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The Tennessee Guide to Basement Waterproofing

Dank and water-stained corner of a basement.

Are you a homeowner in Tennessee with a wet basement? If so, this guide has what you need. It covers everything you need to know about basement waterproofing in Tennessee including how basements get wet, signs of water intrusion, why it’s important to waterproof your basement, basement waterproofing solutions, and more. 

Why is There Water in Your Basement?

There are several ways that water can seep into your basement and cause it to get wet. These include the following:

  • Wall cracks – Another reason your basement may be getting wet is because of basement wall cracks. Even the smallest cracks make it possible for water to leak inside, especially during heavy rainstorms or when the ground is saturated with water. It’s important to regularly check your basement walls and repair any cracks as soon as they’re discovered.
  • Cove joints – The cove joint is the point where the floor meets the foundation wall in your basement. If the basement shifts for any reason, it could cause cracks to form in the floor. When this happens, water may seep into your basement through the cove joint after heavy rainfall or flooding.  
  • Leaky windows – Basement windows that are old or damaged may allow water to leak inside. Look along the walls to see if there are discolored trails under the basement windows—this is clear sign that water is leaking inside.
  • Poor drainage – If groundwater isn’t able to drain away from your home, it collects underground and next to the walls of your basement. Eventually, this water puts pressure on the basement and causes structural damage like bowing walls—which make it easier for water to leak inside.

There are many factors that can contribute to a wet basement, but thankfully there are also many solutions to prevent this from happening. By taking proper precautions, like fixing cracks, ensuring proper drainage, and maintaining gutters and downspouts, you can keep your basement dry and comfortable.  

What Happens When Water is in Your Basement?

Water in your basement is never a good thing. Even just a little bit of water can lead to serious issues for your home and the basement itself. Left unchecked, here’s what can happen to a wet basement:

Damp Walls

Water that gets into your basement is going to create a more humid atmosphere. This allows moisture to seep into surfaces within the basement. Often, this leads to damp walls that feel wet to the touch.

Water stains on a wet basement wall.

Standing Water

Another issue that arises when water gets into your basement is standing water. Puddles in your basement clearly indicate a problem caused by leaks or faulty drainage. Over time, standing water can damage items in your basement.

Nasty water on the floor of a basement.


Efflorescence is a white, powdery substance that can appear on unfinished basement concrete. It is a clear sign of moisture issues and indicates water is seeping through the walls. Even if you don’t see any standing water, the presence of this powdery substance can serve as a warning of underlying problems that require attention.

Green and white efflorescence staining a concrete block basement wall.

Mold Growth

Dampness creates the perfect environment for mold growth. Noticing it on walls, floors, or belongings clearly indicates excessive moisture. If you see mold in your basement, address it right away, as this substance poses health risks to anyone who comes in contact with it.

Mold growing on a block basement wall.

How to Prevent Water from Getting Into Your Basement

There are plenty of basement waterproofing tools designed to keep your basement dry and safe. AFS installs leading basement waterproofing solutions that address the main causes behind water intrusion in a basement. 

BasementGutter™ Internal Drainage System

We install our BasementGutter™ Internal Drainage System along your basement’s perimeter to collect water coming in from the walls. This drainage system redirects the excess water to your sump pump for removal.

Basement drain along the floor of a basement.

Sump Pump System

We highly recommend a sump pump system for every basement. This effective system automatically pumps excess water from your basement and away from your property, preventing excess moisture build-up

Sump pump installed with backup batter power.

WallSeal™ Vapor Barrier

Vapor Barriers are a permanent solution to address humidity. We apply a 12-mil thick barrier directly to the wall, preventing moisture seepage. This method immediately addresses any issues with wet walls to keep your basement dry.

AFS crew placing a vapor barrier onto a basement wall.

AquaStop™ Basement Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier can do wonders for extracting excess humidity from your basement’s air. Our AquaStop™ Basement Dehumidifier is a robust system that removes 100 pints of water from the air per day, circulating more than 300 cubic feet of dry air per minute.

Dehumidifier on white background with vent coming out of it.

Why it’s Important to Waterproof Your Basement

Basements offer homeowners a lot in the way of convenience; they serve as extra storage, a rec room, and even additional living space. But they are also an essential part of your home’s structure. So, if your basement is compromised by water damage, the problems could affect the rest of your home.

Long-Term Effects of Water Damage

Finding unwanted water in any space of your home is never fun. However, in your basement, it can really spell trouble. When this area stays wet, it can not only damage personal belongings, but also lead to wood rot and cracked walls. In addition to structural concerns, mold loves a moist environment, so basements are high-risk spaces for mold growth, too.

Preserving Your Home’s Value

Water-damaged homes are less attractive to prospective buyers. Buyers may consider the property less valuable when you sell your home because of moisture-related issues. This can decrease the marketability of your home, causing it to take longer to sell.

How to Maintain a Dry Basement

While waterproofing your basement is an important first step, there are other things homeowners can do to protect their homes and keep water damage to a minimum. These include the following:

Keep Gutters Clear

Remember to clean gutters regularly to ensure they do not get clogged. Doing this helps maintain a continuous water flow during heavy rains. For the best protection, consider installing gutter guards.

Water falling off of clogged gutters during rain.

Direct Water Away From the House

As rainwater flows off of the house, it should also flow away. Keep water from puddling near the foundation by directing downspouts away from the house. To enhance these efforts, consider using downspout extensions to guide water at least six feet away from the foundation before release.

Regular Sump Pump Maintenance

To reduce the risk of malfunction, you should perform regular maintenance on your sump pump. Check for signs of damage and replace if necessary. You may also want to consider a backup battery system to ensure your sump pump continues working during a power outage.

Man installing a pipe to a sump pump.

Work With AFS to Keep Your Basement Dry

AFS employee talking to homeowner with laptop between them.

Staying ahead of moisture-related issues is always in a homeowner’s best interest. Through professional early intervention, your home will remain protected, and you will minimize future repair costs.

To receive a customized solution for your home, schedule a free inspection with AFS. We proudly serve Chattanooga, Nashville, and Knoxville for all your basement waterproofing needs.

Ted Dryce

Ted Dryce

Content Writer

Ted is an SEO Content Writer who has been with Groundworks since 2021. He’s covered home repair topics ranging from crawl space encapsulation to regional soil conditions. When he’s not working, Ted is performing improv comedy and working on his own creative projects.

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AFS Service Areas

Our Locations

Birmingham AL

130 Interstate Commerce Crt. Bldg. 100 & 200
Alabaster, AL 35007

Chattanooga TN

214 Industrial Park Dr.
Soddy-Daisy, TN 37379

Columbus GA

2701 Opelika Road
Phenix City, AL 36870

Dothan AL

1909 Montgomery Hwy, Suite 322,
Dothan, AL 36303

Florence AL

118 E Mobile St
Florence, AL 35630

Huntsville AL

2415 Jordan Road
Huntsville, AL 35811

Knoxville TN

3028 E Governor John Sevier Highway
Knoxville, TN 37914

Louisville KY

1904 Watterson Trail, Suite 130
Louisville, KY 40299

Mobile AL / Biloxi MS

3131 Hamilton Blvd.
Theodore, AL 36582

Montgomery AL

445 Dexter Avenue, Suite 4050
Montgomery, AL 36104

Nashville TN

1519 Heil Quaker Blvd.
LaVergne, TN 37086

Pensacola FL

89 W. Hood Dr.
Pensacola, FL 32534