Unfortunately, wet basements are an all too common occurrence for homes of every shape and size. We all know that foundation repairs and home waterproofing can be quite expensive, so it is important to fully understand exactly where your basement water leaks come from in order to find the right solution to the problem. Here we have created a guide to explain how water enters your basement and to provide advice in how to go about fixing leaks in basement walls.
Where do basement leaks come from?
There are plenty of causes of basement leaks. They include:
- Lateral pressure: The soil surrounding your foundation can easily absorb water and, under normal conditions, the soil drains quickly. But if there has been a huge rainstorm or if your gutters have been continuously leaking, there may be a problem with drainage that can cause standing water. Clay soil, like the soil around many homes around Chicago, can be the culprit.
- Hydrostatic pressure: There is always water in the ground, called the water table. If there was large snow or rain storm, this can cause the water table to rise, and when it rises under a home’s foundation hydrostatic pressure can cause small cracks in the concrete.
- Overflowing gutters: It is all too easy to allow your gutters to get clogged with dirt and debris and overflow. When this happens, the water usually sits at the base of your foundation, doesn’t drain, and then puts pressure against the foundation until it cracks.
- Landscaping: Surprisingly enough, your landscaping can be the root of all your wet basement woes. When your plants and shrubs are too close to your home, it doesn’t allow the water to drain away from the house. Then the same thing happens as it does with leaky gutters, it pushes against the home until cracks form.
No matter the source, as a rule of thumb if your foundation has cracks wider than one-fourth of an inch wide, or if you are noticing stair step cracks in blocks or bricks, you should take measures to fix it. Call our professionals at the first signs of water in your home and we will get right to fixing leaks in basement walls!