29 Jul

With the high volume of calls regarding leaking and wet basements due to the recent storms we have been experiencing in the area, it seems like a good time to talk about what can cause a damp wall or a wet floor in your basement.  

Sometimes a damp basement wall can be caused by less serious factors such as: a gutter down spout that is not long enough, the pitch of the ground around the foundation being towards the house, etc. If you can see a issue with the ground around your house like water sitting, dirt washed up against the house, or sinking ground the above would be good places to address and repair before the next big rain storm. 

The first step of figuring out why your basement is leaking is to  detect the location of the leak. Just because a wall is wet from top to bottom, or your floor has a inch of water on it doesn't mean the entire basement is leaking. 

If your wall is leaking the best thing to do is to dig out around your foundation and pressure wash all the dirt and mud off the wall. By washing off all the dirt you will have a better chance of seeing the condition of the wall and it will help with detecting the leak. Sometimes the wall just needs a coat of waterproofing or a waterproof membrane but sometimes it can be much more serious. 

A much more serious issue could be a cracked foundation wall, or worse a broken or decaying wall. It is very important to patch cracks correctly and quickly from the time a leak begins to ensure a much more serious problem does not occur. If the crack is left unfixed for a long period of time the water can decay the foundation making it unsafe, which can result in the rebuilding of wall which can be very expensive.

Wet floors can be caused by a leaking cove joint, which is the joint between the foundation wall and the footing. Another common cause could be from a clogged permitter drain. In order to fix both of these causes excavation is needed. 

It is never recommended to try and patch these leaks from the interior of your basement. Patching from the inside can result in future cracks and decay due to the water still coming in from the outside and not having any way to escape. 

Understanding the causes of a basement leak and why they need to be fixed properly is important for the structural integrity of your home along with your safety. 

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