7 Ways to Waterproof your Home

How to Waterproof Your House, plumbing footing waterproofing

Footings Plumbing protrusions in slab must be sealed to prevent rising damp and termites

How to Waterproof Your House

The following ways to waterproof your home about as a result of severe flooding events we have experienced. Flooding in Australia over the past years has resulted in serious damage to building and even deaths. So to provide our website visitors with some actionable tips on how to or ways to waterproof your home to guard against one of nature’s most damaging forces when it comes to our homes.

Dampness and water damage can take a serious toll on your home and lead to major repair bills. Whereas fire and earthquakes, which are rare, cataclysmic events where any damage that occurs you’ll definitely notice. Water damage on the other hand can build up over time, even years, or perhaps decades until a simple problem that you could fix in an afternoon becomes a major disaster that will require repairs that you may well not be able to yourself. The hiring of building contractors and spending thousands of dollars may be necessary.

7 ways to waterproof your home

However, fortunately there are some easy fixes that you can carry out yourself (provided they are done now rather than later) or with a short visit from a building contractor. These type of repairs won’t only prevent possible water damage, but will reduce future maintenance cost and may even add to the extra value of your home.

1. Foundations

Even though you think that the solid concrete foundations of your home are rock-solid, and so they should be. Cracks can develop allowing water to penetrate the foundations and even though it might not seem so, concrete is porous material – water can go right through it – evidenced by presence of efflorescence.

You can waterproof and damp proof your basement, two different processes that should ideally be used together. According some building codes, all you need is a dimpled membrane that stops groundwater from coming into contact with the walls and create space for the wall to ‘breathe’.

The best way to keep water out of the wall is to make it completely waterproof against the occasional wall creating moisture the footings and also the presence of groundwater Filling of existing cracks, where less than 3 mm, with concrete sealant should protect you, with little upkeep in future. Cracks greater than 3 mm will needed to be opened to minimum of 10 mm x 5 mm with proper joint filler or expansion joint sealer

2. Exterior Walls

Following building codes won’t get you the complete protection you’ll actually need. The concrete and masonry walls are made of can be mixed with elements that make it water-resistant and the interior walls can be wrapped in a plastic sheet – you’ve probably seen blue Tyvek and Typar wraps around new buildings. Older buildings probably don’t have the same protection as a modern home. The problem with paint finishes is that they are water-resistant, whether painted onto render or directly applied to the concrete or masonry wall.

3. Building Flashings

ways-to-waterproof-your-home, how to waterproof your home

What happens without building flashing water can penetrate and cause rising damp

Part of the issue again is that the building codes here also don’t prevent necessarily prevent water entering your home under the flashings. So how to waterproof house will require that you contact your contractor to ensure the flashing can be extended slightly so it can be turned down so the water can’t enter between the mortar / wall & the slab on the outside.

The flashing should be attached to the internal wall. Turned down the outside wall. Please check your weep holes, these are the slits you find every few bricks, just below windows and just above the slab flashings to allow any water which has penetrated to drain to the outside. These may be blocked as mortar from mortar lines falls down inside the cavity. A simple way to test is to washout gently with a garden hose will show if the water runs out the next weep holes.

Incorrect flashing installation can result in expensive repairs and dangers to your health from mould build up on interior walls caused by what’s called rising damp.

4. Roof

Provides your first line of protection against water damage, and unless you want to break out pots and pans to collect drips from the ceiling you’ll need to get it perfect. Make sure that any protrusion such as chimneys, skylights, TV antennas and plumbing vents and the like are properly sealed. This is not a one-off inspection. You’ll need to make regular inspections, as they can crack over time or if interfered with by any trade contractors doing any maintenance on your roof eg. installation of an air conditioner.
In areas where ice or snow forms on your roof make sure that ice dams don’t form on your roof as ice and snow that collect at the edge of your roof which prevent snow from running off, trapping water causing it to back up under tiles to create costly damage.

5. Gutters and Drains

Ways to Waterproof your Home, How to Waterproof Your House,

Good Eave protection keeps water off walls, windows and doors. Many new buildings have NO eaves allowing water straight onto walls


Gutters and drains are definitely no fun to clean. But your gutters and drains need to be kept free of obstructions. Otherwise you risk them overflowing onto your water-resistant walls and creating a pool of standing water on the ground. This can then get into your wall cavities or basement. You’ll also want to make sure that the water doesn’t pond metal gutters. The correct fall to the drains. Building movement may have caused an issue. In older buildings ponding and incorrectly sealed gutter joints may become corroded. Corroded metal gutters are unsightly and any water leaking from corroded gutters can leave stains on exterior walls. This may then require early repainting. So it might be time to consider replacement.
Make sure the water spilling directly to the ground or into drainage points is well away from the walls and fittings of your house.

6. Windows and Doors

 ways to waterproof your home, how to waterproof your house

Wet doors will swell and grow mould

Keeping moisture away from wooden doors and window frames to stop swelling in wet weather. And improperly installed windows and doors can let in moisture. Hopefully your exterior doors and widows are protected by awning to keep the direct rain off them. Sealing doors can be as simple installing weatherstrip across the bottom of your door. This also helps to keep out  drafts of wind and moisture wicking up the bottom of your door.
Making sure your glass is effectively sealed into the window frame to stop water laying in contact with the timber. Without proper sealant in place expensive installation of new doors and windows will be required sooner. Keeping these sealed won’t just improve maintenance cost, but also improve your home’s aesthetics and energy efficiency.
Where bathrooms aren’t properly vented. – Doors swell – Bottoms of doors actually come in contact with the damp floor tiles.

7. Internal Building Waterproofingfinished-bathroom-area, bathroom wet areawaterproofing

It’s not just exterior doors or windows that can be damaged by moisture. We are talking about bathrooms, kitchens and balconies. Bathrooms where if not properly vented, condensation in bathrooms may cause warped doors and frames. The bottoms of these doors, in these wet areas, often come into contact with the damp floor tiles destroying the doors.
Upstairs kitchens and balconies  can often be over garages and the building code does not require waterproofing over non-livable areas. But the damage caused by a leak. For example: Leaking under sink. A refrigerator with a malfunctioning evaporation tray dripping water. Both may cause thousands of dollars of damage.
Leaking showers, plumbing fittings and accessories all will cause water to damage internal cupboards and floors.


Given how disastrous a water leak can be in the future. The cost of repairs. When action to stop a leak is not taken as soon as practically possible. It’s hard to argue that it’s something that you can put off. If you’re lucky have a recently built home should have good waterproofing already. Especially if the builder has exceeded the standards of the building code. Now that’s how to waterproof your house properly from the start. Talk to your designer, architect, builder to ensure you get the best solutions.

In older homes there are dozens of problems that could have arisen which may cost thousands to fully fix. If don’t you already know the extent of the repairs and upgrades that are needed. Then it’s wise to call and have a professional check your home to learn how to waterproof your house.
You should take care in your home and be aware of where water may become an issue. It may not be immediately but most certainly in future. Besides devastating damage to the structure due to water. Damage by termites which follow the moisture may even be more devastating.


Be sure to investigate the  7 ways to waterproof your home to ensure your maintenance costs are minimised. Over the life of your building, it is at the end of the day it’s the responsibility  of every homeowner to ensure that there building is protected from the elements. You can learn more about how to waterproof your house by reading articles in our blog or off menu items.