Basement waterproofing is an essential home upgrade project that is often overlooked but is extremely important, especially if you are in a low-lying area that is more likely susceptible to flooding and water collection from a heavy downpour. If your home is situated in an area that is or gets waterlogged often, waterproofing your basement is important to ensure that the moisture from the earth doesn’t seep into your home.

Do I Need to Waterproof My Basement Prior To Having It Finished?

When it comes to finishing your basement and ensuring your home is properly waterproofed, it is not a simple yes or no answer if waterproofing needs to be completed prior to your basement finishing. There are two methods of waterproofing your basement, one is internal waterproofing and the other is external waterproofing. Out of the two options, external waterproofing tends to be the more popular, this entails digging a trench around your home to expose the foundation and laying weeping tile at the bottom of the trench, and affixing a waterproof membrane against your foundation to prevent water from seeping in. If, however, this option is not available, then interior basement waterproofing will be necessary, and in this case,  you will need to complete your waterproofing project before finishing your basement.

Here are some of the reasons why you should waterproof your basement before having it finished:

1. Additional Expenses

If you decide to go ahead and finish your basement before waterproofing it, you may have to spend twice the amount you planned initially. There is nothing wrong with taking your time to waterproof your basement before finishing it. If you choose to finish your basement and later discover that external waterproofing is not a viable option, completing internal basement waterproofing will cause you to spend more money on preparing your basement for waterproofing, and then you will have additional expenses to refinish the parts of your basement you had to open up for the waterproofing. 

2. Property Damage

Another reason for waterproofing your basement before having it finished is to avoid property damage or water damage. If you first finished your basement without waterproofing it, your home may be vulnerable to water damage, if there is flooding from significant rain or overground flooding. The cost of the water damage restoration may be significantly higher than the initial cost of waterproofing your basement, as you now have to account for the damaged material, furniture, and belongings that went into your finished basement.

3. Potential Loss of Insurance Coverage

In some cases, if you finish your basement before ensuring it is properly waterproofed and your home suffers damage due to water, your insurance company may void your protection, claiming that you did not exercise due care and that the damage resulted from your negligence. This all depends on the age of your home and the area your home is located.

4. Inconvenience

Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best is a great strategy when it comes to protecting your home, loved ones, and belongings. Ensuring your home is properly waterproofed prior to taking on a large renovation project in your basement ensures the waterproofing work can be completed easily. Even if your waterproofing is external, an empty basement will make installing a sump pump and a one-way valve on your main drain easier.

There are many reasons to complete your basement waterproofing project before you finish your basement. However, it is not a make-or-break scenario. If your basement is already finished or if you finished it before completing waterproofing, you. Still have options that won’t necessarily affect your finished basement.