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:
- Through cracks in the walls or floor
- At the joint where the poured concrete floor meets the wall
- Through cracks in mortar joints of block or masonry foundation walls
Fixing basement leaks
When it comes to fixing your leaky basement, there are a few steps to take to prevent leaks and keep your basement dry:
- Clean gutters: When it rains, clogged gutters can overflow and rainwater can pool around your foundation. Removing leaves and debris and installing leaf guards and downspout extenders to direct water away from the house can all help prevent the soil around your house from becoming saturated.
- Improve grading: It's important to make sure surrounding soil is pitched away from the house so that water drains toward your yard, not your foundation.
- Repair window wells: Installing a fitted window well cover is a simple solution for keeping your window wells free of leaves and other debris that can cause the drain to clog and allow water to seep into your basement.