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Waterproof Your Basement: What You Need To Know For Your Rental Property

  • February 3, 2023
  • Property Manager
  • Category: Property Management

Are you tired of dealing with damp and musty basements at your rental property? Water damage can lead to unpleasant odors, pose health risks, and even ruin your property. But did you know that there’s a simple solution to this problem? Yes, you heard it right – waterproofing your basement.

In this article, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about “How to waterproof your basement at your rental property.” From assessing the basement to choosing the right waterproofing solution, we’ll cover all the important aspects of this crucial task. 

Whether you want to do it yourself or hire a professional, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of both options to help you make an informed decision. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to keep your basement dry and prevent water damage from affecting your rental property.

Assessing the Basement

Before starting any waterproofing project, it’s crucial to assess the condition of your basement. A thorough inspection can help you identify the root cause of the problem and determine the best solution to waterproof your basement. By doing so, you can save yourself time and money in the long run.

What to Look for in an Inspection?

  • Any cracks or gaps in the walls or floor
  • Signs of water damage, such as mold, discoloration, or mildew
  • Leaks from pipes, windows, or doors
  • Poor ventilation or high humidity levels
  • Any signs of settling or shifting of the foundation

How to Find Leaks and Other Sources of Water Damage

Finding the source of water damage is the key to resolving the problem and preventing future damage. Here are some steps you can follow:

  • Check for water stains or discoloration on the walls and floor
  • Look for any cracks or gaps that may be letting water in
  • Test the pipes and windows for leaks
  • Check the ventilation and humidity levels in the basement
  • Hire a professional to conduct a comprehensive inspection if you’re unsure of the source of the problem.

How to Waterproof Your Basement at Your Rental Property

DIY vs. Professional Waterproofing

Pros and Cons of Doing it Yourself

If you’re handy and have experience with home improvement projects, waterproofing your basement on your own can save you money. However, it can also be time-consuming and challenging, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the specific requirements of waterproofing your rental basement.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional

Hiring a professional to waterproof your basement comes with several benefits. They have the experience and expertise to identify the source of the problem and provide the best solution. They also have access to high-quality materials and tools that can save you money and time in the long run.

When to Choose a Professional

Choosing a professional is recommended if you have a complex basement layout, extensive water damage, or are uncomfortable tackling the project on your own. They can also handle permits and inspections, ensuring that your waterproofing solution is up to code.

Steps Involved in Waterproofing the Basement

  1. Clean and dry the basement
  2. Repair any cracks or gaps
  3. Install a vapor barrier
  4. Install a sump pump if necessary
  5. Seal the walls and floor

Tools and Materials Required for Waterproofing

The tools and materials required for waterproofing your rental basement can vary depending on the method you choose. However, some common items you may need include:

  • A sump pump
  • A vapor barrier
  • Caulk or silicone sealant
  • Waterproof paint or coating
  • A dehumidifier

Choosing the Right Waterproofing Solution

Waterproofing your rental basement can be a challenge, but there are several methods that you can use to keep your basement dry. Some of the most common waterproofing methods include:

  1. Exterior waterproofing: This involves applying a waterproof barrier outside your basement walls.
  2. Interior waterproofing: This involves sealing the interior of your basement to stop water from seeping in. You can use various products for this purpose, such as sealants, membranes, or coatings.
  3. Drainage systems: Installing a drainage system can help prevent water from seeping into your basement. This can include sump pumps, french drains, and other drain systems.

Considerations for choosing a solution

When choosing a waterproofing solution, there are several factors to consider, including:

  • The severity of the problem: A simple interior solution may be enough if your basement is only slightly damp. If your basement is frequently flooded, you may need a more comprehensive solution, such as exterior waterproofing.
  • Cost: Some waterproofing solutions can be expensive, so it’s vital to consider your budget when choosing a solution.
  • Ease of installation: Some waterproofing solutions are easy to install, while others require professional installation.
  • Effectiveness: Consider the long-term effectiveness of each solution to ensure that it will meet your long-term needs.

Cost comparison of different methods

The cost of waterproofing your rental basement can vary greatly depending on your chosen method. Here’s a rough cost comparison of different methods:

  1. Exterior waterproofing: $5,000 to $20,000.
  2. Interior waterproofing: $1,000 to $5,000.
  3. Drainage systems: $2,000 to $10,000.

Don’t forget that these are rough estimates, and the actual cost of waterproofing your rental basement will depend on various factors, including the size of your basement, the severity of the problem, and the method you choose.

Maintenance and Upkeep of Your Waterproofed Basement

Keeping the Basement Dry and Moisture-Free

Maintaining a dry and moisture-free basement is vital to keeping it waterproof. This involves controlling humidity levels, regularly cleaning the space, and promptly fixing any leaks or cracks. 

You can also purchase a dehumidifier to help regulate the moisture levels in the air. If you have a rental basement, it’s crucial to keep it dry to avoid any issues with your tenants.

Regular Inspections and Maintenance

Performing regular inspections and maintenance of your basement will help keep it in good condition and prevent future water damage. This includes checking for any signs of water damage, such as mold, mildew, or moisture. 

You should also inspect the waterproofing system installed in your basement to ensure it’s properly working. Remember to check any appliances that use water, such as your washing machine and water heater, as they can cause leaks.

Prevention of Future Water Damage

Preventing future water damage starts with keeping the basement dry and moisture-free, but there are other steps you can take to ensure the space remains protected. This includes regularly checking for any leaks or cracks in the foundation, properly directing rainwater away from the foundation, and ensuring your gutters and downspouts are working correctly. 

If you’ve waterproofed your basement, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintaining the system. Regular maintenance and upkeep will help you avoid costly repairs and keep your basement in top shape for years to come.


In conclusion, waterproofing your basement is a crucial step in ensuring the longevity and protection of your rental property. Knowing how to assess your basement and identify the sources of water damage is the first step in finding the right solution. 

Whether you waterproof your basement yourself or hire a professional, it’s important to understand each option’s pros and cons and choose the best solution for your needs and budget. The cost of waterproofing your basement can vary, but it’s a worthwhile investment that will help prevent costly water damage. 

Regular maintenance and inspections can help keep your basement dry and moisture-free, so keep up with these essential tasks. Learning how to waterproof your basement at your rental property will give you peace of mind and help protect your investment for years to come.