Does your basement leak every time there’s a downpour? Reoccurring basement leaks often signal a foundation issue. The first step to resolving the problem is to find out what’s causing it. To protect your home from serious structural damage, here are some key factors to be aware of and five effective ways to put a stop to your leaky basement.
Common Causes of Leaky Basements
There are a number of ways in which water can leak into your basement. The most common is caused by hydrostatic pressure in the soil. During periods of heavy rainfall, the soil will become saturated with water, creating pressure that pushes the moisture through the basement walls and flooring. If your home doesn’t have a functional weeping tile or membrane on the foundation wall, the water will find its way in through gaps and cracks in the masonry, joints, or foundation. Another way water can gain access to your basement is through the window wells. If your landscaping is not sloping away from the windows, water will flow toward the windows and seep right into your basement.
What Kind of Damage Can the Water Cause?
A little water might not seem like a cause for concern, but even wet walls and a little standing water can lead to mold growth and structural damage. A leaky basement has the potential to transform small cracks into big ones, erode the masonry, and cause wood rot and rusting of metal structures that can undermine the structural integrity of your home. Because most structural damage is not obvious, it’s important to look for any telltale signs that the water leaks are causing more damage than just mold growth.
What to look for:
- Cracks in the foundation
- Wet walls and insulation
- Damaged wires
- Cracks in wood
- Rust seeping out of any cracks
- Doors and windows won’t open anymore
How to Fix a Leaky Basement
Here are a few things you can try to prevent the leaks from occurring:
Store-bought sealant might fix those tiny cracks you found in the walls, but it won’t be a permanent solution. Only a foundation repair professional has the equipment and tools necessary to fix foundation cracks permanently.
Applying a waterproofing membrane to the exterior of your home will stop any water seepage through the walls. This barrier will also improve the air quality inside the house.
A functional weeping tile around the perimeter of the house is a must. Without this integral aspect discharging water from around the foundation, water issues will never be resolved.
Does your home have a block foundation? If the mortar between the blocks starts to wear over time, water can easily infiltrate through. To make matters worse, if the water starts to saturate the mortar, it will eventually start to crack and breakdown as the temperatures rise and fall. Mortar repair services will help extend the structural integrity of the foundation.
In some cases, improper foundation repair could be what’s causing the water leaks. If this is the case, don’t call back the team that did the low-quality work to begin with. You’ll only end up paying more money for them to fix their mistakes and create more issues. Some contractors claim to do masonry and foundation work but are not professionals. A cheap fix is not worth the money, unfortunately we often repair previous repairs by unreputable company’s and this ends up costing the homeowner much more than if they would have had the repairs completed by the pros in the first place. Instead, call a real foundation professional who has experience repairing and replacing the foundation walls.
The best way to put a stop to your leaky basement is to use a combination of the above solutions mentioned. If you need assistance to permanently stop a leaky basement, contact us at the Foundation Experts. One of our experienced professionals will be happy to inspect your home and provide you with a solution to your foundation problems.