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July 23, 2018

How to fix a basement leak and keep it dry for good

 

When there’s a basement leak, there’s a problem. Without performing repairs as soon as possible, the leak could extensively damage more than just your basement. The foundation could also suffer. Odd smells and other problems can occur that negatively impact you and your family’s health, too. Now that you know you need to fix the basement leak, it’s time to learn how to fix it and prevent a wet basement from happening ever again.

Here are several strategies to fix a wet basement and leaks:

  1. Soil

First, your home should be on a crown of soil that helps surface water drain away from the building. Older homes will have long settled into this crown, so you may have to restore it. Options for homes with siding that partially covers the foundation or for older buildings without a crown, you can either create a berm or swale—two landscaping features designed to keep water away from the home. Call a landscape contractor or excavators to help you create a berm or swale.

  1. Curtain Drains

A curtain drain is a kind of French drain that is made with a shallow trench that’s filled with perforated piping a gravel. Water that is uphill of the household and endangering the basement is intercepted by the curtain drain and diverted away.

  1. Footing Drain Repairs

When it seems the basement leak is due to hydrostatic pressure—where the water is being pushed up into the house—you may need to repair your footing drains. First, do you have footing drains? Not every building has them. These are a kind of pipe that is installed around the foundation to keep water away. Look for a manhole or drain within the basement or for a capped cleanout pipe. Sometimes these get clogged, so you may need a plumber with an augur.

  1. Add Waterproofing

Though you can do a lot to the inside of a wet basement to fix the leak, sometimes it’s best to get to the source—the foundation. Other times, this is your only option. Call in an excavation team to help you dig down and reach the foundation. The outer walls will need to be power washed to see where the cracks are. Whether you find any blatant problems or not, you can still apply concrete to weakened areas and some waterproofing seal paint. Installing a waterproof membrane might also be an affordable option.

  1. Water Pump

If you’re having issues keeping underground water out of the household, then you can use a water pump to create a drainage system. To start, you’ll need to open a small space in the flooring around the perimeter of the basement then lay perforated piping down inside. These pipes will collect the water and run it to a sump pump that will be on a lower level. From there, the sump pump will shuttle the water away from the house. Though this option can be quite expensive, it is a quiet and effective way to keep a basement dry and doesn’t require disrupting your landscaped yard.

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If you have a basement leak, it’s more than necessary to get it fixed immediately. Consider it an investment of a lifetime to repair those cracks and installing effective measures to divert water away from your home. Should you have any questions about which route to take or what method is best for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.