Sources of Basement Water Leaks

Basement Water Leaks

waterproofing your basementWhere is the water coming from? Basement water leaks can be elusive at times. The following will help you narrow down the source of your leak and guide you toward the best way to seal your basement.

1. Do you get the water after all rainfalls or just on the heavy rains? If it doesn’t matter on the severity of the rain, and you experience seepage from a light rain or during a heavy downpour, you probably have an issue with your runoff grading or downspouts and gutters. If your basement is unaffected by the light and quick rains, but floods during prolonged storms, heavy downpours, or multiple days of rain, you most likely are dealing with the water table rising up due to the ground getting saturated and having no place to go except through cracks and openings in your basement.

2. Do you get water as soon as it starts to rain or does it come in the next day or hours after the rain has stopped? If the seepage occurs within 30 minutes or less of when it starts to rain, you most likely have an exterior problem. Once again, check your grading, downspouts and gutters and make sure the water is directed away from the house and gutters are clean. If it takes many hours or even the following day and you see moisture or puddles on the floor, this points to the water table taking its time rising up from below your basement floor and seeping in.

3. Does the water come from where the floor and the wall meet or does it come down the wall starting at eye level? When water comes from the wall at eye level and runs down the basement wall you most likely have an exterior problem. Eye level should typically coincide with where the grade meets the exterior of the house. If the water comes in where the floor meets the wall, this suggests the hydrostatic pressure from the water table underneath the basement slab and oversaturated soils.

If your answer to these questions all leads to the water table being the source of your seepage, then the one and only way to permanently fix the problem is to install a sealed interior drain system. These interior drain tile systems are one of the more important aspects to keeping moisture from entering your home. This sealed interior drain system uses the most effective approach by using a perforated drain pipe that is installed inside the perimeter of the footing. They are building code approved when installed and sealed correctly by one of our professionals. The drain pipe drains the area to a lower level.

sump pump for waterproofing your basementWaterproofing Steps

Water problems are the main cause of foundation problems. Knowing the cause of water leaks will lead to the solutions needed to waterproofing your home. You'll need to determine if it is an interior or exterior problem. On the exterior, make sure the soil is properly graded around the perimeter of your home. If it is not, you may need re-grading or surface drainage installation. Check gutters and downspouts to make sure the run-off is draining away from the home. Look at the exterior concrete and make sure the concrete is not falling toward the home. If it is, the concrete may need to be taken out and replaced. Basements and crawl spaces also need an exterior drainage system next to footing. Sump pumps should be installed and determining the correct size of the sump pump is critical. If it is too small, it won't keep up with the amount of water coming in. A pump that is too big is also a problem because it will pump water so fast that the pump will 'short cycle' which will cause it to fail and replacement needed. Let a professional help you to determine what waterproofing solution is needed for your particular water problems.

 

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