When you experience a basement leak in your Southern Ontario home it case cause a lot of long-term problems especially if the damage is not managed properly. Water in your basement will not only prevent you from using the room properly it could also lead to serious mold and infrastructure problems.
Why is my Basement Leaking?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. Water will find its way into a basement any time and anyway it can. Sealed off concrete walls and a perimeter drain may seem like the solution to the problem but water can still find its way in.
One of the most common reasons why water manages to find its way into a basement is through basement windows. Basement windows are often made out of wood or steel, as the wood or steel begins to age they can start to decay, corrode, or rust. The windows will eventually start to hang quite loosely in the frame and when this occurs leaks can become something of a problem. The good news is that window leaks can usually be repaired permanently, easily, and quickly by ensuring water is drained into a perimeter drainage system.
Persistent or heavy rain could be the cause of a leak in the basement. The leak could be due to the saturation of the soil that creates hydro-static pressure that pushes the water through the walls of your basement.
Loose soil that is located around your foundation absorbs a lot more water than impacted soil. If you have a lot of loose soil around your home you may also have clogged gutters or downspouts that discharge water next to your home’s foundation. When wet soil expands it creates pressure also known as ‘Lateral pressure’ against your home’s foundation. When wet soil creates pressure against your foundation it can create leaks.
Another reason why your basement may be leaking could be caused by leaks in the window wells. Window wells if they are not installed correctly they can fill with water. When it is raining heavily the water can find your way into your basement. When window wells are leaking there will be water stains on your walls, and these can be used as an indicator that you have a leaking basement.
There can be many signs indicating the presence of water in a basement, the most obvious being visible water on the basement floor or wet carpet in the basement. Other not so obvious signs of a basement leak can include:
If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms above in your home, Foundations First can provide a basement waterproofing solution for you.
What are Some Harmful Effects of a Wet Basement?
Some of the most harmful effects of a wet basement include mold and structural damage. Mold can have different effects on different people but it can ultimately cause breathing and sinus issues. Those with a poor immune system, the young and the elderly are most at risk of health issues caused by a wet basement.
Mold can also create a musty aroma which means you may not want to spend as much time in your basement as you usually do.
If you have black mold in your basement you will need to get rid of it as soon as possible. Also known as ‘Toxic mold’, black mold can lead to respiratory problems, shortness of breath, skin irritation, and issues with your central nervous system. This is why it is essential for you to deal with any mold you come across.
How do I Fix My Wet Basement?
There are a number of ways that you can fix a wet basement, depending on how water is getting in.
Add Gutter Extensions
You can guide water further away from your home by adding extra gutter extensions. While extensions do not provide a long-term solution as such they can help to prevent water from getting in to begin with. A more permanent solution would be using underground drain pipes that are capable of moving a lot more water so it runs off further from your home.
Mend Footing Drains
If water is making its way into your basement where the walls and floor meet or low down on the walls hydro-static pressure could be the concern here. Try to determine if you have footing drains which are underground pipes that may have been installed when your house was built. Look for a drain or a manhole in your basement, if you find them you have footing drains. If your drains are clogged they will need to be flushed, if that does not do the job you may have to hire a plumber.
If water can be seen making its way into the basement through a few gaps or cracks that are found around plumbing pipes it may be possible to plug the gaps yourself. Use polyurethane caulk or hydraulic cement to plug the gaps. However, plugging the gaps will only work if water is making its way through the gaps. If it is coming up through the basement floor or where the wall and floor meet the plugs will not work.
Restore the Crown
If you have plugged holes and your gutters are working exactly as they should be but there’s still a water issue surface water may not be draining away from your home as well as it could be.
Ideally, your home should be sat on a crown of soil that allows water to drain away in all directions. Over a period of time, the soil around your home’s foundation may settle, however, you can build the crown back up again. Use one cubic yard of water shedding clay mix per 3 inches deep, 2 ft wide layer along approximately 57 ft of foundation.
Reshape the Landscape
Restoring the crown may work temporarily but it could bring rot with it. If you would like to avoid this create a mound of dirt of a shallow, wide ditch that redirects water before it reaches your home.
Have a Curtain Drain Installed
A curtain drain can help to divert water that’s located underground and making its way towards your home. A curtain drain is a shallow trench that’s filled with gravel. Perforated piping helps to move water from your home.
Pump the Water
If you are unable to keep water away from your home you may have to channel it away instead. Create a channel around your basement’s perimeter, remove the concrete and lay a perforated pipe. The pipe will drain the water into a collection tank at your basement’s lowest spot, here is where a sump pump will remove the water from your home.
Waterproof your Walls
Waterproofing your basement walls is quite a big job but it may be your only solution. You will need to have a French drain that relieves hydro-static pressure and you’ll also need to waterproof the basement’s exterior so your home’s foundation is protected. Water will be kept outside, leaving your basement dry. This solution tends to be one of the most expensive solutions but it could be ideal if you don’t want to tear up your basement.
How Much Does it Cost to Fix My Basement?
There isn’t an easy answer to this question. A simple repair for a leaking crack in a basement wall may only be a few hundred dollars while installation of a full perimeter waterproofing system in a large basement can be several thousand dollars. The reality of waterproofing costs is that it truly depends on your home and the severity of its particular issues. The size of the area you need to waterproof, the severity of the damage to the foundation, the type of waterproofing needed – all these factors must be considered when designing the best solution and will determine the actual cost. The best way to determine the price for waterproofing your basement or crawl space is to take advantage of our no cost, no pressure quote for homeowners. One of our waterproofing consultants will take measurements and inspect your home. Upon completion of our inspection, our waterproofing consultants will recommend the most economical solution to your resolve your problem permanently.
Repairing a Settling Foundation
The typical cost for repairing a settling foundation can be between $500 and $2,500 if not a little more. This is because a sinking foundation will need to be leveled and brought back up to its original height.
Fixing Foundation Leaks
Leaks tend to be caused by poor drainage and will need to be repaired. Tile drains may need to be installed and the foundation may need to be repaired or waterproofed.
While we can estimate the cost of repairs the final cost will ultimately depend on the work that needs to be carried out. Every home and basement is different so a thorough investigation will need to take place so we can determine the cause of the problem. Once we have found the cause of the problem we can discuss your options with you so your basement problems are solved quickly and professionally.