Leaky Basement – How Water is Entering Your Poured Concrete Foundation

Leaky Basement

Many modern homes today are constructed with poured concrete foundations. Poured concrete is the preferred foundation because of its strength. The continuous structure offers little room for weakness. However, it isn’t uncommon to have a leaky basement even when you have a well poured concrete foundation.

The good news is that a leaky basement can be easily and inexpensively repaired especially when the foundation is a poured concrete one. However, the source of water will have to be identified first.

Common Sources of a Leaky Basement

There are various ways that water can enter your basement. These include:

  • Cracks

Cracks are common in concrete foundations. Hairline cracks form as concrete expands and contracts. Although these cracks are harmless, they can be an entry point for water. Larger cracks may occur in concrete foundation as a result of increased pressure on the foundation wall.

  • Penetrations

Various openings in foundation walls are necessary to accommodate pipes and other service lines entering or leaving the home. These penetrations result in spaces in the foundation walls through which water can enter the basement.

  • Basement windows and window wells

Leaky basements can also result from basement window framed and poorly drained window wells. This is often the result of poor construction. It can be easily fixed by having the window frame caulked properly to prevent water from penetrating. The window well should have adequate drainage installed. Regular cleaning of the window well to remove debris and other objects will also help to keep window well drainage clear and functioning properly.

Establishing the Source of a Leak

If you’re being plagued by basement leaks, it is important to determine the source of the leaks before you can find the best solution for the leaks.

  1. Look for wet spots

Inspect your basement for wet spots. These will often guide you to the sources of the leaks.

  1. Look for signs of leaks

You may not see pools of water but you may come across various signs of leaks. These may include water stains, rust stains, peeling paint, mold and much more.

  1. Inspect penetrations, cracks and windows

Inspect common sources of leaks such as cracks, windows and other penetrations in basement walls for signs of leaks. If you spot cracks, it is important to have them fixed as soon as possible. While cracks may not be leaking at present, they are likely to start leaking in the future.

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