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What To Do If You Have Water In Your Basement

What To Do If You Have Water In Your Basement

There’s no point in panicking about the water in your basement if you are not alone, as it is a common issue experienced by many homeowners.  It is likely that your basement will leak at some point during its lifetime, even if it seems as if it is well-fortified, which means that you will have to deal with the issue eventually.

Basement leaks may be caused by a variety of factors. Therefore, it is essential to accurately diagnose the cause of the problem in order to perform a proper fix. You will learn how to navigate your flooded basement with the help of this article.

Flooding is more likely to occur in basements than in other areas. Due to the fact that water will usually seek out the lowest level of resistance, a basement can tend to draw unwanted water into the house given that it is the lowest level of the house. To keep your basement in prime condition you need to be on the lookout for any signs that may indicate there is flooding in the basement. It is imperative to understand how basements flood and how to prevent leaks as this can not only save you from a major headache but will also save you a significant amount of time and money.

It is possible for a leak to be obvious at times. It is usually pretty clear if the floor has a pool of water on it that there is a problem. There are times, however, when a leak is more subtle in nature. You might be able to detect some leaks in your basement by looking for these signs.

Basement Leaks: Signs And Symptoms


There is a mineral deposit called efflorescence on the surface of bricks, concrete, clay tiles, and other materials. In fact, it is a powdery, fuzzy substance that occurs when water seeps through the materials of masonry structures. As water passes through masonry materials, minerals, such as salts, are carried into and succumb to the water’s pressure and dissolve in the masonry material. It is natural for minerals to accumulate on top of the surface of the water as it evaporates.

Mold And Mildew 

There is a higher probability of finding mold and mildew in moist areas and in places that have been exposed to moisture. A lot of mold spores have caused other health problems in the past, including respiratory problems and allergies. You can read more about mildew and mold in this article.

Rust Stains 

An iron or steel surface that has rusted. Iron oxide rust is a reddish flaky coating, a by-product of oxidation, which forms on metal surfaces. This is evidence that the area has been exposed to moisture either in the past or in the present. 

Water-Damaged Or Rotted Wood

Moisture will cause wood to rot if it is exposed to it for an extended period of time. It is only when a wood’s moisture content reaches 303% (the Fiber Saturation Point) do wood decay spores begin to diffuse from its surface to the pores of the wood. If temperatures rise, the wood decay spores germinate and penetrate into the wood itself, so their presence in the air is a cause for concern.

Stains On The Floor

If there is discoloration on a floor, it may indicate water absorption due to a leak that occurred in the past or is present.

Seepage Of Water 

There is a possibility that seepage can be caused by water forcing its way into the foundation through cracks or porous surfaces. The presence of dampness or stains around cracks in the floor is not uncommon when seepage occurs.

Drylok Flake

Drylok is one of the most common waterproofing sealants used for concrete. The foundations of basements are often constructed of porous materials, such as concrete, which can accept moisture and water. Drylok is designed to prevent these threats from occurring with its water-repelling properties. It is also important to note that Drylok will bubble and eventually detach itself if applied to surfaces that have not been properly sealed.

Cracks In The Wall

As far as basement cracks are concerned, there are two main types which are most common. As a foundation ages, horizontal cracks can occur, particularly due to pressure against the walls, and vertical cracks (or diagonal) can appear due to deterioration of the floor slab.

A crack can form in concrete when it shrinks during the process of curing. There is a possibility, however, that cracks may also be a sign that the foundation has settled and damages have occurred. The causes of water seepage in your basement can either be type two cracks or type three cracks.

Basement Leaks: 3 Causes

There are 3 primary causes of the leaking of a basement floor: hydrostatic pressure, lateral pressure, and leakage through a window well. In order to understand the impact of each, let us look at them more closely:

Amount Of Hydrostatic Pressure

There is always water present in the ground, and it may sometimes be quite deep, but there is invariably water within the ground. Localized water tables, which are defined as water levels below the ground surface that are saturated with water, differ according to their terrain. The water table in a town near a lake will be much higher than the water table in a town in a desert.

There is a tendency for the water that is absorbed into the ground whenever there is heavy rain or melting snow. It is a known fact that as soon as the soil becomes saturated and cannot absorb more water, a rise in the water table takes place. In response to the water table rising under your home’s foundation, hydrostatic pressure begins to build. Water must be directed to somewhere else, such as your basement, and so it finds its way there.

There is a tendency for the water that is absorbed into the ground whenever there is heavy rain or melting snow. Water will rise to the surface of the ground once the soil is saturated so that it is no longer able to absorb any more water. In response to the water table rising under your home’s foundation, hydrostatic pressure begins to build. When it rains, the water goes somewhere, and the place it usually goes is your basement.

Amount Of Lateral Pressure

You also absorb water from the soil around your foundation. Under normal weather conditions, the soil usually drains without any problem. However, when your home was built, this soil was excavated and backfilled, so it isn’t nearly as compact as when it was newly made. It is well known that looser soil is conducive to greater soil absorption. Ideally, the soil expands to its maximum capacity when it is able to absorb the maximum amount of water.

Sand, as well as some other soil types, drain fairly quickly and are not known for their high absorption rates. Other materials do not absorb water as well and tend to expand. Having a clogged gutter and an insufficient downspout can further complicate the situation and cause a build up of water near the house’s foundation. This can result in leakage.

When the soil expands, it increases the pressure imposed against the foundation, resulting in lateral pressure. In addition to this, this can lead to leaks, as well as damaging your foundation.

Window Well Leakage

Water pressure in the ground does not cause leaking that occurs in the window wells. Light and air are allowed to enter the basement through a basement window. Rain and drainage problems can cause water to collect in the window well during heavy rains.

Water accumulating in the window can cause leakage through cracks or gaps as pressure builds.

Water accumulating inside the window well is a common cause of basement flooding. By trapping and accumulating water outside the window, pressure will be applied to the window and seals. There can also be seepage through cracks and gaps in the window. When enough pressure builds, however, the seal will eventually fail, resulting in a bigger problem.

Causes Of Water In Your Basement And What To Do

Here are some types of leaks in your basement:

Cracks In The Floor

It is possible for water to seep into the basement through cracks in the floor. It is common for basement floors to be between 2 inches and 4 inches thick, which is the thickness required to provide a solid foundation for a basement. Water shows up below the concrete floor as the water table rises, increasing the hydrostatic pressure, and eventually this will cause a crack that will ultimately lead to leakage when the water level continues to rise.

There is a need to reduce the hydrostatic pressure that crops up in the subfloor in order to resolve this problem. Installing Drain Tiles on your house will allow you to direct water from the ground towards a location that is more suitable for it.

Cove Joint

During times of high hydrostatic pressure, the basement’s cove joint can be the entry point for water. It is the joint between the walls and the floors where the cove joins. As a result of the fact that water is frequently collected under the floors and the foundation walls during times of heavy rain, it is common for water to seep through this joint during those periods.

The first time you notice seepage in the cove joints, you may be tempted to seal off the joint. However, this is often not recommended since you will not be dealing with the cause of the seepage. There is no way you can stop the hydrostatic pressure from building up. In order to install a drainage tile system, the best idea is to install it under the tile. (See the floor cracks, above).

Walls Of The foundation

Sometimes, the wall of the foundation will become wet due to the overflow of water. When a foundation wall meets the top of an above ground structure, a gap is commonly seen there. The gap between the ground around the structure and the foundation should slope away so that a water pool can be formed along the foundation. If this happens, water can seep in and erode the foundation.

Installing a waterproofing barrier outside of the home may be a solution to this problem. This is a job that would be best completed by a professional, so we highly recommend hiring one.

Mortar Joints

In order to make mortar joints, you need to fill the space between the concrete or brick blocks with mortar. Water is able to seep through the porous material that is mortar. Additionally, cracks are able to form in any foundation movement, even a minor tremor, thus creating a more hazardous situation. (See Walls Of The Foundation).

Concrete That Is Porous

However, concrete can develop porous spots if the mix is not prepared properly. As time passes, seepage can be caused by these porous spots. 

Cracks In The Wall

It is the most common type of basement leak to occur in a non-structural wall crack. Cracks that occur in poured concrete are frequently caused by settling or lateral pressure on the foundation.

Filling the crack with a sealant is generally the best way to solve this problem.

Window Wells

Look outside to see if there is a drain in your window well to repair this problem. Perhaps the drain just needs to be cleaned or possibly replaced if it does. The water can be directed to a drain tile if there is no drain.

Window well liners may also be responsible for the leak. Depending on how they separate, window well liners can gape between the foundation wall and the window well. It is often possible to reattach the liner, but if it has been clearly damaged then a new one may be needed.

We no longer have to rush to save those treasured antiques, family heirlooms and photo albums by carrying them upstairs to safety, because there is water in the basement. This issue can now be tackled in several ways.

Mold can affect your health if there is water in your basement. You might also lose value if it causes serious structural damage to your home. Devaluation makes it harder to sell.

Act now if your basement is flooded. Repairing the problem becomes more expensive and more difficult the longer it goes unattended.

With these tips, you will not only be able to fix the problem, but also prevent it from happening again, which will save you money, time, and an immense amount of stress.

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