Why Your St. Louis Basement Is Leaking

We’re in the rainy season now in St. Louis, where Cardinals games can be iffy and the possibility of a rainout looms large.  It is also the time of year when we get a lot of calls about basements leaking because that water has nowhere to go and finds a way into your home.  There are a lot of causes of basement leaks, but here’s a good snapshot of why your St. Louis basement is leaking.

Causes of Basement Leaks

The most common cause for your basement to leak is when the ground soil around your foundation gets too saturated and penetrates the foundation due to immense pressure.

There are two types of pressure that can cause this – hydrostatic pressure and lateral pressure.  Hydrostatic pressure is when water is absorbed by soil above the water table and closer to the surface, and after that soil is saturated, storm water that hasn’t been absorbed forces the water table up.  This creates hydrostatic pressure below the foundation and causes water to e forced into the foundation, causing leaks.

Lateral pressure is when the looser soil around your foundation, which was loosened during the excavation process on your foundation, becomes saturated and forces pressure on the sides of your foundation, hence lateral pressure.  This happens a lot when your gutters and downspouts are clogged and flood the area around your foundation with water.

Floor cracks develop when the hydrostatic pressure from below forces the concrete apart and strains the seams in the layers of concrete by pressing up on the concrete in the floor.  When the water table rises, these cracks cause your basement floor to flood.

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April Showers Bring Basement Flooding

April Showers Bring Basement Flooding

As we enter April, rain threatens to flood thousands of basements across St. Louis with cracks in their walls.  It's a huge safety hazard and a massive expense to clean up from a flooded basement.  You can lose treasured memories and expensive appliances, along with all of the water damage to walls, carpets and floors. 

 Basement flooding is a huge problem that rquires weeks or months to fix, and can result in further issues like mold behind your walls and expanded access for bugs, rats, and snakes to find their way into your home.  Shoring up the walls of your basement should be a priority for any homeowner concerned about keeping the value of their home and the health of their family and pets.

 But fear not, St. Louis homeowners - there's a way to fix cracks in your basement walls before they become a real nuisance.  Epoxy injections give your home a chance to keep out water and make your basement safe for your family without expensive concrete work.

 Epoxy Injections are the process of repairing cracks in basement foundation walls.  This entails properly cleaning wall cracks with wire brushes, then removing any loose debris from inside the wall crack with compressed air to ensure proper cohesion of epoxy. 

  Next, we place multiple wall ports over the wall cracks with injection ports, and then spread hardening resin over wall cracks, and inject the ports with low viscosity epoxy until the wall cracks are filled to restore the foundation's wall strength. 

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Basement Waterproofing Crack Injections

With spring right around the corner, it's time to get serious about keeping your basement waterproofed and dry.  Nobody can afford a flooded basement, and in St. Louis, we know that the springs are wet!  You'll never find a better time to get your basement waterproofed, and that starts with Basement Waterproofing Crack Injections to your walls to stop the water.

Crack Injections

This repair approach is generally only suitable for poured concrete foundations where seepage is originating from the walls (and not floors). Masonry foundations, such as brick, stone or cinder block are not ideal candidates.

This method is proven to stop leaks in their tracks and make sure that your basement is leak-free and your property is protected.  

Basement leaks can be a silent killer, leading to moisture in your house and a host of other problems including rot, mildew, and mold, including the dreaded black mold.  

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How Do I Prevent My Basement From Getting Wet After a Snowstorm?

Winter snow can look beautiful, but it's not so great if all that water is leaking into your basement. If you have puddles on your basement floor every time it rains, you're not alone. Many houses have basement water problems. The first step to solving your basement water problems for good is to understand why water leaks into the basement.

Causes of basement leaks

Water stains on walls and pooling water on the floor are common signs of basement water leaks.

The most common causes of basement leaks is pressure created by water in the soil surrounding the foundation. There are two different forms of pressure that can cause issues:

During periods of heavy or persistent rain, the soil can become saturated, creating hydrostatic pressure (or water pressure) that can push moisture and water through your basement walls and floor. The looser soil around your foundation tends to absorb more water. The area around the home is often flooded with rain water from clogged gutters or downspouts that are discharging water right next to the foundation. When the soil expands, it creates lateral (or sideways) pressure against the foundation. This can cause damage to your home's foundation and create leaks in the basement.

Window wells can be another cause of water leaks in the basement. If a window well is not properly installed or if the drain becomes clogged, the window well can fill with water. During a heavy rain, the water can seep into your basement. Water stains on the walls are a sure sign of leaky basement windows.

How water gets into the basement

Water can find its way into your basement a number of ways, such as:

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Basement Waterproofing in St. Louis

Basements in St. Louis have a tough job.  they keep moisture out of an underground area that is surrounded by wet earth, and St. Louis gets both rain and snow in huge amounts, as well as major rivers running through the city.  Keeping your basement waterproof is vital because a small leak can become a major problem very quickly.  Water is one of the most destructive forces on Earth.  

After all, water carved the Grand Canyon.  Do you think your home is immune to it?

Any leak in your home can lead to water damage, mold, and destruction.  Moisture makes your wood weaker and destroys the interior of your home.  Knowing the cause of your leak is only the first step of repairing it.  Your basement can leak from a variety of sources and doesn't have to just come from one spot.

Once we determine where your leak is coming from, we use an epoxy to fill in the cracks and create a watertight seal in your basement to make sure that your basement stays dry.  

Epoxy Injections are the process of repairing cracks in basement foundation walls. This entails properly cleaning wall cracks with wire brushes, then removing any loose debris from inside the wall crack with compressed air to ensure proper cohesion of epoxy. Next, we place multiple wall ports over the wall cracks with injection ports, and then spread hardening resin over wall cracks, and inject the ports with low viscosity epoxy until the wall cracks are filled to restore the foundation's wall strength. We will also tear out any needed drywall and repair the drywall professionally for an additional charge. Epoxy Injections do come with a 7-year transferrable warranty!

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Fix Basement Cracks With Epoxy Filling

Injection of epoxies under pressure may be used to bond the cracks having greater than or equal to 0.05mm opening. This method is not applicable if the crack is active, the cracks are large in number, or when the water leakage can not be controlled. If the cause of the cracking has not been corrected, it will reoccur near the original crack. Extreme caution must be exercised when injecting cracks that are not visible on all surfaces.

Epoxy injection is commonly used to restore the pre-cracking condition of the member without increasing its strength. The epoxy tensile bond to the concrete substrate is stronger than the concrete’s tensile strength. Future cracking may occur at the same load as that of the original uncracked member but at different locations. Strengthening is provided by installing additional reinforcement across the failure plane in combination with the resin injection. Frequently, internal or external reinforcement is installed in combination with the epoxy injection for strengthening and restoration.Crack injection can be successfully performed on cracks as narrow as 0.013 mm in width with general epoxy injection resins. Cracks with less width can be injected with epoxy or other polymer systems having a low viscosity of 200 cps.

 Poured foundation cracks may be repaired by using low-pressure injection of an epoxy or polyurethane foam material. For the repair of concrete floor cracks, certain epoxies and polyurea materials exists, suitable for such slab repairs.

Epoxies and other resins lose strength when exposed to fire or sustained elevated temperatures and fireproofing protection is required for such structural repairs. Epoxies that are labeled water-insensitive during curing may develop milky white bond lines if injected into wet or damp cracks. Verification that the epoxy is completely water-insensitive should be made by injecting the test epoxy into pre-wetted cracks, then evaluating the cored sample of the cured epoxy injected into the crack. Slabs and walls restrained at their ends may develop full-depth slab cracks due to shrinkage as a result of volume changes during concrete curing or during extreme thermal fluctuations. The cause for the local overstress should be either eliminated or considered in the repair. Injecting the crack at the midrange temperature minimizes thermal stress fluctuations.

Epoxy injection for Concrete Crack Repair in foundations, basements, beams, columns, slabs, walls and other concrete structures

Call the Epoxy Filling experts at Nick Gress Foundations at 636-219-1967 or 314-409-1497 to learn more or get a free estimate.  

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