Over the years it has become clear that many homeowners avoid having waterproofing done because they are afraid that the necessary repairs for their basement will cost them a small fortune. Actually, getting basement leaks fixed, when dealing with an ethical company, will likely cost you far less than what you might think.
Fixing Basement Leaks Costs a Fortune - Right?
Traditionally, basement waterproofing always involved excavating the foundation; a costly undertaking indeed. Today there are a number of ways to fix wet basements from within the basement itself -a much less expensive (and less destructive) proposition.
In general, the cost to fix a basement leak can be as low as $150, to 10’s of $1,000’s; obviously the repair method and the amount of waterproofing will determine the actual cost to waterproof a basement.
Below are the price ranges for basement waterproofing repairs in the Greater Toronto Area. The prices listed were obtained during meetings with clients that had obtained several estimates.
Industry Average Cost of Waterproofing a Basement – December 2015
- Average price to fix interior cracks in a poured concrete foundation by crack injection - $350 - $575 per crack;
- Tie-rod hole (form tie) leak repairs - $25 - $150 per hole depending upon the quantity repaired;
- Window well drain installation - $850 - $1200 per window well;
- External excavation and waterproofing (average cost to fix weeping tile) - $100 - $250 per linear foot influenced by excavation depth and accessibility (minimums usually apply);
- Exterior foundation crack repair - $400 - $1400;
- Interior perimeter drain / weeping tile system installation - $50 - $85 per linear foot (minimums usually apply);
- Sump pump installation (basic submersible with liner) - $900 - $1750; and
- Crack stabilization - $50 - $300 per crack.
Additional Costs You May Incur When Waterproofing Your Basement
In some instances it is necessary to budget additional funds above and beyond the cost of the waterproofing. Some common examples are:
- Air conditioning unit removal and reinstallation to permit excavation ($500);
- Deck, patio, fence, driveway removal and reinstallation to permit excavation;
- Landscaping after external waterproofing;
- Weeping tile flushing during external waterproofing ($350 - $800);
- Finished basement wall tear-out and disposal for interior weeping tile system installation; and
- Hot water tank removal and reinstallation for interior weeping tile / perimeter drain system installation ($300).
The Main Factors Affecting What Basement Waterproofing Costs
From the prices listed above, prices vary, sometimes considerably. This wide price range for waterproofing is due to a number of factors:
- The size, reputation and professionalism of the company;
- The quality, type and quantity of waterproofing products used, as well as the processes and procedures utilized;
- Whether or not the company and its employees and/or subcontractors are insured;
- Whether or not the company is categorized as a specialized “waterproofing contractor” or a “general” contractor;
- The quality of a company’s customer service;
- The extent to which workplace safety practices are observed;
- The skill and expertise of the employees; and
- Market demand.
Why There Are Major Price Differences Between Waterproofing Quotes
The foundation waterproofing estimates you obtain, to a large extent, reflect a basement waterproofing contractor’s cost of doing business.
Marketing costs, salaries and benefits, and overhead are the main influencers of a waterproofing contractor’s costs, which are subsequently passed on to you. Basement waterproofing companies that don’t have commercial liability insurance or do not insure their employees through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), use subcontractors, or work out of their home will have lower costs, giving them the ability to offer lower prices.
Be sure to check out the companion blog article: Basement Waterproofing Cost Reduction Strategies For Homeowners.
Low Pricing For Basement Waterproofing Services May Actually Be a Red Flag
As in any occupation, there are many ways to cut corners. In the basement waterproofing industry this cutting of corners takes place in the details; here are a few examples:
- Some waterproofing materials are far better and longer lasting than others (naturally they cost more);
- No two basement waterproofing jobs are the same; at times, the materials used need to be different (one size does not fit all);
- The use of employees with minimal skill, or temporary labourers, introduces the risk that the waterproofing work will not be done properly and therefore not stand the test of time or demanding weather conditions;
- Unsafe excavation practices - common within the industry, and unsafe work practices such as no work boots, hearing protection or safety glasses, keeps cost down but adds to the risk of worksite injuries; and
- The company offers low pricing because it does substandard work and has no intention of honouring the warranties it provides.
Be sure to check out our related blog post entitled: Basement leak repair cost
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