Renovation-Headquarters Banner

Water In The Basement - Part 5

Water leaks or seepage in your basement will damage stored items, destroy finished walls and flooring, but more importantly it becomes the perfect breeding area for mold. Where there is mold, there is the possibility of respiratory problems, allergies and odors. These contaminants will eventually permeate throughout your home.

Common Areas of Water Seepage:

Mortar Joints

Window Wells

Over The Top Of Foundation Wall

Cracks In Foundation Wall

Tie Rod

Pipe Penetration

Porous Concrete

Cove Joint

Floor Drain

Crack In Concrete Floor

Water Seepage At The Floor Drain - Figure 17

Water seepage at floor drain
Figure 17 - Water seepage at floor drain

If water is coming up from the basement drain it is usually not related to hydrostatic pressure problems, but more than likely is related to a plumbing problem with the drain lines. The drain line could be broken or cracked, or tree roots may have infiltrated it. It is also possible it is clogged with debris.

A plumber's snake is the best starting point to ensure that the drain line is actually clear and will allow water to flow. If that is not the problem, most municipalities will send someone out to diagnosis the problem.

Water Seepage Due To A Crack In The Concrete Floor - Figures 18 & 19

Water seepage from crack in concrete floor
Figure 18 - Water seepage from crack in concrete floor
Crack in concrete floor
Figure 19 - Crack in concrete floor

It is not an uncommon occurrence to have concrete basement floors crack. The causes can be as simple as shrinkage of the concrete, while other more complex problems include the settling of the earth below the floor, due to poor initial preparation. As a concrete floor does not or should not provide any structural support for the home, a crack in the concrete is only an aesthetic problem unless water begins to seep into the basement through the crack.

Water seeping into the basement through a cracked concrete floor is caused by hydrostatic water pressure. Sealing the crack may prevent the water from entering from this point, but because the initial water pressure problem has not been corrected the water will find another method of entry and could create more damage than the initial crack.

The correct solution to the problem is the same as for water seepage from the cove joint. A drain pipe should be installed around the perimeter of the home, either on the internal or exterior base of the walls.