Dealing With the Wet Basement Problem

Reports of a wet basement are enough to strike fear into the hearts and minds of many homeowners. Reports from home inspectors indicate that up to half of the homes in the US might suffer from this problem. For some homeowners, especially those that only use their basements for storage, the problem might not be noticed until it is too late. In case any of these issues occur in the basement, it might be time to consider waterproofing.

 

  • A persistent musty smell
  • Mold growth
  • Water on the basement floor
  • Condensation on the walls

 

According to leaky basement waterproofing experts, the most typical causes of this problem are condensation, runoff and groundwater.

Groundwater swelling

This is when the water table exceeds its high point. The result of this is that the soil around the home then becomes unable to hold the excess water, resulting in a runoff problem. The signs of wet basements from groundwater rising include a wet basement after storms and water seeping and bubbling from the joints between the walls and the floor. During construction, not many basements will be protected from the effects of a rising water table.

Runoff

This is the most common cause of seepage in the basement. When melted snow or rainwater is not directed from the house, then hydrostatic pressure forces the water through cracks and joints in the walls. The ideal solution for this is to make the ground away from the home slope away such that runoff is directed away and not towards the house. Technically, this is not part of leaky basement waterproofing, but will eventually help.

Condensation

This will occur when moist and warm air hits the cold floors and walls of the house. For most people, the air conditioning in the house does not extend as far as the basement. If there are wet spots on the floors and walls of the basement, then perhaps the home has a condensation problem. There is a simple test to determine whether this is the case. Tape a plastic wrap onto the wall and seal the edges for a few days. If the water appears on the inside of the plastic wrap, then there could be a seepage problem. It the water is only on the outside, there is a condensation problem.

Whatever the case, the dangers of a wet basement call for immediate attention to the problem. Leaky basement waterproofing prevents health risks, destruction of property stored and a general degradation of the house. There is a lot one could do on their own, but it might help to have experts either consult or handle the problem.