Basement Waterproofing: Three Things You Should Know

If you have water leaking into your basement, you will want to take steps to resolve the problem and prevent further damage to your home. Water can come into your basement in several ways, so knowing the source of the problem is the first step toward finding a solution. Here are just a few things you should know about leaks in your basement and how to prevent them.

Gutter Systems

Believe it or not, leaks in your basement can start at the roof of your home. A gutter and downspout system that is not properly maintained can cause water to seep into the basement. Check your downspouts to ensure they have a positive pitch. This means that the water flows down and away from your home into a drainage system. If your downspouts point to flat land or even uphill slightly, this can cause water to be drawn toward your home, where it can seep in through cracks in your foundation. Talk to your contractor about doing a leak test for your gutters and checking the pitch of your downspouts as part of your basement waterproofing project.

Hydrostatic Pressure

When the ground is saturated around your home due to water not draining properly on your property, your basement might leak as a result of hydrostatic pressure. This is the pressure that water can apply to the exterior of your basement, which over time can cause damage to the foundation of your home and give water a path to enter the basement. Your contractor should attempt to address the issue of improper drainage before making any repairs to the basement, otherwise the problem will continue to occur. Once the drainage is resolved, your contractor can then look at options to prevent future flooding or leaks. Once way to do this is to add a basement waterproofing membrane, which acts as a barrier against water entering your home.

Faulty Indoor Plumbing

Not every leaky basement problem is external. You may find that there are issues with your indoor plumbing that can cause water to come into the basement. This can range from a clogged floor drain to an improperly installed washing machine. As water leaks over time, it can cause damage to the floors or walls inside your basement. Work with your contractor to repair any cracks caused by water damage from your internal plumbing, and look to resolve the plumbing issues in your home. When your pipes and drains are clear and installed correctly, water leaks may no longer be a problem.

Remember to resolve the source of your water leaks before taking any steps to waterproof your basement, and work with a contractor to ensure all fixes are handled correctly to avoid future problems.


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