Basement leaks can occur for a number of reasons. Over the years, poured concrete walls can develop large cracks that allow for water penetration of the basement. This will be especially noticeable after the soil around your home has been saturated with water (after a heavy rain, for example). The grade of the land around your home or your gutter system (or a combination thereof) may also be the culprit, directing the flow of rainwater and runoff towards the base of your home, instead of draining elsewhere. Fortunately, there are remedies for all of these scenarios, each of which has been time-tested and continuously developed. Read on to learn more about various methods for keeping water out of your basement!
If your basement walls have developed cracks that allow water to seep into the basement, the obvious solution is to patch those cracks! To do this, a method known as “crack injection” is employed. Your repair company will cover the crack with a temporary surface bond that will later hold the crevice-filling solution in place. Holes are drilled at an angle into the crack and brass ports are inserted and tightened in the holes, which keeps the crack-filling solution from exiting. A polyurethane epoxy solution is then injected into the crack until your technician is confident that the entire crevice has been filled. After one to two days, the surface bond and brass ports can be removed, as the filling material should be completely dry by that time.
When the cause of your basement leaks is a faulty gutter system, you’ll just need to replace your gutters. If your existing gutters are directing water toward the foundation of your home, you’ll want to make sure that the new ones send that rainwater at least four feet away from your house. If your neighborhood association allows, you can connect a flexible plastic pipe to the bottom of your gutter and bury the rest of the pipe so that it directs rainwater away from your home. Check gutters often to make sure they are not clogged with mud, dirt, or leaves, which will cause pooling/standing water.
This next step requires that you re-route the water flow around your house using gravity. If the slope of the land around your house is what’s causing the standing water near your basement, use compact fill dirt and a small amount of topsoil to raise the level of the ground near your foundation. DO NOT use topsoil alone – it is meant to retain water, which means that using only topsoil will have the opposite effect than is desired.
Finding a solution to your leaky, wet basement is very simple. Although some fixes can be done on your own, it is always a good idea to contact a company that specializes in basement waterproofing first. They may offer a free inspection and will be glad to let you know if your situation requires professional assistance. Otherwise, they may offer some solutions that can be done on your own to save a little money.
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This post was written by a guest contrtibutor for StayDry basement waterproofing, the “heroes of basement waterproofing” since 2006.