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Can A Leaky Basement Be Fixed?

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    If you're like the majority of people, the prospect of a leaky basement makes you sick to your stomach. In addition to being an eyesore and a potential threat to your belongings, water damage in your home may be incredibly expensive to fix. Nonetheless, there is still hope! If you follow these five steps and put in a little work, you'll be well on your way to resolving that leaky basement problem in no time.

    Learn How To Stop Basement Leaks And Dry A Wet Basement For Good

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    Strategies for permanently repairing your musty, soggy basement.

    Add Gutter Extensions

    If your downspouts are discharging water less than five feet away from your house, you can direct the water further away from your home by installing gutter extensions made of plastic or metal.

    However, extensions are not the tidiest or most effective long-term solution, especially if it is possible that you will trip over them or that a lawnmower will run over them. Permanent drain pipe buried underground is imperceptible to the eye and has the capacity to transport significant quantities of gutter runoff much further away from your house.

    A landscaper or a waterproofing professional can dig a sloping trench and instal a pipe to convey the water away safely for about $10 per foot of trench. This service costs approximately $10.

    Restore The Crown

    If the gutters are working and you've patched conspicuous holes, but water is still dripping into your basement or crawl space from high on the foundation walls, this indicates that surface water isn't draining away from the house as it should be.

    Your home ought to be situated on a "crown" of soil that slopes in at least one direction by a minimum of six inches over the initial ten feet in any other direction.

    The ground around the foundation eventually becomes more level. After that, you can put it back together with a shovel and some dirt. One cubic yard of a water-shedding clay-loam mix can be purchased from a landscape supply business for approximately $30 (plus delivery), and this amount is sufficient to cover 57 feet of foundation in a layer that is 2 feet broad and 3 inches deep.

    Diagnose The Water Problem

    There are typically two different sources of water or moisture in basements. One of the sources is the interior humidity, which, when it comes into contact with cold surfaces, causes water droplets to develop in much the same way that they do on a cold beverage on a humid day. The second type of water is water vapour or water that originates from the atmosphere. The soil around your home's foundation might get saturated with water from precipitation, melting snow, or groundwater, allowing water to seep inside.

    Walls made of porous concrete or masonry can be permeable to water in the form of water vapour if they have cracks or other openings. You can determine what is causing the issue by taping aluminium foil to the wall of your basement and then examining it after a few days have passed. The presence of moisture on the exterior surface of the foil is an indication that the relative humidity inside is high. If there is dampness beneath the foil, this indicates that there is moisture escaping through the walls.

    Get Rid Of Excess Humidity

    Getting rid of the things that create humid air in your basement will enable it to dry out. Aluminum foil tape can be used to seal dryer vents that are leaking, which will prevent unwelcome humid air from entering your basement. Don't rely solely on duct tape because it will ultimately come off. Instead, instal a vent fan in the lavatory in your basement and instruct everyone in the household to turn it on whenever they use the shower. During times of high humidity, you should ensure that the windows in your basement are shut. In addition, if you see that condensation is still forming on cool surfaces, you might consider using a dehumidifier to bring the relative humidity level indoors down.

    Insulate Pipes

    Dripping condensation from cold pipes might be a contributing factor in water problems in the basement. To prevent condensation from forming on the pipes that carry cold water, cover them with foam pipe insulation. The foam insulation can be easily trimmed with scissors and is available at a low cost.

    Basement Leak Repair: Insulate Basement Walls

    Walls that face the outside should be insulated to avoid condensation. Insulating the walls of your basement can help you save money on your heating bill while also conserving energy in colder areas. However, if there is water coming in from the outside, you should not cover the walls with insulation because this could lead to a problem with mould.

    Foundation Leak Repair: Plug Holes And Cracks In The Foundation

    It's possible for dampness and water to make its way down into your basement if your foundation has holes or cracks. Caulking them won't likely stop water from leaking into the basement, but it will help. Because it can be prepared even while submerged in water, hydraulic cement is an excellent choice for repairing cracks in a foundation. As it hardens, the cement expands, which both plugs the crack and seals it off completely. Make the hole or crack into the shape of an upside-down "V" using a cold chisel or an angle grinder fitted with a masonry-cutting disc or a diamond blade. The narrow section of the "V" should be on the surface of the wall.

    If you notice water dripping into the basement from cracks or gaps around the plumbing pipes, you may easily plug the openings yourself for less than twenty dollars with hydraulic cement or polyurethane glue.

    Plugs are effective when the issue at hand is only a hole through which water seeps, whether as a result of surface runoff or damp soil. But if the water is coming up through the floor or at the joint where the floor and the walls meet, the issue is groundwater, and plugs won't solve the problem in this case.

    Waterproofing Basement Walls

    Materials used for waterproofing, such as paint, cover the pores in the walls of masonry or concrete and prevent water from penetrating the structure. These coatings can only be applied on unfinished concrete or masonry walls in order for them to be effective. To get started, get a wire brush and remove any debris that is loose. After that, use masonry cleanser to remove any "efflorescence" that is white and powdery. Be sure to pay close attention to both the precautions and the application instructions. When it comes to waterproofing masonry, one of the most common errors that may be made is spreading the solution too thinly. The objective here is to plug each and every pinhole so as to produce a seamless waterproofing membrane. To ensure that there are no pinholes left, brush the coating in all directions. After the first application has had time to dry, apply a second one.

    Reshape The Landscape

    Building up the crown of your home could bring dirt, as well as rot and termites, too close to the siding for comfort. This is because the siding of your home somewhat overhang its base. A minimum distance of six inches is required for safety. In this scenario, you should construct a berm, which is a mound of soil, or a swale, which is a wide ditch with a shallow depth. Both of these landscape features will divert water well before it reaches your home.

    Berms are simple to construct, and a landscape contractor can do it for a few hundred dollars in places with a smaller footprint. When working on larger projects, it makes less sense to employ berms because you will have to truck in an excessive amount of soil. In that scenario, you need dig a swale, which will cost roughly $1,000. Berms and swales have the potential to become lovely elements in your yard as the landscaping fills in.

    Repair Footing Drains

    If water is entering your basement low on the walls or at seams where the walls meet the floor, the cause of the problem is likely hydrostatic pressure, which occurs when water is forced upward from the ground by gravity.

    First, check to see if your home has footing drains, which are subterranean pipes that were put during the construction of the house to direct water away from the foundation. (You should look for a cleanout pipe capped a few inches above the basement floor or a maintenance hole or drain on the floor of the basement.)

    In the event that the drains are clogged, open the cleanout and use a garden hose to cleanse the pipes. In the event that this does not work, you can hire a plumber who has an auger to complete the task for approximately $600.

    Install A Curtain Drain

    Installing a curtain drain might help redirect water that is travelling underground towards your house if you do not have footing drains that are working properly.

    A curtain drain is a sort of French drain that consists of a shallow trench that is two feet deep and one and a half feet across. This trench is filled with gravel and perforated piping, and it is located uphill of your property. The water is then carried down the slope and away from your home.

    If the drain runs through an area containing trees or shrubs, you might want to consider installing solid pipe to lessen the likelihood of the drain becoming clogged by roots that have grown into the pipe. Price ranges between $10 and $16 per linear foot.

    Pump The Water

    If you are unable to prevent water from the subsurface from entering, you will need to channel it from the inside out.

    To make an internal drainage system, cut a channel into the concrete all the way around the edge of the floor, then chip away at the concrete until you have a hole big enough for perforated pipe. The water from the pipe is collected in a sump tank at the lowest point of the basement, and then it is pumped out of the building by a sump pump.

    In an unfinished basement that has easy access, investing in an internal system (which typically costs around $3,000) is the most cost-effective and least intrusive alternative available. It is also a fantastic alternative if your yard is full with mature vegetation, which would be destroyed if you dug a hole for an outside drainage system.

    Waterproof The Walls

    The water is removed, but the walls are not rendered watertight by the installation of an interior drainage system. In order to accomplish this, an external system is required, specifically a French drain to alleviate hydrostatic pressure and outside waterproofing to safeguard the foundation.

    It is a significant undertaking that includes excavating around the house, but it could be the most effective solution if your foundation has a number of holes. Additionally, it prevents the accumulation of filth and water inside the structure, making it a viable option for those who would want to avoid demolishing a completed basement.

    The downsides include a price tag that can reach $20,000, damage to your yard, and the possibility that you will need to remove decks or walkways. The price tag can also be an issue.

    How To Stop Basement Flooding: Install A Drainage System

    Installing drainage tubing below the floor of the basement and connecting it to a sump basket and pump is the most effective and long-term solution for persistent basement leaks. You can do the installation of a system like this on your own, but it requires a lot of backbreaking labour since you have to tear up the concrete floor, bury the tubing, and then fix the floor. It will cost between $600 and $1,000 in materials to finish an average basement. Prepare yourself to invest between $3,000 and $8,000 for a system to be professionally installed in a basement of a standard size.

    Install Drainage Mats For A Warmer, Drier Floor

    Plastic drainage mats, also known as dimple mats, create a barrier against moisture while still allowing air to circulate under the flooring. They also offer an insulating layer of air that separates the floor from the cold concrete, which decreases the potential for moisture damage that can be caused by condensation or water vapour migrating through the concrete.

    How To Stop Basement Flooding: Install A Sump Pump

    The process of installing a drainage system in a basement is laborious, dirty work, but it is not overly complicated. You will be able to perform an excellent job of basement drainage if you pay attention to the guidance that our drain tile specialists give you. And DIY pays off big: For a normal basement drainage job, professionals charge anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000 in fees (120 linear feet of drain tile). Yours can be installed for less than 1,500 dollars, taking into account the cost of materials and equipment rentals.

    How To Keep Water Away From House Foundation: Inspect And Take Notes

    You will need to perform an in-depth inspection of the soil that surrounds your foundation. You will need a notepad, a tape measure, and a level that is 4 feet in length for this. To begin, take out your notebook and scribble a quick drawing of your house and yard. After that, make use of the level to evaluate the gradient of the terrain surrounding your foundation. Look for portions of the ground that are lower than the surrounding area, garden beds with edges that stick out to form a dam, and slopes that lead up to the home. Include notations on your sketch in the form of arrows to indicate the direction in which the land slopes. Following these instructions will help you devise a strategy for diverting water away from the building's foundation.

    How To Keep Water Away From House Foundation

    If you have a problem with water seeping into your basement after it has rained heavily or after snow has melted, making sure that water is directed away from your foundation may remedy the problem. It is not uncommon for the soil that is adjacent to your home to sink over time, so forming a moat that collects runoff and channels it down your foundation wall and into the basement. Gravel and lawn edging placed close to the foundation may make the problem even more severe. Create a slope that is six feet broad and dips off to a depth of around four inches away from the foundation to solve the problem. Add an additional layer of protection by covering the sloped soil with a coating of 6-mil poly. The polythene should then be concealed with mulch, gravel, or a layer of dirt that is then covered with grass. Because of this, water won't be able to seep into the ground close to the foundation.

    How To Keep Water Away From House Foundation: Add Gutters And Downspout Extenders

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    If you don't already have gutters but you see water leaking into your basement after it rains, you might want to instal some. Rainwater is collected by gutters and then directed to downspouts, which carry it away from the foundation of the home. If you are building new gutters or already have them, you need to make sure that the downspouts have horizontal extensions that are between 4 and 6 feet long in order to direct the water away from the home.

    Best Practices For Preventing Moisture Issues

    Warm air can seep into a chilly basement through the rim joist, which is the board that sits above the foundation wall and supports the floor joists and the sill plate. This can lead to the formation of moisture in the basement. Known sources of air leaks are the spaces around the rim joist and the sill plate.

    When gaps are sealed, the objective is to create a barrier that prevents water and air from entering the space. Use a mortar that is appropriate for the job or a sealant that has low shrinkage if you choose to do it yourself. Seal the area between the service line and the sleeve when you are using a sleeve to seal around a cast-in penetration like a gas or water line.

    Insulate Your Basement. 

    Insulating your basement is a more effective solution than using an automatic dehumidifier, which can help with some of the condensation problems that are caused by high humidity.

    Insulating with foam tubing will help prevent condensation on cold water pipes from dripping, thus it is a good idea to do so. But don't go through with it by yourself. In addition to that, ensure that the insulation is properly installed and that the dehumidifier is operating.

    Add A Perimeter Drain. 

    Whether you do this project on your own or hire a contractor to perform it, the drain will collect any rising groundwater and carry it away from the foundation. This is true whether you do it yourself or hire a professional.

    By placing gravel fill all around the perimeter drain, you can ensure that it is shielded from potential harm and will not become clogged. In addition, make use of a pipe that comes equipped with its own filter sock in order to prevent the entry of clay and silt soils.

    Install Sensors For Monitoring. 

    Floor and valve sensors provide for early detection of water leaks, allowing repairs to be made before damage occurs. When they are tripped, certain sensors have the ability to cut off the electricity and close any leaky valves.

    With many modern sensors and home control systems, you can now receive notifications by email or text message if a sensor in your house is triggered. For further information on these choices, speak with a specialist in HVAC or bespoke electronics.

    Design Landscaping Correctly. 

    Because the basement is below ground, you should check the exterior of the building to ensure that the ground slopes away from the foundation wall "Diane Slovak, who works with Innovative Concepts, explains. If it's done correctly, then you shouldn't have any problems moving forwards. In the event that this occurs, you will be required to remove your bushes and make the necessary adjustments."

    To ensure that the exterior finish of the building is not harmed by moisture and to ensure that correct landscaping can take place, the top of the foundation should be a minimum of 8 inches above the soil. The minimum distance that plants should be put from a building's foundation is two feet, and they should be positioned so that water will not be directed towards the structure. During the landscaping process, be careful not to overwater the earth.


    If you want to remedy your leaking basement, you need to be familiar with the best practises that are now available. Our seasoned professionals will provide their advice in the following section, but in the meantime, we would like to share some of our personal favourites that we have discovered to be effective in any circumstance. These include: sealing cracks and gaps around pipes, doors and windows; removing standing water; making use of a dehumidifier or fan; installing an automatic sump pump to prevent flooding in the event that leaks occur in the future. What other creative concepts do you have in your head? Tell us the details! We are continually exploring for innovative ways to assist homeowners in maintaining the dryness of their basements so that they may take advantage of all the advantages associated with living on higher ground.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Leaky Basement

    The most effective way to keep water out of your basement is to install an interior drainage system that minimises hydrostatic pressure. By installing drain tile along the joint where the floor meets the wall, where most water leakage occurs, you can capture water before it gets onto the basement floor.

    Most basement leak repairs, whether performed on brick, cement block, or concrete foundations, can be performed from the inside or the outside of the home. For example, if you have a poured concrete foundation, interior and exterior waterproofing repairs can effectively prevent a wet basement.

    Flex Shot and Flex Seal Liquid are great options for attacking a basement wall leak. ... Pour the Flex Seal Liquid into any larger cracks, then you can use a roller or brush to cover larger areas. Be sure to apply several coats and cover the area as much as you can. For best results, allow 24 hours for each coat to dry.

    The average homeowner spends around $4,712 to waterproof a basement or foundation, with minor repairs costing as little as $600. However, more comprehensive issues that include fixing cracks in the foundation or adding drains & gutters can cost upwards of $10,000.

    So when it's time to waterproof your basement, it is important to look outside your basement walls. Once all the soil around the foundation has been removed, a waterproof sealant can be applied to the exterior walls. This sealant is typically a polymer base, which should last for the life of the building.

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