Most homeowners have to contend with leaking basements. This is a problem that affects over 70% of homes older than 5 years according to the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC). The fact that this room is located below ground level makes it prone to water seepage from different areas.
The Problem with a Leaking Basement
Maintaining a basement that has a water problem is a daunting task and as a homeowner, it is imperative to have this problem sorted sooner rather than later. A leaking basement is a risk to both the occupants and the structure in the following ways:
- Structural damage: Moisture and water presence in the basement lead to wood rot and rusting. Foundation joists made of wood are damaged while iron fasteners lose their strength. This compromises the integrity of the entire structure.
- Property damage: Water leakage starts gradually through small cracks and holes but during a heavy storm, your basement can flood when these small passages enlarge due to water pressure. This leads to property damage.
- Health risks: Moisture on fabrics and wood surfaces boost toxic mild growth in the basement. Mold spores eventually find their way to the main house causing respiratory complications especially among kids.
- Loss of home value: A leaking basement is the last thing a home appraiser wants to see. Buyers will on the other hand look for water damage and if they find any, your property instantly loses value in their eyes.
Main Causes of Basement Water
In order to deal with a leaking basement, you have to know where the water is coming from. Below are some of the most common causes of water in the basement that you should know:
- Surface and ground water: Rain and snow are major sources of water in the basement. A high water level eventually forces water through a basement floor while standing surface water pushes through the walls. Foundation wall damage is the main culprit of basement water leaks.
- Window well leaks: If the rest of the drainage system is not functioning well, water flowing down the walls will end up in the basement through the window well.
- Poor drainage: Clogged gutter and downspouts among other poorly constructed drainage systems will lead to surface flooding. This standing water will force its way into the basement. If a sump pump fails, there will be trouble if ground water levels continue rising.
Dealing with a Leaking Basement
To deal with a leaking basement, it is important to call in a certified contractor in your area. These experts first identify the source of water and treat it before waterproofing the entire basement.