Why Is Your Basement Leaking?

water pooling on the floor of a wet basement.

Water is flooding into this basement through the basement wall-floor joint, as well as through the doorway. A perimeter system could have prevented this wet basement.

At Basement Systems, basement waterproofing is what we do every day. So we spend a lot of time thinking about the best and most effective ways to stop basement water right at its source.

If your home has ever experienced a leak, you can be sure that it's not a one-time occurrence. As with any water issue in your home, the best time to address this problem is right now.

Why Is It Leaking?

Whether the house is new or old, all basements have the potential to leak. And even when they're not leaking, they tend to be damp, musty spaces.

There are two important factors that contribute to basement flooding and humidity: the clay bowl effect, and the forces of hydrostatic pressure. To properly waterproof a basement, both of these factors must be taken into consideration.

wet basement repair quote

We know how to stop basement flooding and humidity at its source -- permanently! Call us for a free leaky basement repair quote!

Illustration of a house foundation, surrounded by backfilled soils in a clay bowl of virgin soils.

The soil surrounding your home is looser and capable of absorbing more water than the hard-packed, settled soils farther out.

The "Clay Bowl" Effect

Picture a basement as it's being built. The contractors first dig a big hole in the ground that's large enough to fit the foundation. Then the foundation walls, footing, and your basement floor are built.

Once these steps are complete, there will be extra space around the outer walls of the foundation. The contractors will typically fill in this space with a portion of the soil they dug out when building the foundation. This soil, known as "backfill" will always be looser and more porous than the hard-packed "virgin soil" that surrounds it.

Fast-forward ahead to when homeowners are living in the house and there's a heavy rain storm. This loose-packed earth will absorb much more water than the soils around it, creating a "clay bowl" of water.

Illustration of water flooding around a foundation and leaking into a basement.

As hydrostatic pressure builds up against a basement wall, it will enter the home through any weak point it can find. This includes wall cracks, floor cracks, and, most commonly, through the wall-floor joint.

Hydrostatic Pressure & Flooding

Water is heavy! As the soil around your home fills in with water, it will expand, and the weight of this water will press in on your foundation walls. Water will also build up underneath the floor, pushing upwards. This pressure of this water against your foundation is known as hydrostatic pressure.

As the pressure, water may enter through the weakest points in your foundation wall. This includes cracks in the wall and floor, and through the pores of the concrete itself.

Most commonly, though, the water will find its way through the point where the foundation wall and floor meet, known as the "wall-floor joint".

If the water was capable of entering the basement once, there is no reason that it will not enter again and again, or get worse, in the future.

More about where basements leak

How Can Basement Leaking Be Stopped?

If you have water entering your home through the walls, floor, or the wall-floor joint, you can address these problems with an interior perimeter drainage system. This will collect water that would otherwise flood into your basement, directing it to a sump pump system to be sent well away from the home and foundation.

By leaving a small open gap in the system, water leaking from the walls can also be collected. Budget permitting, a waterproof wall product can be installed and tucked into the system. This improves the appearance of the walls while holding back humidity. Similar products may also be used on the floors to keep your entire basement dry.

More about keeping a basement dry.

We Waterproof Basements -- Warranted!

If you're planning on selling your house eventually, then waterproofing the basement is a sound investment that will improve your quality of life for many years to come. A wet basement is one of the major deterrents of selling a home, lowering the value of a home by 10% or more.

Waterproofing the space pays for itself in the value of the home, while helping you regain an entire floor of usable space. Our transferable warranty can be passed on to the next homeowner, ensuring their confidence that your water problem was fixed permanently.

Would you like to learn more? We offer homeowners within our service area free basement waterproofing quotes to help them decide if our services are right for them. Each free quote includes an on-site inspection and consultation, as well as a written cost quote, and a copy of our full-color waterproofing book. Call or e-mail us today to get started!