Depending on design, layout and need, basements have many different uses. For some it is used as storage and left in an unfinished state, for others it adds to their home’s usable space and is finished to reflect their special needs. Whatever you use your basement for, there will always be some regular maintenance required. Due to their nature of being below ground, basements have a higher probability of water damage be it from a broken pipe (water flows downwards), from ground water seeping in, or from a flood. No matter the way it got there, water in your basement can cause real problems.
Water collects in the ground, and when there is a lot of it, the ground can become saturated. This means your home is surrounded by water. The water in the ground is forced up against your foundation walls, and as much as the builder puts an effort into basement waterproofing, moisture can still seep into your basement through multiple means. If you do not prevent this seepage, it can and will lead to long term damage and potential health risk.
Causes of Water Seepage into your Basement
Before you can solve the puzzle of basement leaks, you first have to understand the cause of the seepage, causes include:
Two types of pressure can cause moisture leaks into your basement:
- Hydrostatic Pressure – It results from persistent or heavy rains, which make the soil saturated. The resulting water pressure can lead to moisture seepage through the walls and floor of your basement.
- Lateral Pressure – It is also known as sideways pressure. There is loose soil around your foundation, and it absorbs water from the gutters and rains. As it absorbs water, it expands and exerts lateral pressure against the foundation. The pressure can damage the foundation and cause leaks.
Seepage happens if the installation of a window well is not done correctly or if the drain gets clogged. When not draining properly, window wells can fill with water, and eventually the water will seep through the window and lead to damage and resting water in your basement.
How to Stop Water Leaks
Consider the following measures:
Be sure to pitch the surrounding soil away from the house. It will ensure that water drains toward the yard and not your foundation.
Clean your Gutters
Clogged gutters are a threat because they can overflow, making rainwater pool around your foundation. You need to remove any leaves and debris from the gutters and install leaf guards. You can also install downspout extenders to ensure that water drains away from your home. It will prevent the saturation of the soil around the house.
Installation of an Interior Waterproofing System
The role of the interior drainage system is to minimize hydrostatic pressure. Once you install a drain tile along the joint, usually where the floor and the wall meet, you will be sure to capture the water before it can find its way into your basement.
The drain tile or weeping tile will also collect any water that makes its way through the walls of your foundation. It will carry the water to a sump pump, and the pump will automatically pump the water out of and away from your home.
Repair Window Wells
Taking care of window wells can involve the installation of a fitted window well cover. It will prevent the collection of debris and dirt that can lead to your window well being clogged and allow moisture to seep through.
The best way to stop water from seeping through your basement floor, is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. By knowing the common causes of water entering your basement, you can now safeguard against it.