4 BIG Reasons Why Waterproofing Your Own Basement Is A Bad Idea

Waterproofing Your Basement

For those DIY types out there – waterproofing your basement may seem like a great idea. With no shortage of video and information online to learn more about the process, one could attempt to take on this project themselves to keep water out of their basement.

While we all know the good sides of waterproofing including helping the outside drainage and reducing the potential cracks and seepage in the basement walls, there are also some cons and negative sides to this decision to take this project on yourself.

Waterproofing Your Basement

Here the homeowner dug the trench but did not complete the job. Without proper shoring, the hole caved in creating a hazardous situation.

Why Waterproofing Your Basement Is A Bad Idea

Here are the some of the common pitfalls of waterproofing your own basement:

You Need To Be Fast And Efficient

First and foremost, waterproofing your basement is a labour intensive job and there are many steps in the process.  We commonly see that the job was started by the homeowner who dug the hole but didn’t complete the job.  The hole was left open to take in more moisture and in some cases cave in.  Or the ground was so saturated with water that it had to dry out before it could be properly excavated.

If you don’t have the materials and time to complete the job quickly, it’s best not to start.

Using The Wrong Basement Waterproofing Materials

A big part of this process are the basement waterproofing materials – or the coating or sheeting that should be applied to the exterior of basement walls. If you are trying to waterproof your own home, this means digging up the area around your home, applying the waterproofing material of choice and backfilling the trench.

We often see a variety of materials used during these DIY attempts including tar, which will not provide a long-term solution if the foundation is not properly repaired.

RCC uses top of the line waterproofing materials like our Hydro Guard Pro Series which is an emulsified asphalt membrane specifically designed for waterproofing walls and other structures.

It’s Not Just About Digging

Exterior waterproofing is a process that requires excavation of the earth around the area of the foundation where water is coming in. This process has to be done quickly and carefully by a skilled team and requires much more work than you think. It may also require a permit.

It is common for the DIY homeowner to not call for the proper Stake Outs to determine utility locates.  This could cause a serious occurrence if one were to hit a gas or water line during the excavation.

The Dangers of Excavation

If you are attempting to waterproof your own home from the outside, keep in mind that you will likely be digging a trench that is 7 – 8 ft deep.  This can be very dangerous and without proper shoring, the hole could cave in and cause serious injury.  Hiring a contractor who specializes in excavation and employs safe digging techniques and trench bracing is highly recommended.

A Final Word

In the end, basement waterproofing is not something to take lightly. RCC is often called in to finish a botched DIY job that may have saved the homeowner money in the short term but ended up costing more time and money to repair. Better to call a professional waterproofing contractor to get the job done right.

“I would say safety is the big issue with trying to waterproof your own home. Every year there is typically one fatality as result of trenches caving in.  More often than not it’s the homeowner. Every RCC employee attends an annual safety seminar conducted by a third party and this is mandatory.  Trenching & Excavation Hazard Awareness is a big part of this training and every crew member and employee receives certification.”

Jamie Hallett, RCC Waterproofing Consultant

Exterior Waterproofing Done Right

RCC Waterproofing and Foundation Repairs has been servicing Ontario customers for over 100 years. Their repairs have outlived lifetime warranties by at least two times. The company provides professionally trained sales representatives to view, assess and quote on repairs. The installers are employees of RCC and most have long term working relationships. RCC carries full insurance including WSIB coverage and HST registration.

RCC Waterproofing offers:
  • A Lifetime Waterproofing Guarantee!
  • 24-hour emergency services for Ontario residences
  • Fully trained technical sales representatives to view, assess and quote the repair
  • Over 100 years of third-generation family success both in products and services and superb warranty
  • Full-service options, providing either exterior or interior repairs depending on issues, location, and structure
  • A successful record of servicing over 75,000 customers

To learn more, contact RCC Waterproofing at 416-747-1920 or Toll-Free 1-888-766-2071 or Contact RCC for a Free Inspection