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How to Finish a Basement’s Waterproofing

Mar 1, 2019 | Pavement, Services

We all want extra square footage in our homes. After all, extra space adds value and increases ROI (return on investment). But before you start, there are a few thing you should know about how to finish a basement’s watrerproofing.

But before diving head-first into a basement finishing project, it’s important that the basement in question is in the right condition from the start.

In this post, we’ll cover 8 basics on turning a basement into an additional living space, beginning with the benefit of basement waterproofing.

Water issues

There’s no harm in having a dream. But some basements simply aren’t suitable for a finishing project to start. Basements with severe water issues need professional intervention long before the furniture is moved in. Always handle water issues by calling a professional.

Outside issues

Moisture problems can originate outside rather easily. Aspects of the ground around your home, like an improper slope, can open the ground up for water. Further, faulty gutters and downspouts are often to blame for excess water running next to the foundation. If you think your landscape might be a problem, you need to call drainage experts before you start.


Ensure that there are no future water problems, and let a landscape professional design and install a waterproofing system that will work best in your home. Whether it’s a French drain, a sump pit, sealed walls, or an extra sump pump to stop the threat of flooding, a waterproof basement is what you need from the beginning.

Within code

After any water issues are taken care of, you will want to check with the local building code department for any permits that you might need. Altering a basement without these codes could result in fines and reversals. Getting the proper authority to approve your project is as simple as making a phone call to your local municipal building.

Vapor barriers

Basement walls need to be framed with studs and drywall to create a living area. But before you let a contractor enclose the area, ensure that your basement is protected from moisture with an installed vapor barrier. Having a basement waterproofing contractor assess your basement for the proper vapor barrier will prevent future moisture issues.

Offset space

Subterranean living areas are prone to having water problems. So help stop moisture from penetrating your vapor barrier by creating an offset space between the concrete wall and the installed barrier. Work closely with your basement waterproofing contractor to ensure that this is done correctly.


Plumbing and HVAC should be insulated thoroughly to avoid heat and moisture transfer. This includes any plumbing connected to water heaters and all ductwork coming out of your furnace. Better insulation means that your basement living area will be protected from drips and moisture, so call a trusted insulation company today.

Leave space

Your design might not have compensated for mechanical devices, but it’s important that there is ample space in and around things like your furnace and hot water tank. There should be enough room around each so that a person can service them as needed. Too little room means that wall will have to come down if something malfunctions.

A finished basement is a luxury that many people want. But before you potentially waste thousands of dollars that you will never get back, make sure that all of your best-laid plans are backed up by the professionals.

For more information on how we can help you achieve a dry basement, please contact us today for an estimate.

Johnson’s Landscaping Service is a family owned and operated full-service landscaping company serving residential and commercial clients of Northwest DC and Montgomery County for 50 years.

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About the Author

Matt Johnson grew up in a family of landscapers and gardeners as the grandson of Raymond Johnson (Founder, 1933, Johnson's Florist and Garden Center) and son of James and Carol Johnson (Founders, 1960, Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc.). Since 2007, he has led Johnson's Landscaping Service with his brother, Charlie.  Matt and his wife Jaime live in Petworth in Northwest DC with their 3 sons and 2 big dogs.

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