Leaking Basement

Contributor: Aaron Goucher

A leaking basement is not an uncommon problem. Many basement types suffer from leaks. These include, but are not limited to, poured concrete to cinderblocks and precast panels. Each type can have leaks. Unfortunately, leaky basements occur in new home constructions as well as older buildings. No area of the country is immune to basement leaks, but expansive soil conditions in some areas may contribute more to leaks than in other areas.

Clay soils can become saturated with water. When this happens, the soil expands, pushing upward towards the foundation. As the soil dries, it contracts and the pressure is released. This hydrostatic pressure can cause foundation cracks, movement and even instability. Water can enter through these cracks, creating a wet basement.

What’s Lurking in Your Basement?

Basement leaks can come in through cracks in the wall, floor or the mortar joints of cinderblocks. Water actually can accumulate inside the blocks before you even know it is there. This can become a breeding ground for mold, which is a health risk, especially for anyone suffering from allergies or asthma.

Water can seep in from under the footer, located underneath the poured basement floor. Most basement construction leaves a space between the footer and the basement floor. When water comes into this area from poor exterior drainage or other issues, it can exert pressure on the foundation. This can cause foundation cracks and allow water to seep into the basement. Water may enter small cracks located between the footer and the wall atop it as well.

Basement window wells may also hold excess water that can leak into the basement. A leaking basement can suffer sweating walls that eventually pool on the floor. Every leaky basement needs attention or other problems can develop throughout the house.

How Leaks Enter Your Basement?

basement leaks

There are several different ways water can get into your basement.

  1. Water that comes from underneath and over your foundation’s footer
  2. Subsurface water that creeps up through cracks in the basement floor
  3. Water that seeps in through basement wall cracks
  4. Water that seeps in through windows or vents
  5. Sweating basement walls resulting from water vapor
  6. Wet basements lead to humidity
  7. Hydrostatic pressure and cause walls to bow
  8. Water can pool underneath the soil, near your home’s foundation leading to structural damage

Effects of a Wet Basement

Humidity from wet basements can cause warped hardwood floors, uneven doors and windows frames to stick. Leaking basements also are a haven for various bugs drawn to the moisture and humidity. These can include pill bugs, centipedes, millipedes, silverfish and cockroaches.

When foundation problems that cause leaking basements are left unaddressed, the issues worsen. Homes with leaking basements should consider a water intrusion management solution to stop leakage issues and prevent future issues. Let a certified repair specialist help you determine the best foundation repair solution for your specific repair needs.

Olshan Foundation Repair GM Kansas City

Aaron Goucher

Aaron is a Veteran and has been in the construction industry most of his life. He joined the Olshan Team in 2002 and has served as a Certified Structural Technician, Regional Manager and General Manager. Aaron is passionate about helping homeowners in the Midwest region stabilize, waterproof and protect their homes. You can usually spot Aaron on TV or podcasts, as local media outlets often feature his advice when it comes to structural & waterproofing issues.