On an ordinary day, a heavy rainstorm comes passing through town. You might not think much of it, that is until you go to get something from the basement—and you find an alarming sight waiting for you. Whether it is water trickling down your basement wall, or your finished basement’s carpet is suddenly soaked because of water leaking out of a floor crack, it can be stressful to discover that water is invading your basement.

water on basement floor

Let’s take a look into the ways that water can enter your basement, and how this can be prevented! There are six main ways that water can enter the basement of your home…

  • Under the Footer: As the water table rises, the water can seep its way in between the footer and the foundation slab. The water will then start to move up between the slab and the wall until it enters the basement.
  • Over the footer: As water saturates the soil and the water table rises, the water can begin to creep in between the outer basement wall and the footer. As the soil becomes even more saturated, the hydrostatic pressure builds against the basement wall, eventually causing cracks and spaces between the wall and the footer. These spaces create pathways for water to invade.
  • Floor Cracks: As the water table rises underneath the slab, hydrostatic pressure can push upwards on the slab, eventually creating floor cracks from the strain. Through these cracks, water is then able to seep through the basement floor.
  • Wall Cracks in Mortar Joints: As hydrostatic pressure pushes on the outside of your basement wall it can create cracks in the wall as well as in the joints between cinder blocks. On a poured wall, the hydrostatic pressure can create cracks in your basement wall. Any of these cracks can create avenues for water to then enter your basement.
  • Bleeding and Sweating: If your basement wall has been left compromised by hydrostatic pressure, the water saturating the soil outside can seep into the cracks and crevices of the wall. This can build up within the basement wall until it bleeds through the wall or causes the wall to sweat into the basement space.
  • High Humidity: Moisture and temperature differences in your basement environment can cause a buildup of humidity within your lower-level space. This moisture can contribute towards the sweating of your basement walls and floors. You may even notice the moisture condensing inside your basement’s windowsills if there are any windows.

Whether it’s cracks in your basement wall or floor, or a space between the slab and the wall, these spaces provide water with a path of least resistance, especially when the soil is saturated and there is a buildup of hydrostatic pressure. From gravity to hydrostatic pressure, these are the forces that lead to water making its way to your foundation and eventually into your basement.

Hydrostatic pressure is no joke. WaterproofMag.com explains why it’s the reason that water can cause cracks in concrete and penetrate its way into your basement: “This pressure can exert enormous forces.  Four feet of water exerts nearly 300 pounds of pressure per square foot of wall, and a basement footing with ten feet of saturated soil above it must withstand 600 pounds per square foot.”

With the proper maintenance habits and waterproofing measures in place, you can help make sure that water isn’t left to sit against your foundation to create that enormous hydrostatic pressure. Let’s dive into the ways that you can keep that water away from your basement, so that your basement remains dry, safe, and useable.

Ways to Keep the Water Out of Your Basement

There are a variety of measures that you can take to help prevent water from collecting against your home’s foundation. The less water there is lingering against your foundation, the less hydrostatic pressure there is against your basement wall, which means less chances of damage or water intrusion. Have a look at these different ways that you can help keep water away from your foundation—the more of these you follow, the better chance you’ll have of enjoying a nice and dry basement for longer…

  • Cleaning the Rain Gutters: Your rain gutters are one of your first lines of defense against water damage on your foundation. By guiding rainwater from the roof to the ground, it can help keep rainwater from seeping directly into the soil against your foundation and basement. But over time, rain gutters can get clogged with debris. It is important to regularly check and clean your rain gutters, tighten any loose extensions or gutter straps, and flush your downspout with a garden hose to make sure everything is clear and secure.
  • Extending Your Downspout: To help further protect your basement and foundation from water damage, consider extending your downspout so that it’s reaching at least five feet away from your house. This will help ensure that rainwater from your roof will be deposited far enough that it doesn’t seep into your surrounding soil. You can also consider installing an underground drainpipe.
  • Ensure Proper Grading Around Your Home: The ground around your foundation should be sloping away from your home. Try to aim for having the ground sloping downwards, descending about one inch for every foot away from your home. But you should never have the ground sloping upwards while walking away from the foundation of your home.
  • Seal Any Gaps in Your Basement: From the space around your plumbing pipes to any cracks that you see in the concrete walls, you should have any gaps in your basement sealed to ensure that water has no easy way in. If you have water coming through a crack in your floor, then it’s a different problem that requires a different solution.
  • Waterproof Your Basement: If you’re encountering serious groundwater problems, it may be wise to have your basement waterproofed. From the installation of French drains and sump pumps to waterproofing your basement walls, there are a variety of measures that can be used to keep groundwater moving out and away from your home. A waterproofing expert can help determine a personalized solution for your home’s unique situation.

While things like cleaning your rain gutters can be done fairly easily on your own, if you’re not sure about how to do certain things, it may be best to contact a waterproofing expert who can help. With the expertise of a waterproofing contractor, you can make sure that your waterproofing measures are installed and maintained properly, ensuring a safe and dry basement for years and years.

’58 Foundations: Over 60 Years of Basement Waterproofing Expertise

Since 1958, ’58 Foundations has been helping keep groundwater out of basements just like yours. Whether it’s repairing a part of the foundation, such as a bowing basement wall, or installing our effective basement waterproofing system, our experts are there to make sure your home is safe from groundwater intrusion, so that you’re able to make full use of your basement. Contact us today to schedule for a free basement waterproofing inspection and to receive a detailed price quote. With our long-historied expertise, you can rest easy knowing that your basement will be well-protected!

Sources for Links:

Relieving Hydrostatic Pressure

https://www.waterproofmag.com/2015/10/relieving-hydrostatic-pressure/