Many homeowners ignore water seepage in basements. This shouldn’t be the case because water seepage can turn into a more complicated problem such as foundation damage. There are tons of reasons why water might seep through the walls and floors and you should solve the problems accordingly. Consulting an expert or a professional plumbing company is always recommended since they can give you better insight on the whole situation.
How does Water Get in?
We tend to overestimate the power of concrete. Water can come from everywhere, even the windows, but mostly it comes from the floors. With time concrete loses functionality and cracks. Beneath every home there is a system of water pathways and if the water levels rise to the surface (because of rain or a broken sewer pipe), they will put enormous pressure on the concrete foundation. When they do, the concrete will break even more and allow water to enter the basement.
Another source for excess water is the walls. If your roof is old and damaged, it will leak. The attic will become filled with water and then travel downwards reaching the basement. Walls aren’t as strong as we thing and they can crack as well. Besides roof water, a leaky or broken pipe can cause water accumulation in the walls as well. Sometimes these situations are unavoidable and to avoid maximum damage, we should properly protect our rooms, especially the basement. Here is how:
The best way to protect your home is through installing basement waterproofing systems. These involve digging up holes either inside or outside your home and placing specific pipes. The piping will gather all water trying to come to the basement (whether from below-ground water or broken pipes) and will direct it towards a sump pump. That sump pump removes the water from the house by pumping it out to a proper disposal area (sewer, city downhill etc.)
Besides placing the basement waterproofing system, you should also insert waterproof coatings on the walls and floors. Putting these coatings should be done only after sealing the cracks in the walls and floors. The coatings give necessary strength to material so they can resist the force of water. Consult with expert to see what waterproofing mechanism to install (interior or exterior), even though some homes in rainy climates need both.
We previously mentioned how below-ground water tables rise and reach the surface. Additionally, rain water accumulates on the ground and contributes to that rise. Some homes have poor soil and more water gathers on the ground and later puts pressure on the home’s foundation. So, if more water means more pressure and if the pressure is what causes water seepage, a logical solution will be to stop that water from accumulating in the first place.
This is why experts have thought of a simple solution – backyard drainage. To choose what type of drainage you need, yet again you have to consult with experts. Some homeowners go with trench drains, some with French, some only with weeping tiles and other don’t install drains at all, but rather choose a different option – gutters (only for climates with less rain)
Gutters and Roofs
So, gutters are practical, but only having them won’t save your basement. Besides having gutters, you should also choose a waterproofing or backyard drainage system. This rule doesn’t apply as much for homes in drier climates where people literally pray for rain and don’t face problems with below-ground water tables. But gutters are very important for keeping your roof balanced and functional.
It may sound weird to some, but damaged roofs cause basement floods. When the roof starts leaking or if there aren’t any gutters to properly direct rainwater, water accumulates in the walls of your home or again, in the ground. And the same thing happens, it puts pressure on your foundation. Apart from having gutters, you should also regularly clean them (minimum 2 times a year) so to prevent detachment or clogs.