Commonly Asked Questions
The most common causes of basement leaks are cracks in the foundation. The cracks can be from poor construction, soil pressures, ground movement and of course earthquakes. The source of water may also be from a high-water table or from the living space above. Knowing the cause is necessary to prevent future leaks.
Water that gets into living spaces is not good. It can ruin everything it comes in contact with. A leak in the basement can cause damage throughout the entire home, from the attic to the basement floor drain, if not dealt with quickly. Understanding how far the water damage has gone is also part of a wet basement inspection.
There’s an adage in the concrete foundation business. It’s not if a foundation will crack, it’s when and where it will crack. So potentially, every home will have a basement leak at some time.
Water entry through the floor is not uncommon. If the home is built on the side of a hill, near a swamp or lake, or in a bowl surrounded by hills, you can have water being forced under your foundation and rising under the basement floor.
Depending on the source of the leak, a basement repair can be as simple as adjusting the grade, a gutter extension or an extensive water proofing project. 99% of basement leaks begin on the exterior side of the foundation walls. To repair a leaky foundation properly, work should be done on the exterior side. Repairs made to the leaks from the interior should be considered as a band-aid to controlling the leak. There are many ways to control leaks and some are very effective.
If your basement is getting wet, fix or control the cause before finishing. Consider the possibility that the leak may reoccur and design your finish work addressing that possibility.