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How Much Does it Cost to Waterproof a Basement in Michigan?

September 14th, 2023 | 4 min read

By Brian Taylor

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As a homeowner, the comfort and protection of your living space are paramount. Your basement, though often overlooked, plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of your home.

However, persistent water seepage, dampness, and even flooding can turn this vital area into a source of stress and concern. These problems not only compromise the structural stability of your home but can also lead to mold growth, diminished air quality, and damage to your belongings, particularly if you’re like us and want a finished basement that you can use as a home entertainment spot or relaxation station.

Addressing these water-related challenges becomes an urgent necessity to ensure your home remains a safe and healthy environment for your family.

At Custom Built, we understand the frustration and anxiety that basement water issues can bring. With over 15 years of experience in the remodeling industry, we have encountered and successfully resolved various basement waterproofing challenges.

In this article, we delve into the essential aspects of basement waterproofing, exploring the various methods, costs, and factors contributing to the overall process:

7 Factors Affecting the Basement Waterproofing Cost

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When it comes to waterproofing your basement, several key factors come into play, influencing the overall cost of the project. Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions and invest in the right solution for your home's needs.

1. Size and Layout of the Basement

The size of your basement is a primary determinant of the cost. Larger basements require more materials and labor, leading to higher overall expenses. Additionally, the layout of your basement can impact the complexity of the waterproofing process. 

Basements with multiple rooms, corners, and angles may require more intricate waterproofing techniques such as sump pump installation, potentially increasing costs.

2. Severity of Water Issues

The extent of the water issue plays a significant role in determining the cost. Minor leaks or dampness may be easier to address and less expensive. However, if your basement experiences severe flooding or consistent water infiltration, more comprehensive waterproofing measures will be necessary, leading to higher costs.

This is especially true if you live in a high flood area like Grand River, where we see these issues more often.

3. Type of Waterproofing Method

The chosen waterproofing method is a significant factor in cost variation. Interior and exterior waterproofing methods each have their associated expenses. Interior methods, such as installing drainage systems and sump pumps, are generally less expensive than exterior methods like waterproof membranes and improved drainage systems.

4. Additional Repairs and Preparations

In some cases, additional repairs or preparations may be necessary before waterproofing can begin. This could include addressing cracks in the foundation, repairing damaged walls, or addressing drainage issues around the house's exterior. These repairs can add to the overall cost of the project but are essential for ensuring the effectiveness of the waterproofing solution.

5. Accessibility and Obstructions

The accessibility of your basement can affect the cost of waterproofing. Basements that are more difficult to access due to tight spaces, narrow staircases, or other obstacles may require more time and labor, potentially leading to higher costs.

6. Geographic Location

The geographical location of your home also plays a role in the cost of basement waterproofing. Homes in Michigan and the Great Lakes region with higher rainfall or areas prone to flooding may require more extensive waterproofing measures to prevent water infiltration effectively. Contractors may also need to consider local building codes and regulations, which can impact the project's cost.

7. Professional Expertise

Hiring experienced and qualified professionals for your waterproofing project can affect the cost. While skilled contractors may charge higher fees, their expertise ensures that the waterproofing is done correctly, reducing the risk of future water damage and costly repairs.

Interior Basement Waterproofing Costs

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Interior waterproofing involves managing water that has already entered the basement. Standard methods include installing interior drainage systems, sump pumps, and moisture barriers. On average, the cost of interior waterproofing can range from $5,000 - $15,000 (design-build firm range; labor and materials included), depending on the project's complexity.

Interior Drainage Systems

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PC: Everdry Waterproofing (French Drain)

These systems, such as French drains, collect and redirect water away from the foundation. The cost can range from $5,000 - $15,000, depending on the size and complexity of the drainage network. Proper installation is essential to ensure adequate water diversion.

Sump Pump Installation

Sump pumps are designed to remove excess water from the basement. The cost can vary from $500 to $2,500, depending on the pump's features and power. A reliable sump pump prevents flooding during heavy rains or snowmelt.

Moisture Barriers

Moisture barriers, like sealants and coatings, help prevent water vapor from entering the basement. Costs can range from $1 to $3 per square foot, including materials and labor. These barriers are particularly useful for addressing minor moisture issues.

Exterior Basement Waterproofing Costs

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Exterior waterproofing is a more comprehensive approach that involves addressing water issues before they enter the foundation. It includes installing waterproof membranes, applying coatings, and improving drainage systems. The cost for exterior waterproofing can range from $10,000 to $25,000 or more, depending on the size and condition of your foundation.

Waterproof Membranes

Applying waterproof membranes to the exterior walls can cost around $8 to $12 per square foot, including excavation and installation. Comprised of rubber or latex, this method provides a robust defense against water intrusion.

Exterior Drainage Systems

Improving the grading around your home and installing downspout extensions can help redirect water away from the foundation. Costs can range from $1,500 to $4,000 (depending on your basement’s square footage, materials, and labor). Proper grading and drainage prevent water accumulation around your home.

Next steps to waterproofing your basement

Don't let basement water issues shadow your home's safety and your family's well-being. Remember the initial worries you had about water damage and mold growth and the impact it can have on your living space. These concerns are valid, and addressing them is crucial for a healthier, more comfortable home.

By understanding the factors affecting the cost of basement waterproofing, you've gained valuable insights into the complexity of the process.

You now have a clear picture of the methods available, the importance of professional assessment, and the costs associated with different solutions. With this knowledge, you're better equipped to make informed decisions that suit your home's needs and budget.

Custom Built stands as your trusted partner in the journey of basement waterproofing. With 15+ years of experience and dedication to creating safe and dry living spaces, we're your go-to source for expert advice and reliable solutions. We've successfully tackled various basement water issues, and we're here to ensure your home benefits from our expertise.

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Now that you know how much it’ll cost to waterproof your basement, let’s take a look at the essential costs and considerations you should know before heading into your project basement finishing:

Brian Taylor

Brian brings 20+ years of experience in the home remodeling industry to the table. He’s worked with families in all areas of whole home performance (science-backed solutions for home health, safety, comfort, and efficiency), residential renewable energy, conservation, foundation, and hydrostatic issues and solutions.