Finding a leak in the basement can be a major headache. It’s a revelation that is universally unappealing. A wet basement not only makes your house unpleasant to live in, but it also decreases its resale value. If not addressed, basement moisture may cause structural damage, mold growth, and even leaks in the roof.
The first step is to locate the water’s original point of entry. Clearing gutters and directing water away from the house’s foundation is a simple solution for certain moist basements. If the problem is related to a water line, water shutoff valve, or appliance connection, call a plumber. However, more forceful measures are required if the water is coming from elsewhere, such as surface water running toward the home seepage from underground, or a municipal storm drain backing up.
In light of this common problem, here are some tried-and-true strategies for preventing basement flooding.
Ensure Positive Landscape Grading
Your home’s drainage system will benefit from a landscaping plan that directs water away from the structure. The soil must have a positive grade, meaning it slopes away from a building. However, if your basement has a negative gradient, water will pool next to the walls and eventually seep inside.
Gutter extensions made of plastic or metal can be used to direct water farther away from the home if the downspouts are currently discharging it less than five feet from the foundation. However, extensions aren’t the best long-term option because they may be unsightly and even dangerous if you trip over them or run over them with a lawnmower. A permanent underground drainpipe is unseen and has the capacity to transport substantial amounts of gutter runoff distant from your home.
If you see water seeping into your basement through cracks or gaps around your plumbing pipes, you may easily seal them using hydraulic cement or polyurethane caulk. When the issue is only a hole that water is leaking through, whether from surface runoff or damp soil, a plug will surely stop the leak. However, groundwater is to blame if the water is seeping in through the floor or the junction of the floor and the walls, meaning you’d need another solution.
Soil Crown And Landscape Reshaping
Water seeping into your basement or crawl space from high on the foundation walls, despite functional gutters and the sealing of evident holes, is a sign that surface water isn’t draining away from the house. For optimal drainage, the soil around your house should “crown” at least six inches in the first ten feet in all directions. The ground sinks around the foundation with time, but if you have a shovel and some dirt, you can easily fix this problem.
On the other hand, increasing the crown might cause unwanted dirt to settle near the siding of your home due to the little overlap between the foundation and the siding. The very least you can get away is six inches. In that situation, constructing a berm or a swale downstream to divert water from your home is a great solution.
Check For Footing Drain Issues
Hydrostatic pressure causes water to rise from the ground and seep into basements through low spots on walls and floor joints. Before anything else, you should see if your home has footing drains, which are subterranean pipes put in during construction to divert water away from the structure’s base. A garden hose may be used to clear out clogged drains by opening the cleanout. If this doesn’t work, it’s probably time to call a plumber, who will likely know just what to do.
Pumping The Water Out
If you can’t divert groundwater elsewhere, you’ll have to channel it underground. Saw a groove in the floor’s perimeter, chip off some concrete, and insert perforated piping to make an indoor drainage system. The water flows into a sump tank at the lowest part of the basement, from where it is discharged by a sump pump. The best and least disruptive choice for an unfinished basement with easy access is an internal system. If your yard has established plants that might be damaged by installing an outside drainage system, this is a suitable option.
Putting up an internal drainage system diverts water away from the building, but it does not prevent water from returning inside. To do so, you’ll need an external system, such as a French drain to reduce hydrostatic pressure and exterior waterproofing to shield the building’s base from the elements. It’s a major task that involves excavation around the home, but if your foundation has many cracks, it might be the best remedy. It’s also the greatest option if you don’t want to ruin a finished basement by tearing it up because the mess and water stay outside.
Use A Dehumidifier
Condensation caused by high relative humidity can make your basement moist even if there are no obvious leaks, helping mold and mildew may flourish in such a setting. Putting up a dehumidifier in the basement might help with this problem. These machines effectively cut down on moisture and mold growth in your basement by keeping it dry and comfortable. Both the basement’s size and the relative humidity should be taken into account while deciding on a dehumidifier. The humidity in your basement may be easily managed with some of the more sophisticated versions that can be wired into your existing HVAC system.
Since the basement serves as the structure’s base, any signs of water damage will most likely set off an alarm. A big issue like that needs immediate addressing. Wet basements and leaks are common problems, especially in areas where heavy rainfalls occur. Therefore, it’s best to take care of them as soon as possible.
At the end of our blog, we hope you know what to do if water enters your basement!