Water is the bane of every homeowner’s existence — nobody wants to see their already damp basement filled with mold and standing water. But if you are suffering from Wet Basement Syndrome, there’s no need to fret. Fully 98% of basements in the United States will suffer from some type of water damage during their life, so while annoying, it is completely normal.
That being said, you still need to take action when you see water or moisture levels rising. Think you’re suffering from a leak, but are not too sure? The best way is to double check your water usage. Typically speaking, it is likely that a family of four is experiencing a serious leak if their water usage exceeds 12,000 gallons per month. Check past bills from your utility company to see if there have been any recent spikes.
So exactly how are these cracks and leaks caused? Here are three common causes of basement leaks.
The 3 Most Common Sources of Basement Leaks:
A faulty drainage system:
A drainage system that has been installed improperly will ultimately lead to leaks. If the downspouts of your home are within six feet of the basement wall, or if the drains are aimed towards the concrete of your foundation, consider getting them readjusted.
Thin, poured concrete
The typical basement floor is made from thin layers of poured concrete, about 2 to 4 inches in depth. Since they do not play a significant role in the home’s structure, pressure or moisture can easily cause a wall or floor crack. Water can then rise upwards through these cracks, leading to Wet Basement Syndrome.
When the water rises upwards and into your foundation, it causes hydrostatic pressure against the walls of your foundation from below. This pressure can then force water into the basement and create leaks. This pressure can be exceptionally strong, considering the fact that four feet of water exerts nearly 300 pounds of pressure per square foot of wall. To put this in perspective, if a basement was flooded with 10 feet of water, it must withstand 600 pounds of pressure per square foot.
With these facts in mind, now you will be all set to prepare for the worst when it comes to basement water leaks!