The perimeter of the concrete floor has to be jackhammered, a perforated pipe is laid in gravel next to the footings, and a concrete cap is poured over the pipe (expect 1/2-inch of low-quality cement). The French drain carries water to a sump pump. Do not leave a gap next to the walls because it would let in vapor and radon. Usual cost is around $12,000, including the sump pump. It will reliably drain the gravel bed underneath the slab. But if there is no gravel or it is silted up, the center of the floor may still wick water. And it will do little for seepage through basement walls.

Exterior Waterproofing – This is a big job! It requires removing landscaping, excavating down to the footers, laying new perimeter footing drains in a bed of gravel, cleaning and waterproofing the walls, protective resin boards, drainage gravel, and backfilling. Since tar coating on concrete walls cracks and breaks down, use a rubberized (polymerized) membrane waterproofing coating, or a dimple drainage board over a dampproof coating (dimpled plastic sheets). The usual cost will be in the proximity of $25,000, but will do little for water seeping through the basement floor and foundation coatings are not permanent.