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Wet Basement Solutions You Can Do at Home

Moisture in your basement can be both annoying and harmful – leading to mold growth that compromises wall and flooring materials, as well as adding value to your home. A dry and healthier basement could help your property, too! Discover the best info about foundation repair.

The first step to waterproofing your basement is understanding its issue. This may entail installing an interior drainage system with a sump pump or creating an impenetrable barrier of waterproof material.

Cracks in your foundation or floor

Professional inspections can help ensure that any problems in your home don’t become serious; however, you can do many things at home to keep it dry and safe for your family.

Runoff is the primary cause of basement and crawl space moisture problems. Rainwater or melting snow that flows unimpeded towards a home percolates through porous soil before pooling at compacted clay near its foundation and becoming hydrostatically pressurized, leading to cracks or ruptures in walls or footings that push against it and forcing its way inwards through cracks in walls or footings.

Cracked floors that appear wet, wedging toward and up the foundation walls, or appear in circular patterns indicate serious structural problems that need immediate attention. Heaving soil may be responsible for this issue, which is particularly likely to occur in regions with expansive clay soil or harsh winter conditions.

Another location where water damage occurs in basements is at the point where the floor and walls meet (known as cove joints). During construction, gaps may form between concrete floors and walls that allow water to seep in through cracks in either. If an area in your basement feels damp or has musty odors, it is time to call for professional help.

Clogged gutters or downspouts

Clogged gutters can lead to serious moisture problems. Birds, squirrels, and other pests love nesting in gutters and downspouts, and leaves and twigs often accumulate. When this occurs, water cannot pass freely through either the gutter or downspout, leading to overflow—eventually seeping into basement walls and creating further issues.

Identify the source of moisture problems. If your basement is wet, the first step should be to identify its source. Moisture problems could stem from condensation, seepage, or runoff beneath the surface or any combination thereof. Typically, these issues disappear once stormwater drains away; if your wet basement remains damp after rain stops falling, however, then subsurface issues could be present.

Gutter systems can be improved by installing extensions or downspout extensions to carry water further away from your house. Your property should also be graded so that soil slopes away from foundation walls and the basement to prevent the ground from dropping near your home and help water runoff instead of pooling on your land.

Subsurface seepage

Seepage occurs when water enters your basement from below, often through soil conditions or drainage system issues. Clay-rich soil can store rainwater and snowmelt for months at a time, creating hydrostatic pressure against foundation walls, which forces water into even small cracks in your foundation walls and pushes more seepage into your basement through even smaller openings.

Other causes of seepage in your basement could be honeycombing, crumbling, or deteriorating concrete and pipe penetrations, which allow groundwater to enter your foundation and plumbing, causing lasting damage.

If you are experiencing subsurface seepage, the pooled water must be removed as soon as possible by hiring a professional pumping service, while running a dehumidifier may help dry out the area more rapidly.

An interior drainage system may provide the best long-term solution to your wet basement. Although costly, this approach is practical: cutting a channel into your floor and placing the perforated pipe in it to drain into a collection tank for storage; from there, the sump pump sends the excess water outside your home.

Poor grading

Your soil grade acts like a natural drainage system for your home, channeling excess water away from the foundation and basement walls and away from any puddles that form in your yard. If, after rainstorms, you notice water pooling around the foundation or basement walls or feel wet in basement areas, this could be due to improper soil grading.

If the surface grading around your house channels roof runoff to flow toward the outside walls of your basement, when it rains or snow melts, this water will enter through its exterior walls and seep through when it rains or melts causing wetness and potential damage to walls and surfaces in your basement. Since this water may take hours or even days to drain into the soil, it could potentially seep through, causing wetness and structural rot in your cellar walls, leading to potential flooding issues and creating wetness and dampness inside, which could result in damp conditions causing wetness as well as damage in its wake.

Moisture in your basement can lead to mold and mildew growth, damaged flooring materials, and discolored spots (known as efflorescence) on walls that appear wet but are actually dry. If this is the case in your space, contact a professional foundation inspector for a complimentary foundation inspection and waterproofing solution.

At first glance, it can be tempting to attempt to solve a wet basement by applying coatings and membranes on the interior walls; however, these are temporary fixes that often only create more problems in the long run. Instead, it is wiser to first assess gutters, downspouts, and surface grading before considering more permanent solutions such as interior or exterior basement drainage systems as a possible permanent fix.

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