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A wet basement is a frustrating problem for any homeowner. This problem can cause further damage to a property if it is not fixed on time. As such, solving this problem is among the most important means of protecting the overall value of your property and ensuring the health of the property occupants. Apart from feeling and smelling nasty, a basement with moisture poses a risk to your home’s value. If you do not fix this problem, it will ruin the walls, floors, encourage mold growth, and eventually cause damage to roofing.
Some moisture problems are easy to fix by simply clearing gutters or diverting the gutter water from the property foundation to prevent a wet basement. However, if this problem originates from another source, such as water flowing towards the property on the upper surface, backing up via the storm drains of the municipal or underground seeping, you need to be more aggressive in dealing with the problem.
Causes of a Wet Basement
Surface water is the main cause of moisture in the basement if it is not drained away properly.
Other causes include:
- Ground or subsurface water that is dammed up or intercepted by the foundation or basement wall. This cause is common in houses constructed in hillsides or downslope areas where surface water is highly likely to soak in the soil. The foundation wall serves as a dam. It can trap or intercept sub-surface water leading to pressure build-up and eventually forcing water via cracks and joints into the basement.
- Nearby springs can also cause this problem. This occurs when these are covered up or filled in by property developers. Water from such springs will always cause this problem unless they are drained away properly because their water seeps into an area where the house is built, causing a groundwater pool that forces itself into the basement.
- Improperly installed, collapsed, or clogged drains can cause a wet basement. These facilitate escaping of the foundation wall or downspout water. Foundation, footer, or perimeter drains installed around the house exterior beneath the basement floor intercept subsurface water and dispose of it, eliminating the build-up of groundwater and seepage. If installed improperly or if they are clogged with roots or silt, their operations will be hampered, and this will cause wet basement problems.
- Nearby creeks can overflow when there is a storm runoff can also cause a wet basement. Ultimately, their water will flood the basement or cause groundwater, which can be sufficient to cause basement seepage. The effects of such groundwater may not be experienced by a homeowner immediately until after some months due to infrequent flooding or drought. Nevertheless, the conditions occur, and they can become sudden, causing serious basement problems.
- Ruptured sanitary or water lines under the property or outside a wall. These make the crawl space unusually wet, and this causes dampness in the basement floor or wall.
When you detect dampness in your basement, it is important to take appropriate measures immediately. There are several ways through which wet basement problems can be fixed.
Here are eight strategies that you can take to fix wet basement problems
1. Add an extension to the gutter
If the downspouts dump water that is not more than 5 feet from the house, you should guide the water further from your house by adding metal or plastic gutter extensions. However, extensions might not be the best and most effective solution to your problem, especially if you might trip over or run over the extensions with your lawnmower. An underground pipe that is permanent and invisible can be an ideal solution, especially if you want to drain away a large runoff from the gutter away from the house.
2. Plug gaps
In case you notice dribbling of water into your basement via gaps or cracks around your plumbing lines, you should plug those openings using polyurethane caulk or hydraulic cement. Plugs are effective when this problem is caused by a hole via which water oozes into the basement from the wet soil around the building or surface runoff. However, if water originates from the floor, then this problem is caused by groundwater, and using plugs will not work.
3. Restore crowns
If you notice that your home gutters are functioning properly and have plugged holes, water is still dribbling into the basement from the high foundation walls, which means that surface water is not draining away properly. Therefore, you need to restore the soil crown to enable the soil that surrounds the foundation to settle.
4. Repairing footing drains
In case you notice water leaking into the basement through the walls or seams, then the hydraulic pressure is the cause of the problem because it pushes water from the underground upward. Therefore, check to ensure that there are footing drains in your property installed during construction to drain foundation water away to prevent a wet basement. If they are clogged or damaged, clean them out or replace them.
5. Reshape your landscape
If your home’s siding overlaps the foundation slightly, building a crown up can bring soil close to the siding. As such, you should have a swale or a landscape feature for redirecting water before it gets to your house. Such landscape features are easy to build in some areas.
6. Curtain drain installation
If the footing drains were not installed during construction, you could install curtain drains. These will divert underground water from moving towards your building.
7. Pumping water
If keeping surface water away is impossible, you can channel it out using a pump. You can do this by creating an interior system for draining water away using a sump pump.
You can solve a wet basement problem by waterproofing your building walls. You can do this by installing an exterior waterproofing system for protecting the foundation.
Basically, there are many sites with information about causes and solutions to wet basement problems; please visit them to learn more.
When you require a water damage restoration company for wet basements, contact Secure Restoration.