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Why to Waterproof Your Basement Before Finishing

We can protect your finished basement from water damage

Water damaged finished basement

Few things can destroy a newly finished basement like groundwater flooding or a plumbing failure.

If you have a one-story home with a full basement, then that basement represents a major portion of its usable space. The best way to make use of this space is to finish the basement into a new, comfortable living space. But like all home improvements, a little preparation beforehand can go a long way to protecting your investment.

At Ohio Basement Authority, our basement waterproofing system is the perfect solution to your wet basement. If you have had your basement damaged by water or are planning on finishing your basement, contact us first to get a free estimate on a basement waterproofing solution for your home. We offer all our waterproofing solutions in Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Springfield, Mansfield and throughout southern Ohio.

Six Steps To Take Before Finishing

At Ohio Basement Authority, we’ve seen just about everything that can happen to a finished basement, and we’re called in to waterproof them daily. Once the basement is finished, repairing and waterproofing the space is much more expensive.

If you’re planning to finish the basement, this is what we recommend to prepare it beforehand. If your basement is already finished, many of these precautions may still be made.

Install An Effective Drainage System

Perimeter drain installation

If your basement floods after it’s been finished, the flooding groundwater will damage drywall, fiberglass insulation, and many other wall finishing products.

To repair a finished basement that’s flooded, you will need to cut away the damaged wall, fiberglass, and studs so that a drainage system can be installed. After the drainage system has been installed, you can opt to bring a carpenter in afterwards.

However, the better choice is to install that drainage system before the basement is finished. Many homeowners choose this option as a precaution even if their basement has never flooded before.

Install A Complete Sump Pump System

Sump pump installation

Installing a sump pump system ensures that you can discharge large volumes of water from your home in the case of heavy rains of a plumbing failure. If you’ve installed a drainage system, you should definitely install a sump system as well.

The best sump pumps are ready for anything — including power outages and sump pump failure. This means that your system should include both a battery backup sump pump and a secondary sump system that can kick on if your primary pump fails.

The systems we install at Ohio Basement Authority also include an alarm system that sounds off in the unlikely event of a pump failure — so you can respond right away.

Guard Against Frozen Discharge Lines

Sump pump discharge line

If you have a sump pump system, it will generally discharge water outside of your home, sending it downhill so it does not pool around your foundation.

One of the most common causes of sump pump failure occurs when these discharge lines become clogged with ice or debris.

Once the water has no way out of the home, the sump system backs up, and a flood occurs in your finished basement.

To protect against this issue, your drainage system should include an open discharge line extension such as our FreezeGuard™ System, which gives water a secondary way out of your home.

Install A Ducted Dehumidifier System

Keeping your basement dry is key to creating a healthier, more comfortable space in your home. Eliminating humidity will keep mold, mildew and rot under control, and can even lower heating and cooling costs.

A good dehumidifier should run without the owner even knowing it’s working. The best ones are self-draining, and can be installed with ductwork. That way, they can dry air in your living space while being stored in a closet or utility area. Our Dehumidifier can be operated via a digital control panel, similar to a home thermostat.

When possible, look for a dehumidifier that’s ENERGY STAR® Rated to ensure maximum savings on your utility bills.

Perform Basic Exterior Maintenance

Clogged gutters

For a typical home, a 1″ rainfall adds up to about 500 gallons of water on your roof. Unless your exterior is properly designed to handle this water volume, this can mean a lot of water in the soils around your basement.

Extending your downspouts and keeping your gutters clean of leaves and debris is an important part of properly maintaining your home (and will help prevent damaging ice dams in the winter). Your basement window wells should also be carefully cleaned of leaves, debris, and weeds about twice a year.

To make sure that water is running away from your home, it’s also vital to check the grading. If necessary, regrade this soil so it’s pitched away from the foundation.

Install Plumbing Leak Safeguards

If you’ve invested a lot of time and money to protect your basement from flooding from the outside, it’s certainly worth it to spend a little on protecting your basement from plumbing leaks from the inside.

Water heaters can begin to leak significantly as they age. If you already have a perimeter drain system installed, it’s a simple thing to install a ring around the water heater that connects to that drainage system.

Let us help you prepare your basement for finishing

If you’re looking to finish or remodel your basement, make sure your investment is protected from water damage. Contact us online to get a free estimate on our complete basement waterproofing system. We offer all our services in Columbus, Springfield, Cincinnati, Dayton and throughout southern Ohio.

Looking for a price? Get a no cost, no obligation free estimate.


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We Serve the Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati metros and Southern Ohio

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Ohio Basement Authority
911 Stelzer Road
Columbus, OH 43219
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