When you buy or build a home, you don’t want to be continually trying to keep it dry. There are numerous ways that rainwater can enter your home, and even when rain isn’t an issue, there are even more subtle (and common) ways that water can enter and cause basement flooding. Learn more below about how water gets into your home and your basement and what you can do to stop this flooding.
Common Causes of A Wet Home & Basement
Whether by heavy rainfall or issues related to the construction of your home, you may find yourself with a wet basement at some point. Some reasons for this are quite obvious and can be easily prevented with routine home maintenance but others are harder to uncover and will require a professional to fix. Common causes of a wet home and basement include:
- Poor Drainage: Heavy rainfall can drive soil into the drain if you have shallow drains and silty or sandy soil. If enough of it enters the channel, it can lead to a compact obstacle that forces the water to flow around it and out of the drain. If you have a flat entrance to your front door, you may find that water starts seeping in under your doors.
- Clogged Gutters: Maintaining your guttering is also crucial to ensuring that you don’t inadvertently let water into your home. Your gutters should remain clear throughout the year to allow for the free flow of water. However, especially during the fall, you’ll probably run into clogged guttering because of leaf-fall. Regular inspections can help with this problem. If you don’t maintain your gutters appropriately, the water inside it will overflow and run down your walls or come crashing down in front of your eaves, causing moisture in areas that you probably never predicted.
- Footings: Basement footing is supposed to support and protect the foundation. The structures are typically constructed out of concrete with rebar interiors. Where there are cracks or gaps along the footing, water can easily seep in. Underneath the footing is also susceptible to cracks that allow water in. In unusually cold temperatures, the water around the foundation may shift, being pushed into the foundation. If you’re in a location with a high water table, your situation can exacerbate the problem.
- Floor and Wall Cracks: Freezing and thawing, settling, or even natural phenomena like tree roots can cause the foundation to warp and change. When this happens, cracks open up in walls and along the floor, allowing water to enter the basement unimpeded. Cracked walls typically seep water if they’re caused by water pushing them in from the outside. Mortar-joints in walls are the most common points of weakness that this type of water entry exploits.
- Pipes: Basements usually serve as the point of entrance for the house’s utilities. Cracked and leaking pipes can lead to flooding, surprisingly quickly.
- Sill Plate: The sill plate forms the bottom horizontal connector to which vertical attachments are anchored. The sill plate’s outside face is typically covered with siding and wall sheathing, but this covering isn’t always perfect. Where there is space between these materials, water can enter and slowly seep through into the basement.
- Existing Humidity: It’s no surprise that humidity registers as a significant cause of basement flooding. Warm air holds more water vapor than cold air. During summer, the air humidity in a basement is likely to rise. Since basements are warmer than the surrounding areas, the humid air condenses, leading to dampness in the basement. While this might not cause flooding on its own, it certainly doesn’t help efforts to dry out a flooded basement.
- Sump Pump Failures: Sump pumps help to push water out of basements when the need arises, but these pumps aren’t perfect. Sometimes, the outlet hose becomes blocked, or the engine on the pump stalls. Any number of issues could cause the pump to malfunction, leading to flooding since there’s no way to get the water out of the basement. If you have a particularly large amount of inundation, your pump will become overwhelmed, leaving you stuck.
Fixing A Flooded Basement
You can opt to just deal with your wet basement or try a few DIY tricks to put a bandaid on the issue, but ultimately your moisture problem will never go away unless it is repaired properly. There are so many ways that a basement or the interior of your home can become flooded, consulting an expert is always the best bet for a proper diagnosis and solution. Adams Foundation Repair has a team of experts that can uncover any flooded home or basement issue you’re experiencing and provide a lasting solution. If you’re dealing with a wet home or basement flooding, contact us today to schedule your free inspection.