Causes of Basement Leaks
The most common causes of basement leaks is pressure created by water in the soil surrounding the foundation. There are two different forms of pressure that can cause issues:
- During periods of heavy or persistent rain, the soil can become saturated, creating hydrostatic pressure (or water pressure) that can push moisture and water through your basement walls and floor.
- The looser soil around your foundation tends to absorb more water. The area around the home is often flooded with rain water from clogged gutters or downspouts that are discharging water right next to the foundation. When the soil expands, it creates lateral (or sideways) pressure against the foundation. This can cause damage to your home's foundation and create leaks in the basement.
- Window wells can be another cause of water leaks in the basement. If a window well is not properly installed or if the drain becomes clogged, the window well can fill with water. During a heavy rain, the water can seep into your basement. Water stains on the walls are a sure sign of leaky basement windows.
How water gets into the basement
Water can find its way into your basement a number of ways, such as:
- Through cracks in the walls or floor
- At the joint where the poured concrete floor meets the wall
- Through cracks in mortar joints of block or masonry foundation walls
Fixing basement leaks
When it comes to fixing your leaky basement, there are a few steps to take to prevent leaks and keep your basement dry:
- Clean gutters: When it rains, clogged gutters can overflow and rainwater can pool around your foundation. Removing leaves and debris and installing leaf guards and downspout extenders to direct water away from the house can all help prevent the soil around your house from becoming saturated.
- Improve grading: It's important to make sure surrounding soil is pitched away from the house so that water drains toward your yard, not your foundation.
- Repair window wells: Installing a fitted window well cover is a simple solution for keeping your window wells free of leaves and other debris that can cause the drain to clog and allow water to seep into your basement.
- Install an interior waterproofing system:
An interior drain tile connected to a sump pump is a proven solution for keeping the basement dry.
The most effective way to keep water out of your basement is to install an interior drainage system that minimizes hydrostatic pressure. By installing drain tile along the joint where the floor meets the wall, where most water leakage occurs, you can capture water before it makes its way onto the basement floor. Water coming through the foundation walls will also be collected by the drain tile. The drainage system then carries the water to a sump pump that automatically pumps the water out of your home.