Suffice it to say that basements are subject to an incredible amount of pressure, including a surprising amount of hydrostatic pressure from groundwater. It makes sense that during the rainy season, basements are extremely vulnerable to seepage and leaks.
Still, it can be concerning to find a puddle of water below your home. It’s even more concerning to think you have a leaking basement, but you don’t know what the exact source is. In general, dank smell and the presence of mold and mildew are signs of water leaking into a basement. But if finding the culprit isn’t so simple, this guide on how to find a source of the water leak in your basement may be able to help.
Cracks are some of the most obvious signs of water leaking into a basement wall. Essentially, improperly sealed concrete is porous, so capillary action causes it to absorb groundwater. That, combined with the hydrostatic pressure from the groundwater outside, starts to wear down on the integrity of the basement walls.
- Pipe Leaks
Pipes with cracks and blockages are common sources of moisture in basements. Proper insulation is key to preventing your pipes from bursting, but regular inspections can also catch any leaks, cracks, and blockages in your pipes.
- Leaking Windows
Improperly sealed and caulked windows can lead to a leaky basement. After some rain, look for leaks by the windows. If it isn’t properly sealed, you can fix it by replacing the caulk.
Not to be confused with mold, efflorescence is a white, powdery substance that appears on the walls. It’s actually residual mineral salt from the groundwater outside, since most water contains minerals. It’s harmless, but it is unsightly and may lead to the development of mold.
- Water Stains
If you’re seeing red, rusty stains on the wall, then it’s a sign that water is seeping in from outside. The color comes from iron ochre, a mineral that comes from underground.
- Groundwater Around Foundation
Groundwater can seep into the foundation, which then lets water into the basement’s porous concrete. In that case, check that the ground around the foundation hasn’t dipped, forming a moat around the house that leaks water into the foundation walls and basement. Because it’s one of the most effective preventative measures against a leaking basement, it’s one of the reasons that people recommend sloping the ground around a building’s foundation.
All in all, given all the environmental stresses affecting underground structures, there is sometimes more than one cause for a leaking basement. And while there are preventable measures some homeowners can take against seepage, it takes a true specialist to permanently seal a leaking basement. If you’d like help from the waterproofing and sealing experts, contact WICR for a consultation. WICR uses cutting-edge techniques and sealing materials that will shift with basement walls, work with water, and truly bond with the materials. More importantly, their advanced techniques allow for the homeowner to have true peace of mind that their basements are protected.