The Two C's

The Two C's

Interior Vs. Exterior Waterproofing: Which Techniques Should You Choose For Your Basement?

by Floyd Dunn

Interior and exterior waterproofing are different techniques whose primary role is to prevent moisture infiltration in the basement. Both methods prevent basement flooding, mold growth on basement floors and walls, and structural damage. However, the techniques vary in scope, results, cost, and other factors. Therefore, if you are unable to choose the best one for your basement, here are a few factors to consider.

Source and Extent of Moisture Infiltration

The source of moisture and extent of infiltration determine the best waterproofing technique for your basement. The causes of basement moisture are:

  • Rain or groundwater
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Poor land grading
  • Missing roof drainage system
  • An unreliable outdoor drainage system
  • Basement condensation
  • Foundation cracks

Interior Waterproofing

Interior waterproofing is effective for basements with condensation and moisture from minor plumbing leaks, groundwater, and foundation cracks. It involves using interior drainage systems to reroute any water that finds its way into the basement. The waterproofing system is made up of pipes and drains that catch water and redirect it to a sump pump for drainage. You can also use vapor barriers and sealants along the walls and floors to seal out moisture.

Exterior Waterproofing

Exterior waterproofing is the best technique for extensive moisture infiltration, especially due to poor grading and ineffective roof and outdoor drainage systems. This technique involves installing outdoor drainage systems to redirect water away from the foundation before it seeps into the basement. Thus, besides preventing basement flooding, it protects the foundation from moisture infiltration and damage.

Project Scope and Concerns

Exterior waterproofing involves earthwork and extensive excavation. To install the drainage system, your contractor has to dig a trench around the foundation. This project could cause extensive damage to the yard. Therefore, if you don't mind a disruptive project, it is the best solution for managing moisture in your basement.

Interior waterproofing is a fast and straightforward process. Depending on the nature of the infiltration, you can use sealants and vapor barriers alone or install a sump pump. Either way, the project doesn't involve any excavation work. Thus, if you are looking for a non-invasive waterproofing technique, this is your best solution. It also works well in properties where it is difficult or impossible to carry out excavation work.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Expectations

Interior waterproofing is usually a short-term solution to moisture issues in the basement. If you don't have an outdoor drainage system in place, moisture issues may worsen in the future, forcing you to redo the project. Exterior waterproofing offers a long-term approach to moisture issues. All you need to do is maintain the drainage system, and it will keep water away from your basement and foundation. 

Interior waterproofing offers a quick fix to basement moisture problems. However, in the long term, combining both waterproofing methods is the best way to permanently address the issue. Contact a company like Vulcan Waterproofing for further consultation.


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The Two C's

Welcome to a blog about the two C's. The two C's, as you might have already guessed are construction and contractors. These words are closely related. "Construction" refers to the art and science of building something. That something could be anything from a shed to a sidewalk. "Contractors" are the people who do the building. There are general contractors who do all sorts of building work, and then there are specialists who do work such as plumbing, electrical work, and drywall. Stop by and read a few articles when you have the time, and we promise you'll learn more about these two C's.