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What Causes Water In Basements And How To Prevent It?

Published by 911 Restoration Washington DC on November 15, 2022 in category: Water Damage Restoration

Water in basements is a common problem. Water can enter your basement in many ways, including through foundation walls and up through the floor. We will discuss the signs and causes of water seepage into basements. We also cover how to prevent basement water leaks and keep it out of your basement.

 

What Are The Signs Of Water In The Basement?

Standing water in your basement is the most obvious sign that you have a problem. There are many other indicators that indicate a water problem. Check for water every few weeks, especially after heavy rainfalls or rapid winter thaws.

  • Efflorescence – Make your basement walls shine! This sparkling white powder is called efflorescence. This happens when water seeps through the foundation walls and dries.
  • Musty Odors- Does your basement smell? Basement leaks can also be identified by unpleasant odors, particularly after rain.
  • Mold – Are you suffering from mold? Once they are wet, mold can grow on walls and flooring. Mold can also be found on walls and flooring.
  • Discolorations Are your floors, walls or ceilings stained? Water in your basement can cause dark spots and yellowish-brown marks.

 

What Causes Water In The Basement?

There are many reasons your basement may have water. This is the lowest point of any home and water can easily collect there. Your basement walls and floor are often where water pipes and sewage lines run. Water can also seep through the foundation walls and floor to cause water damage.

Cracked Basement Floors Or Walls
Cracks in basement walls and floors are a major problem. Water can seep through basement walls even if they are not cracked. Water can also seep through the crack between the foundation walls, floor, and floor.

Broken Or Leaky Pipes
A burst or leak in your basement’s foundation walls can cause serious damage. Your water and drain pipes may also leak, although this is less likely.

Poor Drainage Around Your Home
To keep your basement dry, water should always drain from your home. Water can pool around your foundation if your gutters are blocked or your landscaping isn’t. Water will seep into your basement through cracks or worn-out waterproofing.

Open Floor Drains
Another common source of water in basements is the open floor drains. Clogged sewer lines can cause water to back up into your house. While floor drains are more common in older homes than in newer ones, they can also be found in some newer homes.

Failure Of The Sump Pump
Sump pumps prevent water from entering your basement. They channel the water into a basin, then pump it out. A problem with the pump, or severe rainfall can lead to basement flooding.

Water Heater Failure
Hot water tanks typically hold 30-50 gallons of hot water and can last for three to twelve year. Your water heater could be damaged by rusting or malfunctioning.

 

How To Keep Water Out Of Your Basement

There are many ways to prevent water damage from your basement. Most of these repairs can be done by you on your own. You may need assistance with waterproofing or installing new drainage systems.

1. Clean Your Gutters & Downspouts
All water that gets into your foundation will be channeled away by your gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters can increase the likelihood of water getting into your basement. To prevent clogs, make sure to clean your gutters and downspouts twice per year. If necessary, add extensions to your downspouts so that water is directed away from your foundation. Make sure your gutters are secure and in good condition.

2. Make Sure You Have A Good Lawn
Checking the landscaping around your foundation is another way to keep water out. Your foundation should be at least three feet away from the soil surrounding your home. To help water flow away, you can add dirt to the area that slopes towards your home if it is not level. Your landscaping should be at least six inches from your foundation. To prevent basement water from leaking, plant bushes no more than two feet away and trees no less than three feet from the foundation.

3. Repair Gaps And Cracks
Fixing cracks and gaps in your basement as soon as you can is the best way to prevent water from entering it. Hydraulic cement is best for filling cracks in your floor or foundation. It can be used even if the crack is wet. Polyurethane caulk can be used to plug foundation cracks. However, it is less strong than the alternative. To carve a V-shape in the crack, you can use a chisel and/or an angle grinder with a Masonry blade. Apply a thin layer of hydraulic cement to crack using a trowel. To seal the crack, press it into the gap with a trowel.

4. Install A Drain Tile
You may need to replace your drain tile if water is already leaking into the basement. If water is leaking through your floor, a damaged drain tile will usually be the problem. Although you may be able to flush your drain tile or snake it, there are times when repairs are necessary. We recommend that you hire a basement waterproofing contractor because you will need to excavate a portion of your foundation.

5. Install A Drainage System
A drainage system is another way to stop basement water leakage. There are many options, but a sump-pump is the most cost-effective. Another option is a curtain stain. A curtain drain, which is similar to a drain tile, is installed at ground level around your foundation and prevents surface water from entering your basement. To make these repairs, you will need to dig up the foundation. You should therefore hire a waterproofing contractor.

6. Waterproof Your Walls
Another way to prevent basement leaks is to waterproof the walls. You can waterproof the basement walls from the outside or the inside. You can paint your foundation walls using a waterproofing product. A waterproofing company is more cost-effective. It offers superior protection because they can waterproof your basement from the outside. You must first clean your basement walls if you want to waterproof it yourself. Begin by stripping the walls of any paint. Next, use a wire brush or a vacuum to clean up any debris and loose material. Any cracks should be repaired.

Apply the waterproofing material by brushing in all directions. Work it into the foundation wall. It is important to not spread the waterproofing too thin or it will cause basement leaks. Waterproofing your basement walls will prevent water from getting inside. However, some interior products can still let water in your foundation and may weaken it over the years.

7. Make Sure You Have A Good Plumber
The majority of the risks associated with water in your basement are outside of your home. Water and drain pipes within your home can also be a problem. Regular inspections of your toilets, sinks, bathtubs and showers are a great way to prevent basement leaks.

 

Make sure to tighten any leaks and replace damaged or worn parts immediately. Snake your sewers once a year to keep water and sewage out of your basement. Most water departments provide free snaking services. Don’t pour liquids or water down the sink. Even if your kitchen has a garbage disposal, you should not put anything larger than a small pea in the sink. Do not pour oils, fats, starches, or coffee grounds down your drain. They can block your sewers and cause backups. Only flush regular and toilet paper in the bathroom. Flushable wipes are not as effective as toilet paper and should be avoided. Use a hair catcher when you’re in the shower.

 

Who Do You Call To Remove Water From The Basement?

Are you experiencing a flood in your basement? Do your walls and carpeting have water damage from a storm? To dry your home quickly and get rid of water, you need a water restoration company like 911 Restoration of Washington DC. Call us at 202-350-2244 if you have basement damage from a flood or leak. We provide fast, free estimates and emergency service 24 hours a day.

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