Discovering an inch or two of water in your basement on a warm spring morning can be a horrifying experience, especially for new homeowner experiencing this for the first time. I have a neighbor who wasn’t informed of the basement flooding problem when they bought the house down the street. They had several boxes stored in the basement from moving and never suspected the basement might have a water issue, in fact it had a carpeted floor! To some, getting a little water in their basement is just a sign of spring and it isn’t a big deal. I guess it all depends on how you want to use your basement. More often than not it’s the musty smell of a damp basement that is the most bothersome to our clients.
The process of fixing a wet basement depends on several factors, all of which are pretty straight forward. The first step is to figure out where the water is coming from, because that determines the best way to proceed in repairing the leaky basement. I work on a lot of stone foundation and have fixed several stone basements with leaky walls. Concrete, block and stone basements can all leak water if the conditions are right, so the main focus on fixing a wet basement is changing the conditions. Here are the common places the water can come from:
- Excess ground water run off.
- An aquifer.
- A broken or malfunctioning water line or drainage line.
- Ground water.
Many times, probably most, there are at least two of these water sources present. During the spring thaw in Michigan it is common for excess ground water to cause wet basements. There are some basements being built today below the actual water table using waterproofing systems, they are basically build in an aquifer of sorts. The waterproofing systems could leak and cause a wet leaky basement. Broken, plugged or malfunctioning drain line or water line could be another cause of water in your basement. Then the last of four is just ground water. Ground becomes saturated from ground water and it rests against your basement walls, some seeps through and create a damp musty basement. Most anything you store in the wet basement will smell musty and for some, it’s annoying. If you would like to discuss repair options for your basement send me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Fix a Wet Leaky Basement~ Wet Basement Repair Options
Once I’ve determined where the water is coming from I can develop a plan of repairing the basement or installing an effective waterproofing system. Personally I feel installing a subfloor basement drain tile and sump crock is one of the most cost effective steps in taking care of water problems in a basement. Basements built today must have a drainage system beneath the floor level. This drain can run away from the home if the site allows for it, or it can be routed to a sump crock, the sump crock is more common. Installing a system like this in an existing basement is pretty simple. It consists of cutting out a strip of the concrete floor, digging down and installing pea stone and tile, installing a crock and pump and then re-pouring the floor.
If ground water is an issue, and it often is, I like to dig around the exterior of the basement foundation and install a waterproof barrier. If it happens to be a leaking stone basement I like to repair any holes in the wall before I install the waterproof barrier. Some walls may have cracks that are leaking. Hydrostatic pressure is what cause this and it can be a bugger to stop completely without a barrier on the outside of the basement. There are a couple products on the market today that can be injected into cracks that are leaking and actually stop the water due to the fact that the compound expands slightly as it cures. This creates a watertight bond and stops the water.
Another remedy to fix a web basement is to install exterior drainage tiles. This is successful where excess groundwater is the main culprit causing water to come into your basement. Another up side to site drainage tile is that your yard wont stay wet for so long in the spring. If you want a quote to get your wet basement fixed or f you would like to talk about your basement and water problem feel free to send me a note on the “Get a Quote” page. If you want a second opinion or more information to do the project yourself, I’d be happy to help.