If you have a basement area that gets wet or leaks, you may be considering how to remedy the situation. Damp proofing and waterproofing are some terms that you might run into during your research. Which one is right for your space? When it comes to damp proofing vs. waterproofing, here are the key differences.

What is Damp Proofing?

Damp proofing resists soil moisture, while waterproofing systems, on the other hand, resist both moisture and water that is under pressure. Damp proofing products use a process with tar or unmodified asphalt-based materials. They are hand applied or sprayed to the outside portion of the wall.

This will help keep ground moisture from seeping into the concrete. Damp proofing will not seal large holes or cracks. It is a basic solution that helps keep moisture out, but in areas where there is significant moisture or liquid water, this would not be a good option.


Waterproofing is essential and is designed to prevent moisture and water from getting through concrete structures, including foundation walls and infrastructure elements in which the interior of the structure must remain dry.

The materials used in this process are different and are a lot thicker than those used in damp proofing. That’s because the material needs to be able to withstand water pressure.

Some of the products most commonly used in waterproofing are clay-based, crystallization products, or rubberized asphalt coatings, just to name a few. Waterproofing is a stronger option that is essential for homes and buildings, especially in areas where there is a lot of rain or a high water table.

No one wants to deal with water damage in a basement or crawl space. It can be a real mess and can be difficult to get rid of. Not to mention, it can lead to mold growth or damage to the building structure itself.

Long story short: There’s no such thing as a little water, proof that even if it’s merely water vapor that infiltrates your supposed impenetrable waterproofing membranes, you’ll need to find a more viable solution to stop water from causing problems. Furthermore, there may be additional preventive measures that need to be taken in order to withstand hydrostatic pressure, too. (Water under hydrostatic pressure also applies pressure to the structure.)

Consider whether waterproofing or damp proofing is right for your space. If the dampness in your basement or crawl space is inside, waterproofing is best. If the water or dampness is above the ground level, then damp proofing is probably a good choice.

We offer a wide variety of high-quality precast options for your project. Questions? Contact our team at Rogue Valley Precast for information.

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