Installing Waterproofing for Foundation Drainage

Waterproofing is a crucial aspect of maintaining a sturdy and reliable foundation for any building. A foundation drainage system plays a vital role in keeping water away from the foundation, preventing any potential damage. A properly installed waterproofing system will ensure the longevity and structural integrity of the building. In this article, we will explore various installation methods for waterproofing foundation drainage systems and discuss their benefits.

Why is Waterproofing Foundation Drainage Systems Important?

Before diving into the installation methods, it’s essential to understand the significance of waterproofing foundation drainage systems. Water is the most common cause of foundation damage, and moisture in the soil around the foundation can lead to various issues such as:

  • Soil erosion
  • Excessive hydrostatic pressure
  • Cracks in the foundation walls
  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Weakening of the foundation

To mitigate these potential problems, a properly installed foundation drainage system is necessary. It can effectively divert water away from the foundation, keeping it dry and secure.

Installation Methods for Waterproofing Foundation Drainage Systems

Let’s explore some common installation methods for waterproofing foundation drainage systems:

Exterior Waterproofing Method

The exterior waterproofing method involves installing a waterproof barrier on the external surface of the foundation walls. Here’s the step-by-step process:

  1. Excavation: The first step is to excavate the soil around the foundation walls, providing access to the exterior surface.

  2. Surface Preparation: Clean and smoothen the foundation walls to ensure proper adhesion of the waterproofing materials.

  3. Apply Waterproofing Membrane: Install a waterproofing membrane, such as asphalt-modified polyurethane, to the exterior surface of the foundation walls. This membrane acts as a barrier, preventing water intrusion.

  4. Drainage System Installation: Install a perforated drainpipe at the base of the foundation walls to collect and redirect water away from the foundation. Connect the drainpipe to a sump pump or a gravity Drain system.

  5. Backfilling: Once the waterproofing membrane and drainage system are installed, backfill the excavated area with gravel or soil.

Interior Waterproofing Method

While exterior waterproofing is effective, it may not be feasible in certain situations. In such cases, the interior waterproofing method is an alternative option. Here’s how it is done:

  1. Identify Problem Areas: Identify areas where water is entering the foundation walls or basement.

  2. Repair Cracks: Seal any visible cracks or gaps in the foundation walls using hydraulic cement or epoxy.

  3. Apply Waterproofing Coating: Apply a waterproofing coating to the interior surface of the foundation walls. Common options include elastomeric coatings or crystalline waterproofing materials.

  4. Install Drainage System: Install an interior drainage system, such as a French drain or weeping tiles, along the perimeter of the basement. This system collects water and redirects it to a sump pump or a drainage outlet.

  5. Finish the Interior: Once the waterproofing and drainage system are installed, finish the interior by installing insulation, drywall, or any other desired finishes.

Combination Method

In some cases, a combination of both exterior and interior waterproofing methods might be necessary for maximum protection against water intrusion. This method is particularly useful in areas with extremely high water tables or heavy rainfall.

The combination method involves following both the exterior and interior waterproofing steps, adapting them to the specific needs of the building.


  1. How long does it take to install a foundation drainage system?

The installation time can vary based on factors such as the size of the building, the extent of excavation needed, and the chosen waterproofing method. On average, it may take a few days to a couple of weeks.

  1. Can I install a foundation drainage system myself?

While it is possible to install a foundation drainage system yourself, it is recommended to hire a professional Contractor with experience in waterproofing. Proper installation is crucial to ensure the effectiveness of the system.

  1. How much does it cost to install a foundation drainage system?

The cost of installation can vary greatly depending on factors like the size of the building, the chosen waterproofing method, and the region. It is advisable to obtain quotes from multiple Contractors for accurate pricing information.


Protecting your building’s foundation from water damage is of utmost importance. By installing a proper foundation drainage system with one of the discussed methods – exterior, interior, or a combination approach – you can effectively divert water away from the foundation. Whether you choose to hire a professional or tackle the installation yourself, ensure that the process is carried out with precision. Remember, a well-installed waterproofing system will contribute to the durability and stability of your building in the long run.

Cape Town Waterproofing

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