For every homeowner, a wet basement is one of the worst nightmares. A flooded basement can be an annoying situation as the water seeping into the house can cause mold, efflorescence, wood warping, and structural damage. Moreover, a leaky basement is not only frustrating but also results in costly repairs.
No matter how much you hate this situation, it is a very common occurrence in homes. And in the worst, if you’re experiencing a persistently wet basement, you need to determine the source of the leak. This can happen for a variety of different reasons and is not always linked to a structural fault. The most obvious cause is the natural occurrences that take place outside the basement. However, sometimes the main culprit can be your foundation’s structural flaw.
In most cases, leaks are a result of a combination of natural forces and man-made factors. But whatever the reason may be, it’s crucial to make use of the right waterproofing solutions for your situation.
So, before a leaky basement ruins your home, apply the following tips to spot a leak and patch it up. Below, we have mentioned the most common causes of basement leaks to help you identify the culprit and fix it before it wreaks havoc.
Faulty Sump Pumps
In lately constructed building, Sump Pumps are a common feature. This is the best device used to collect excess water and pull it away from the home. If you have a sump pump and still have a leaking basement, chances are that your pump is damaged or not installed properly. Also, if the water is accumulating and flooding your basement, possibly your pump doesn’t have the capacity to handle your drainage situation. There can be various reasons behind failed sump pumps such as improper installation, power failure, lack of maintenance, or frozen/clogged drainage lines. Make sure you properly maintain your pump and replace it before it reaches the end of its lifespan.
Usually, the soil around the foundation absorbs water under normal weather conditions. Depending on the type of soil such as sand and loam, this water gets easily drained out. However, if you’re region has clay soil, the absorbed water doesn’t get drained quickly. This results in expanding the soil and building up water pressure underneath the ground. And this puts a lateral pressure against the home’s foundation.
The hydrostatic pressure refers to the downward pull of gravity. When water accumulates around your home, it results in leaks. The heat radiated from your basement melts the frozen soil and snow which results in accumulating moisture between the ground and your basement walls. This pressure is also affected by the natural water table of your geographical location. During the rainy season, the water table of your area rises which creates pressure from below that forces water into the basement.
Many a time it is seen that the landscaping slopes are at the fault. To make sure that water is not seeping into your home, you need to create landscaping slopes away from the home. Ideally, you should keep the soil around the foundation of your home at a slope of at least six inches for every 10 horizontal feet.