Because basements are underground, they are especially susceptible to water. There are countless ways water can get into your home and leak into your basement. Even small cracks and leaks can lead to structural damage and moisture problems.
It’s not always easy to determine the source of the problem, but the longer you wait to fix it, the worse they can become.
Here are 5 common ways that water can get into your home.
#1: Under the Footer
It’s common in the construction industry to leave a small space between the footer and the poured foundation floor. But excess water can build up and create pressure, causing water to seep in through this crack. This can cause damage to the inside of your home and make the basement space unusable for living space or storage.
#2: Cracks in the Foundation Walls or Mortar Joints
Excess moisture in the soil around your basement walls can build up and create pressure, which can cause cracks in the foundation and allow water to seep in.
If you have concrete block walls, this seeping water may not be visible until it builds up inside the blocks. This can cause mildew and other problems from excess moisture. You might also see water seeping out of the bottom of the wall.
#3: Cracks in the Floor
Water can build up in the soil below your basement floor and create pressure, which can then cause water to press through cracks into your basement floor. The easiest way to tell if this is happening is if you see any visible water pooling on your floor, particularly in any low spots.
If you don’t see pools of water directly, there are some signs to look for that might indicate that water has previously pooled there. Pay attention to water stains or other discoloration on the floor. Also, look for any efflorescence, which is a white or gray powdery residue of salt deposits that water leaves behind.
#4: Windows and Window Wells
Because basement windows and window wells are located below ground level in a recessed area, they can accumulate dirt, debris, water, pests, and growing plants. Window wells can fill with water during wet weather, seep out through leaks around the window opening, and flood your basement. If older basement windows and window wells have not been properly maintained, they can rust, rot, or corrode, which can create leaks into your home and cause mold or mildew problems.
You need to keep your basement windows and window wells in good shape, to help keep moisture and water out of your basement. Make sure your windows completely seal without any holes, gaps, or cracks around them.
#5: Over the Top of Your Foundations
A heavy influx of water and improper foundation grading next to your home can allow water to get into your basement. You need to make sure your gutters and downspouts are cleaned out, fully connected, and draining freely. Also, check the location of your discharge for your downspouts and your sump pump. We recommend these discharge at least 10 feet away from your property.
Watch where the water flows in your yard, and pay special attention to any pools of water close to your foundation. It’s common for the soil next to your foundation to settle over the course of the seasons, so you may need to add some topsoil next to fill in any low spots that have formed. Focus on a 6-foot perimeter around your home to make sure the soil distinctly slopes properly away from the foundation.
What To Do If You Find a Problem
If you see any problems, you should get them checked out right away. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll thoroughly evaluate your property and give you a professional recommendation to solve the problem for good.
Visit our Ultimate Guide to Waterproofing Your Kansas City Home for more articles that will help you keep the basement of you Kansas City Metro area home dry and strong.