After so many decades in the foundation repair and waterproofing industry, we are no longer surprised by the many ways water can find its way into a basement.
“If there’s a will, there’s a way” pretty much sums up the ability water has to seep into any crack or crevice and, from there, make its way into your basement.
It certainly doesn’t help that most basements are crafted from either poured concrete or concrete blocks, and concrete is a naturally porous material from day one.
This means it is likely not so much a case of if but rather when you finally make that call to ask for a repair estimate for basement waterproofing. In this post, we detail the common ways water enters a basement and what to do when you discover it.
Concrete is not only naturally porous but it tends to settle and contract somewhat as it dries. This can be a particular issue in poured concrete basements, and especially so if the concrete was not mixed properly and develops “honeycombs,” or air pockets that create tiny pathways where water can seep in.
Basements constructed from concrete blocks are not immune, however. Over time, the mortar that holds the blocks together will start to break down. When this happens, the blocks will shift and often open up other small cracks where water can seep in from outside.
Wall or Floor Cracks
Wall or floor cracks can happen for a variety of reasons. Improperly set walls without sufficient support, settling concrete, shifting soils, extreme drought or flooding that places extra pressure on walls and other issues can cause larger visible cracks to appear and let water in.
Damaged or Blocked Window Wells or Drains
Window wells, weeping tiles and floor drains are all systems designed to keep water out of a newly constructed basement. They tend to do their jobs well at first and less well over time.
Debris and damage can create blockages or total collapse, causing the water that should be flowing out of your basement to flow back in.
Shifting soil can be more of a problem in some geographic areas than others. Over time, it is natural for topography to shift somewhat, and changing global weather patterns can worsen this effect.
As soil shifts, pressure against basement walls and flooring becomes uneven, causing cracks to form and widen over time and water to seep inside.
Rising Water Table
As weather patterns become more unpredictable and seasonal storms become more extreme, there is simply more water to deal with and not enough places to put it.
When the soil becomes saturated with moisture, this can cause a rise in the water table that existing drainage systems are not equipped to deal with.
Failing Sump Pump
Sump pumps, like all home maintenance systems, have a useful life. But increasing demands can also cause a sump pump to wear out faster than expected.
A failing sump pump is one of the most common causes of serious water issues in a basement.
Plumbing or Sewer Line Leaks
The network of hidden pipes that delivers water to your home are vulnerable to all kinds of equally hidden perils—from tree limbs to animals to rust and natural wear and tear. Leaking plumbing pipes can easily cause water to enter your basement.
Similarly, over time the seals that connect your home’s sewer pipes to the main sewer lines can wear out due to age and cause a backlog of dirty sewer water to flood into your basement space.
Excessive Water Runoff
Runoff from watering your lawn and garden and from rain storms is especially prone to entering your basement.
Inadequate Exterior Drainage or Grading
Over time, it is normal for an existing system of gutters and downspouts to start aging and develop clogs, leaks or cracks. Sometimes the topography changes and soil sinks or shifts in areas that were previously level.
When this occurs, water may begin to flow back toward your foundation instead of away from it and can then pool and begin to leak into your basement.
Diagnosing and Repairing a Leaking Basement
When you think of the words “basement” and “leak,” you probably think of the words “stressful” and “expensive.”
But in most cases, the repair expense is not going to be as pricey as you think. And what you can absolutely count on is that it will only get more expensive if you decide to ignore the moisture, wait and hope it will all just go away!
The best approach is to move forward to seek an accurate diagnosis so you know what is causing the humidity, efflorescence (white powder), sweating, dampness, strange odours or outright leaks in your basement.
Once you know what the problem is, then it becomes much easier to sit down and sort through the options to repair it. In some cases, it is possible to simply install a dehumidifier to control basement humidity for a time while you plan and budget for the necessary repairs.
But you won’t know until you ask and get the facts!
The most common basement repair needs include crack repair, installation of a new or back-up sump pump system, de-clogging and window well repair and drainage systems, gutter cleaning and downspout extensions, wall supports, additional insulation and interior basement waterproofing.
Get in Touch
Affordable basement waterproofing and repair options are just a phone call away. Don’t wait and let your basement moisture issue get worse!
Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.