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Basement Leak Causes and How to Repair

Basement Leak Causes and How to Repair

Leaks are frequent annoyances amongst homeowners and can leave a substantial amount of damage if you don’t clean up the mess quickly and thoroughly. Numerous things can cause this disaster. Maybe your home wasn’t built correctly, a natural disaster has caused flooding, or perhaps you’ve had a water pipe come loose. Whatever the reason, there are ways to effectively clean up the mess and prevent further damage from occurring in the future.

Some leaks and water damage will require professional help. If you’re in need of basement leak repair services, then Basement Repair Specialists a call today. It’s nothing to put off. If it’s not cleaned up fast and efficiently, water damage can lead to a more extensive problem such as mold. We have several locations spread across a few different states. See if your residence is within our service range.

Let’s take a look at the culprit behind your leaking basement and what you can do to fix the issue.

What Causes Basement Leaks?

basement leak

Several things can cause basement leaks. The most common reason is a pressure that builds up due to water in the soil around your foundation. This build-up occurs in two of several different forms.

Lateral Pressure

The land surrounding your foundation between the surface and footings can consume water even though the dirt should drain in normal weather conditions. Sand and loam might remove the water more efficiently. Clay is more susceptible to absorption and expansion. Loose soil and clogged or blocked downspouts are also known to have the same issues. When a build up of water occurs in the soil around the foundation, it expands and creates lateral or sideways pressure that causes it to become damaged, and then it leaks into your basement.

Hydrostatic Pressure

A factor that’s rarely acknowledged or considered is the water that’s underneath the ground. Thought it might not seem like it, water lies below ground level no matter where you are. You can still find water underground even in areas that tend to have a dryer climate.  The underground level where water is present is called the water table. The depth of the water table varies. One influential factor is how close the water table is to large bodies of water.

When there’s heavy rain or snowfall, the soil will absorb the water closer to the surface. When the dirt is thoroughly saturated, the water that isn’t absorbed raises the water table. When that happens, it can rise under your foundation and create something called hydrostatic pressure against the foundation from below. This pressure forces water into your basement via leaks.

Window Wells

Another reason you might spring a leak in your basement that is irrelevant to groundwater pressure is due to window wells. Light and air enter the basement through these window wells, but they can also accumulate water when heavy rain occurs if the drain is absent or clogged. When enough water gathers around the window well, it can seep in or even create enough pressure to push in the window.

Other common reasons your basement could accumulate moisture include humidity, condensation, and leaky pipes.

Now that you know why your basement has water in it, how do you permanently fix the problem?

Finding and Fixing Your Basement Leak

man fixing basement leak

There are several avenues through which water can enter your basement. Most of them are openings in your walls or floors. Some familiar places to search for leaks are:

  • Floor cracks
  • Cove joints
  • Mortar joints
  • Poured concrete wall cracks
  • Seepage over the top of foundation walls
  • Window wells

Step one is to locate the source of the problem and then fix it to the best of your ability to prevent water from entering your basement again. You might be able to fix it yourself, or the problem might be severe enough to call for professional help. Here are some ways to keep water from entering your basement:

  • Test for Moisture
    You can test your basement to see if moisture is present by using aluminum foil and duct tape.
  • Eliminate Extra Humidity
    Getting rid of the source of your humid air will cut down on the amount of moisture present in your basement.
  • Insulate Pipes and Walls
    Insulating your pipes and walls will ensure that condensation doesn’t occur and drip water into your basement.
  • Divert Water From Your Foundation
    You can steer water away from your foundation by creating a six-foot-wide slope that’s around 4 inches away from your foundation. You can also add a gutter and downspout extension.
  • Plug Holes
    If you find holes in your basement walls or floor, be sure to plug them with hydraulic cement. While this isn’t a permanent solution, it does aid in keeping moisture out.
  • Waterproof the Walls
    You can fill the pores in your concrete or masonry walls that allow moisture to seep in by applying a waterproofing solution that goes on like paint.
  • Install a Drainage System
    Installing a drainage system is probably the most expensive but most effective way to keep water from doing damage to your basement. The cost for one of these drains usually runs from $3,000 to $8,000 and does require professional installation.

As the owner of a house with a basement, you will likely face water leakage at some point. It’s inevitable, but you can manage and prevent it as much as possible. After reading this article, you should have the knowledge you need to diagnose where the source of the moisture in your basement is coming from, how to fix the problem, and how to keep it from occurring again in the future. Eliminating moisture isn’t something you should procrastinate on as it could lead to mold and other hazards. If you haven’t noticed any moisture in your home’s basement, be proactive and take preventative measures to make sure it doesn’t occur.

If you need professional help and consultation regarding moisture in your basement, give the seasoned professionals at Basement Repair Specialists a call to find out how we can help you.



For more information about your basement repair needs, visit our Basement Repair Blog.