A flooded or damp basement is something that every homeowner fears. Wet basement problems can lead to all sorts of damage in a home, and it can result even result in the need for major home restoration projects, like expensive basement foundation repair. Waterproofing the interior and exterior of a house can help prevent water damage, but it is also essential to know what is causing leaky basement walls or flooding in the first place. Three of the most common factors that lead to a wet basement are:
- Bad Gutters – Even though they isn’t usually associated with the basement, a gutter system can be a major contributor to a wet basement. Drain pipes are meant to direct rain water and water from melted snow or ice away from the home, but when they are positioned incorrectly, they can’t do this. If the spouts are too close to the foundation, they can direct water into the home through cracks and holes in exterior walls. Gutter drain spouts should be pointed away from the foundation of a house, and they should be letting water out about four to six feet from the home’s exterior.
- Poor Lot Grading – Another factor that can lead to water in the basement is poor lot grading. The yard surrounding a home should be set up so that it is higher around the home’s exterior and gently slopes away as it gets further from the home, forcing water to drain away from the house. Poor lot grading can cause water to pool around the foundation, leading to significant water damage or even the need for basement foundation repair. Proper lot grading means that there is a six inch difference in the slope in the first four feet from the foundation. While the ground should be fixed if it is not sloping properly, homeowners can invest in basement window well covers to keep water pooling up around the home in the meantime.
- Damaged Foundation – While water damage in the basement can damage the foundation of a house, a damaged foundation can lead to water problems in the basement, as well. A damaged foundation can create cracks in the walls that allows water to easily flow into the home, causing even more damage. It is best to get basement foundation repair done as soon as signs of damage appear. The longer homeowners wait, the more likely the rest of the home is to suffer from water damage.
Water can cause all sorts of trouble in a house, and no homeowner looks forward to dealing with these issues. Knowing the common causes of a wet basement can help homeowners stop the problem at the source. Good references here.