Why Are Basement Leaks so Common?
Let’s take a look at the five most common causes of basement leaks.
- As the ground around your home becomes saturated with water, pressure (62.4 lbs. per cubic foot, to be exact) builds up against the structure. The water then seeks entry to your basement through cracks and weak points in the foundation that are caused by the natural expansion and contraction of concrete.
- Your home’s builder likely installed exterior footer drains and applied a tar-like substance to them in order to meet local building codes and minimize water leakage. These exterior footer drains often malfunction, which forces excess water under the footer. This produces hydrostatic pressure under the floor, forcing water up through floor cracks into your basement. The result? A wet basement.
- During the building process, your home’s footer and basement walls were poured separately. This produces a natural seam where water can enter your basement and is the most common source of basement leaks.
- The original waterproofing coating over your basement walls usually becomes dry and brittle over time, leaving cracks in the coating. Water will penetrate these cracks and fill the cavities inside the blocks. Often this water will sit and stagnate, producing harmful mold and mildew.
- Due to the porous nature of concrete, bleeding and sweating will occur once it comes into contact with water. This can also be a result of the deteriorating waterproofing membrane in your basement.