A leaky basement is a typical problem in many homes. When a basement leaks, it does not mean that the home was poorly built or that some spectacular disaster occurred. In most cases, it is usually a mix of time and natural forces. However, there are certain man-made causes that can cause or worsen a leaky basement. Any form of foundation can spring a leak, and poured concrete foundations are no less susceptible than masonry foundations, they just leak differently. There are some solutions that can solve all the problems of a leaking basement such as interior or exterior basement waterproofing. Here are some solutions to solve and prevent basement leakage.

Solving Basement Leakage Problems (and How To Prevent Them)

Solve where the water is coming from

There are two ways that water or moisture enters basements. Indoor humidity that condenses on cold surfaces, such as perspiration on a cool glass of water on a hot and humid day, is one cause. Water or water vapor from the outside is the second major source. Rainwater, melting snow, or groundwater can saturate and leak into the ground surrounding your foundation. Water can seep through the foundation or wall fissures, or it can penetrate porous concrete or masonry walls as water vapor. Tape aluminum foil to your basement wall and check it a few days later to discover what is causing the problem is one solution to determine where the water is coming from. Moisture on the foil’s exterior surface indicates excessive indoor humidity. Moisture beneath the foil indicates that water is seeping through the walls.

Remove any excess humidity

Eliminating sources of humid air will aid in the drying of your basement. Seal leaky dryer vents with foil tape to keep damp air out of your basement. It is best to use more than just duct tape as it will ultimately come undone. Install a vent fan in your basement bathroom and ensure that it is turned on during showers. Furthermore, during humid weather, keep your basement windows closed. If condensation remains on cool surfaces, use a dehumidifier to reduce interior humidity.

Insulate pipes and basement walls

Condensation can form on cold pipes, causing leaking and other basement water issues. To prevent condensation, wrap cold water pipes in foam pipe insulation. The foam insulation is cheap and simple to cut with scissors. It also helps to keep pipes from freezing in the winter, which may lead to major flooding issues. For basement walls, it is best to Insulate internal walls to keep moisture at bay. Insulating basement walls saves energy and lowers your heating expense in cold areas. However, if water is pouring in from the outside, do not cover the walls with insulation because the water will only form around the insulation and cause a mold issue. If water is seeping in from the exterior of your basement then exterior basement waterproofing may be needed. This involves excavating the dirt away from the exterior basement wall, constructing the proper moisture barrier, filling the surrounding space with gravel, and building a footer draining system are the fundamental steps.

Use a waterproof coating on the walls

Waterproofing compounds that are applied like paint cover the pores in the concrete or masonry walls and keep water out. These coatings must be applied to bare concrete or brick walls in order to be effective. Begin by brushing away loose particles with a wire brush. Then, using masonry cleaner, remove any white powdery “efflorescence.” Carefully follow the safety and application directions. When utilizing masonry waterproofing materials, it is typical to distribute them overly thin. The objective is to plug every pinhole, resulting in a continuous waterproofing membrane. Brush the coating in all directions to ensure that every pinhole is thoroughly filled. After the first coat has dried, apply a second coat.

Ensure water is directed away from the foundation

If your basement leaks after heavy rains or snow melts, directing water away from your foundation may remedy the problem. It is normal for the soil next to your home to sink over time, forming a moat that gathers runoff and guides it down to your foundation wall and into your basement. Lawn edging and gravel beside the foundation might worsen the situation. It is recommended to Create a 6-foot-wide slope that descends about 4 inches away from the foundation to solve the pooling water around your foundation. Cover the sloping dirt with a coating of 6-mil poly for further protection. From there cover the poly with mulch, gravel, or a grass-covered layer of soil. This will prevent water from penetrating the foundation and stop basement leakage.

Prevent Basement Leakage with routine maintenance

Basement window well inspection

A fast check of your basement window wells might prevent leaks in your basement and foundation. When performing the window well inspection, there are two things to keep an eye out for. The first indicator is drainage problems in the window well, which might include silt contamination of the gravel, water buildup, or debris such as leaves. If you see any debris, clear up what you can and keep an eye on the situation. The second indicator to check for is discoloration on the walls of your interior foundation behind windows. This is an indication that moisture has gotten between your window frame and foundation. Water issues with basement windows can often be the result of faulty drainage in your window wells.

Sump pump inspection

Sump pumps are your first line of defense against rainfall runoff surges. They function by sucking water from beneath your home and away from the foundation. However, sump pumps, like other household equipment, require maintenance and inspection to ensure they are in good operating condition. To maintain your sump pump, regularly examine the power supply because breakers on the pump outputs might trip, turning off the sump pump without your knowledge. During your inspection, you should fill the basin with a tiny amount of water and see how the sump pump responds. In addition, inspect and clean the sump pump’s grate to eliminate any debris. Examine the drain pipes that take excess water away from your home. Also, check that the sump pump is level otherwise it will malfunction or will not function when it does become full of water.

Gutter and downspout cleaning

Your home’s water drainage system includes gutters, eavestroughs, and downspouts. Their primary function is to deflect rainwater away from your property that has fallen from your roof. However, if they get clogged, damaged, or improperly installed, water can begin to gather by your foundation, resulting in leaky basements and foundation concerns. Grab a ladder and examine your gutters and downspouts up close to prevent clogging. It is time to start cleaning if you see trash, leaves, or water once you get up on the ladder. A clogged gutter can also be noticeable from the ground if enough debris has accumulated.

Implement moisture monitors

While bi-annual inspections for water concerns in your basement are essential, leaks may occur quickly. These rapidly growing basement leaks are frequently caused by sewage back-ups, sump pump failure, or strong rains that raise groundwater levels. Investing in a moisture detector is one of the greatest preventive measures that address all of these hazards. These gadgets may continuously monitor your basement for leaks and notify you of non-visible symptoms of moisture or basement leak concerns. The functionality of these gadgets ranges from text-message warnings to audible sounds.

There are a number of different ways to solve basement leakage but you first need to figure out the source of the issue. From there you can implement the appropriate solution to address the problem. A way to solve these problems is to implement preventative measures like full basement waterproofing. A leaky basement is very common and any questions in regards to basement waterproofing should be directed to experienced and knowledgeable professionals.