You may have been there. You wake up in the morning bolt downstairs to grab a clean shirt out of the laundry and ugg…WET Socks! My basement is wet!! How did this happen?
Well there are really two ways that you get water in the basement. One is from indoor humidity that condenses on cold surfaces. The other is from water seeping in your basement in from outside.
Melting snow, heavy rain and high water tables, can saturate the soil around your foundation and leak into your basement. Water can leak through cracks in the basement walls or from water seeping through the basement floor. It can also penetrate porous concrete or masonry walls in the form of water vapor.
So the challenge is to figure out what’s causing the problem.
When humid air in the basement comes in contact with cool surfaces like concrete or block walls, concrete floors or cold water pipes, it condenses into water. Then the condensation can drip off pipes and form on your walls. The humid air that causes condensation can come from outdoors, or indoors from a leaking dryer vent, an unvented shower or even a humidifier left on by mistake, causing your basement wet and clammy. Water droplets forming on cold water pipes or the outside of your toilet are a good indication that at least part of your wet basement problem is caused by condensation.
Wet Basement Solutions.
Get rid of excess humidity
Removing the humid air in your basement will help dry out your basement. Repair and seal your leaking dryer vent. Add a vent fan to your basement bathroom and make sure your family turns it on during showers. Keep your basement windows closed during humid weather. And if you’re still getting condensation on cool surfaces, run a dehumidifier to lower the indoor humidity. Air conditioning also dehumidifies air, so if you have central air conditioning, make sure the basement registers are open.
Insulate cold surfaces to prevent condensation
Condensation dripping from cold pipes or collecting on cool basement walls can contribute to basement water problems. Reducing the humidity level in the basement is the first step. You should also try insulating cool surfaces. Wrap cold water pipes with foam insulation Install a toilet tank insulating kit or replace your toilet with one that has an insulated tank. Reduce condensation on exterior walls by insulating them. Don’t cover the walls with insulation if water is leaking in from outside, this could create a potential mold problem.
Keep water away from the foundation
If your basement leaks after the snow melts or a heavy rain, the most important thing is to make sure that water is diverted away from your foundation. It’s common for the soil alongside your house to settle over time, creating a moat that collects runoff and directs it down your foundation wall and into the basement. Lawn edging and gravel along the foundation can make things worse. The edging acts like a dam, and the gravel can hide the fact that the ground is sloping toward the house.
Inspect the ground around your house to find areas that are level or sloping toward the foundation. If only one side of your basement leaks, then start your inspection on that side of the house. This solution may require you to dig up existing foundation plantings, remove gravel and landscape edging, and haul in additional soil to raise the level next to the house. There’s a good chance this fix will prevent additional water problems in your basement.
If your basement leaks after it rains and you don’t have gutters, you should really consider installing them. Gutters catch the rain and channel it to the downspouts, which direct it away from the house. Whether you’re installing new gutters or already have them, make sure the downspouts have 4- to 6-ft. horizontal extensions to move the water away from the house.
The next time you get a heavy rain, check to see if your gutters are doing the job. If water is gushing from your downspouts and still overflowing the gutters, you should consider installing additional downspouts or replace your standard 2 x 3 inch downspouts with larger, 3 x 4 inch downspouts to increase the capacity. It’s also important to find out where the water is going after it leaves the downspout. If it looks like water is pooling in the yard, one solution is to install drainage tubing that leads to a dry well.
If you’re still getting water in the basement after sloping the ground away from the house and adding gutters and downspout extensions, then hiring a basement contractor like Toledo Basement Repair to install a drainage system may be the only solution. Basements problems are all different and there are unique solutions and methods to making basement repairs.
The second option requires installing a channeling system to divert water that leaks into the basement into a sump pump. A basement waterproofing system involves installing drainage tubing being below the basement floor and then connecting to a sump basket and pump. This is the best permanent fix for chronic basement leaks. This system will typically be installed by a basement waterproofing professional like Toledo Basement Repair by The Diversified Group and involves breaking out the concrete floor, burying the tubing, and patching the floor.
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