Why Your Basement Leaks
October 6, 2017
Moisture is the most common problem in basements – either entering from outside sources or being produced inside by the occupant’s activities.
The soil around the walls can contain a large amount of moisture from surface water that is seeping down or from a high water table. Water can find its way inside by gravity or through a crack or flaw in the water protection layer of the foundation.
Water can also be pulled up by a “wicking action” or pushed up” by hydrostatic pressure from the soil under the walls or floor. In the summer, warm moist air from outside can enter the house and lead to condensation on the cool basement walls or floors.
Daily activities also produce moisture that can be trapped inside the home.
Basement moisture problems often include:
- foundation cracks that leak
- standing water
- efflorescence (white, chalky stains)
- wet decaying wood in contact with concrete
- damp or moldy walls or floor
- condensation on windows, pipes & other fixtures
- wet insulation
- moisture damaged finishes
- musty or damp carpets
- high humidity
- stuffy, damp smells
Possible Causes of a Wet Basement
- a leak in your home’s foundation
- basement walls, window or door
- poor lot drainage
- failure of the weeping tile system (foundation drains)
- overflowing eaves troughs
- leaking/plugged downspouts
- a blocked connection between your homw and the main sewer in the street
- a back-up of wastewater in the sewer system (or a combination of wastewater and rainwater from the sanitary or combined sewer system)
- failure of a sump pump (in some areas) used