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What Basement Problems Are You Seeing? (Click a Subject area)

Basement Problems
Water seeping in over the foundation will often leave a trail of water stains down the foundation wall.
Poor yard grading and drainage can cause water to pool up next to your foundation walls.
The area where the pipe leaves the home through the wall could have a weak seal that lets water seep inside.
Mortar joints become weak over time and start to let water drip into the home and down the walls to the floor.
A sump pump can be used to control basement leaks and flooding. It pushes water out and away from the home.
Mold and mildew grow whenever moisture, excessive humidity, and organic materials are present inside of the basement environment.
Floor cracks will eventually let water seep into the home when the water table outside the foundation rises or falls.
A floor drain often becomes clogged with dirt and debris, and it is also not uncommon for tree roots to grow them and obstruct the flow of water.
A rising and falling water table outside of the home can cause water to be pushed through the cove joint (where the wall meets the floor).
Concrete can become brittle and weak over time if it wasn't poured correctly, and this can make it very easy for water to get inside.
This is typically a white, flaky, and chalky substance that can be seen on basement walls or floors. It is a sign that moisture is present.
Wall cracks could be an indication of an underlying structural problem. They must be filled and sealed before water starts to seep through them.
When the window well drain is clogged, water will push up against the basement windows until it breaks through the frame's seal.
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Simple Fixes for Basement Leaks

  • 1Be sure that your gutters are not clogged or filled with any debris that could be preventing water from being sent out through the downspout like normal. It may be a smart idea to get a gutter cover installed to prevent leaves, acorns, pine cones, seed pods, and other outdoor debris from clogging the system up.
  • 2If you have downspout extenders, make sure that they are at least 10 feet away from your foundation.
  • 3Be sure that the grading around your foundation is adequate. You may need to add some top soil around the foundation so that water will flow away from your home and into the lawn. The proper slope for this area should be 1/4" per each foot.
  • 4Be sure that large trees are planted at least 20 feet away from your foundation. Otherwise, the roots of the tree could extend outward and into pipes, drains, or even into your foundation walls over time.
  • 5Check plumbing lines coming into your home. There shouldn't be any gaps which could let water in during the rainier seasons of the year. If there are, fill them with an epoxy or urethane crack filler.
  • 6If your basement feels very humid, or if your home smells musty, it's likely that you'll have mold growing in this space. Installing a dehumidifier will help to control the amount of moisture in the air and improve indoor air quality for your home.
  • 7If you already have a sump pump installed, make sure that it is plugged in and working as it should. You can perform a "water test" on your own by dumping a bucket of water into the basin. If the sump pump doesn't switch on, it is going to need to be inspected.
  • 8Make sure wall and floor cracks area sealed with a water-tight epoxy. This way, water from a rising and falling water table won't be able to get inside and cause problems.
  • 9Make sure your window well drains are clear of any obstructions which could prevent rain water or melting snow from being drained away properly. Otherwise, this water will pool up in your wells and eventually make its way into your home.
  • 10If the above "fixes" don't take care of leaks under your home, then you will likely need to have a drainage system installed. There are interior and exterior drains. Exterior drains are sometimes referred to as French drains. Interior drains can run along the perimeter of your basement and collect water from the walls and floor. This drain is then connected to a sump pump which will push the water out and away from the home to a safe distance away.

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If You've Got Basement Questions, We've Got Basement Answers!

At Basement Maintenance, we get a lot of questions from people concerning their basements. In this section we answer the most commonly asked questions. If we do not have the answer you are looking for, you can submit your question to an Expert in our Network.