Water that enters your basement can come from outside or inside.
However, when it comes to tracking down a basement water leak at its source and fixing the problem, things can get more complicated quickly!
The good news is, regardless of how the water is getting in, we can fix it! In this post, learn more about how to fix a leaking basement from the inside, regardless of where the water may be coming from.
Why Any Water in Your Basement Is Cause for Concern
It’s simple enough to overlook a bit of humidity here, some window condensation there, or even a slightly stale or musty odour throughout your basement space, and assume such minor issues are no cause for real concern.
But any moisture that is steadily entering your basement brings with it the potential to generate future major repairs. Mildew and mould are opportunistic: even a small amount of moisture, perfectly placed, can attract spores that colonize and spread.
Whether you are currently using your basement for storage only or it is part of your useful living space, you want it to be safe, dry and livable like the rest of your home! When it isn’t, both your home's structural integrity and its resale value are at risk.
Why Do Basements Leak?
Basements can leak for many reasons. Sometimes a leak may be related to the structure of the basement itself. Other times, a leak may develop due to soil movement or water table levels.
When the basement walls are first constructed, that fresh concrete can develop minor cracks and fissures naturally as it dries. However, over time and with pressure from other directions, these cracks may begin to let small amounts of moisture into your basement.
Soil settling around your home can also cause pressure on basement walls that triggers the development of other types of cracks. When these cracks get large enough, they may let in more moisture and threaten your home’s structural integrity.
Yet another time basements can leak is when the water table level changes due to lawn watering, storms, runoff from melting ice and snow, or underground springs. These changes can push moisture into your basement from the outside.
Where Do Basements Leak?
Basements can leak in all kinds of places! Common places include walls, floors, around windows and doors, around pipes and structural fixtures, and even in the concrete itself.
Another less obvious type of basement leak is humidity buildup that causes condensation to form on windows, doors, walls and floors.
Here in Canada, where weather can get quite extreme in winter, frozen water pipes and nonfunctional sump pumps are also a seasonal cause of basement leaks and flooding. Seasonal flooding from local rivers, streams and lakes can also present the potential for basement leaks.
Waterproofing Your Basement: Outside Versus Inside
There are two main methods for fully waterproofing a basement space. One method focuses on waterproofing the basement from the outside in. The other method focuses on waterproofing from the inside out.
Waterproofing from the outside in
Waterproofing a basement from the outside in is possible, but it is typically very invasive and expensive.
This is because the entire area surrounding the basement walls and floor will need to be excavated before any type of waterproof wall, seal or coating can be applied.
Then the waterproofing application will need to dry and cure. Next, any surrounding lawn, landscaping, appliances or fixtures that were disturbed will need to be repaired or replaced as needed.
Waterproofing from the inside out
Here at Omni Foundation Systems, we focus on providing inside-out basement and foundation waterproofing solutions. Generally speaking, it makes more sense—financially, time-wise and structurally—for homeowners and business owners to waterproof a leaking foundation or basement space from the inside out.
For treatment of existing basement leaks, often the interior furnishings (carpet, flooring, tile, furniture, etc.l) will need to be cleaned and repaired or replaced anyway, making it relatively simple to clear out and clean up the basement, which naturally prepares it for the waterproofing treatment.
For new basements, applying interior preventative waterproofing ensures there will be minimal chance of ever facing water in your basement in the future!
How to Fix a Leaking Basement from Inside
The approach we take to fix a leaking basement from the inside always depends on the source and type of leak.
We have multiple options for affordably and economically fixing a leaking basement from the inside, whether on a preventative basis or as part of the leak repair process.
For very small cracks and fissures caused by the natural drying and settling of new concrete, it is often possible to simply apply the waterproof material without doing any crack repair first.
If larger cracks or leaks are discovered, we may need to first seal up those cracks and/or shore up surrounding walls with anchor bolts before moving on to apply the waterproof material.
In the case where the main cause of a basement leak is coming from outside—surrounding groundwater is seeping in or there is an issue with water draining away from your foundation —we may recommend addressing those issues at the same time as we apply the waterproofing treatment.
In some cases where the existing sump pump system is malfunctioning or overworked, we may recommend repairing or replacing the sump pump and/or installing a backup to guard against future flood issues.
Preventative Basement Waterproofing
For our clients who are planning new construction, we strongly recommend preventative basement and foundation waterproofing from the inside!
Including this simple preventative service as a part of the new construction process reduces your chances of encountering a future basement leak from 60 percent to zero.
Get in Touch
Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664 if you suspect your basement may have a leak!