The most frequent cause for basement leaks is water reaching the foundation of a house. Over time, excess moisture gets trapped in basement joints and spaces resulting in leaks and/or gasses. Foundation crack problems can also be a problem that does not involve structural repairs but rather a lack of proper waterproofing. One can easily test for leaks in a basement using a basement leak detection device. If leaks are found, they can usually be fixed by adding a waterproof layer inside and around the area where the leak is located. Proper drainage can also prevent basement leaks from becoming a structural issue.
A few signs of basement leaks include evidence of water damage such as bubbling paint, cracked foundation walls, and damaged insulation. Signs of water damage should be repaired immediately to prevent further water damage. Also, basement walls can become damp due to condensation. This can result in a number of problems including increased energy bills, mold growth, mildew, cracks in walls and ceiling, and more.
As soon as any signs of water damage are noted, it is imperative to fix the problem before structural damage occurs. Leaks and cracks that are allowed to remain untreated can weaken a foundation wall and allow it to collapse. This is why it is important to detect and fix problems as soon as they are noticed.
The primary reason behind basement leaks is hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is the force of water exerted on a wall due to its relative height. When there is too much water accumulation in the basement, or if the surrounding soil is particularly soft, then water will exert even greater hydrostatic pressure on any given area. The higher the elevations of the foundation wall and soil beneath it, the greater the hydrostatic pressure. And the greater this pressure, the faster and more extensively water will percolate through the entire foundation.
Basement leaks are typically caused by poor construction practices. For instance, improperly poured concrete may cause cracks in the foundation wall or other framing. Poorly insulated walls can allow cold air to get inside during cold winter months and force hot air into the home at all times. All of these problems can lead to foundation damage and leaks.
Cracks are the most obvious signs of leaks in concrete floors and walls. The problem begins when concrete floors and walls are not sealed properly. First, concrete floors must be adequately waterproofed before sealing the surface. Also, concrete floors are at their limits in terms of flexibility. If cracks exist prior to sealing, then the cracks will not close once the sealant is applied.
But some leaks may never have been noticed. Water pressure can create holes in sheet rock and the very nature of concrete makes cracks a likely occurrence. Even a slight increase in water pressure can allow water to percolate through the base material, going straight up into the ceiling or attic. If the system is not installed properly or maintained properly, then leaks may go undetected for years.
A leaking basement is a serious issue and requires immediate attention. Basement leaks are an indication that your home’s foundation has been compromised and that extensive repair and maintenance need to be undertaken. Leaks are a natural defense against climate change and increasingly increasing temperatures. Now that you know what causes them, learn how to prevent them, and have your leaking basement inspected, you can put an end to damp, deteriorating conditions right away!
Cracks in concrete allow water to percolate beneath and through it. This process can result in moisture leaking from your house and damaging the structure of your house. In hot and dry climates, cracks may allow water entry even when the surrounding soil is dry. And in cold climates, the concrete may crack and become brittle, allowing water penetration and structural failure.
To prevent basement leaks, the most important step is to discover where they occur. You should be able to see a cut and trace line where the leak is originating from. Once you know where the problem lies, the next step is to make changes that can correct the problem. A concrete wall is much more difficult to repair than a block wall due to the nature of the materials used to build the wall. For this reason it is always wise to have your foundation repair professionals perform a foundation repair while you fix the leaks in your basement.
Basement leaks can be very expensive to repair. It can also be a health hazard. Any water that enters through a basement wall or crawl space will eventually find its way towards your home causing costly damage. Many basement walls are simply not waterproof. A proper waterproofing membrane combined with exterior and interior grade waterproofing materials will significantly reduce the risks associated with leaks.