Common Sources of Wet Basements

basement water problemsBecause it’s the lowest point in the house, basement water problems can be a frequent occurrence in many homes. What’s worse, wet basements can turn into a chronically damp environment as ventilation and air circulation are problematic below ground level. Typically, professional water damage remediation is required to eliminate the potential for mold growth and structural deterioration that accompanies longstanding basement water problems. A wet basement generally originates from a few fairly predictable sources:

  • Rising ground water. If your local geology includes a high water table, ground water may naturally rise up through the soil and enter the basement. The continuous hydrostatic pressure of ground water can permeate the concrete foundation and create a chronically wet environment in the basement. Installing a basement sump pump, as well as footing drains to collect and channel ground water away from the house, can relieve the pressure and keep the basement dry.
  • Wall seepage. Surface water may seep into the ground along the basement wall, particularly during times of heavy rainfall or snowmelt. This water intrudes into the basement through any available crack or crevice in the concrete block construction. Caulking cracks and gaps in the wall as well as applying waterproofing sealant to the concrete blocks can reduce seepage. Grading the landscape to prevent pooling of water around the foundation and installing longer downspouts to move rain gutter discharge further from the house are good preventive measures.
  • Chronic leaks. Nagging plumbing leaks in water supply lines frequently routed through the basement can contribute to basement water problems. Pinholes in supply lines may leak intermittently, sealing spontaneously, only to begin dripping again later. However, an external pinhole can mask severe corrosion in the interior of the pipe that may cause a total rupture and serious water damage.
  • Unseen water. Many basements are dark, mysterious areas seldom inspected by the home’s occupants. Minor unseen water problems can exacerbate and become major. Installing a water alarm helps provide early warning of leaking water to residents upstairs.

Ask the water damage remediation pros at Rytech for more ideas about preventing and resolving basement water problems.

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