There are a few things that are as worrying to a homeowner as finding water in the basement. It’s a problem that needs to be solved right away and not only in terms of finding the source of the leakage but also by remedying the reason for the problem itself.
Wet basements can lead to bowing and cracking walls and even to serious health problems, especially if the water comes into contact with wood and you start getting mold and mildew all over your basement.
Many homeowners think that having strong concrete walls is the best protection against a leaking basement, but concrete walls are actually porous, and water can go through them.
Why Does It Happen?
When concrete is poured, it needs to be left to dry for a while. The water contained in the concrete evaporates in the process. About half of all the water should be gone once the concrete is cured. This in turn leaves a trail of pores within the concrete.
Those pores are larger than water molecules and that means that water can easily go through them. Since the pressure in the basement walls is lower than the outside wall, water gets drawn in.
Cement paste is made out of calcium, which dissolves in water. Over time, the pores get bigger as the calcium dissolves and eventually you get a musty basement.
What Solutions are Needed?
It’s best to address problems with humidity and porous concrete walls in your basement before you notice any water. That’s done by investing in a drainage and waterproofing system that will redirect water away from the home and prevent the humidity from building up again.
Here are a few ways to do that:
Interior Drainage System
An interior drainage system is the best way to keep your basement free of water. It’s used to trap water before it enters the basement, and this water is then moved to a sump pump. The system is installed below the floor and is unnoticeable once the installation is complete.
The system comes with features that prevent it from clogging over time, as well as a longtime warranty since it’s something that you only need to install once.
Once the basement is dry, its purpose can easily be changed. For most homes, basements are used as storage space, but once the basement is dry, it can be turned into a media room or a home gym since it will be much more comfortable to use.
A Sump Pump
When large volumes of water get into your basement, the drainage system itself won’t be enough to keep it dry. The same problem comes about when there isn’t a slope to guide the water away from the property. In those cases, you’ll need a sump pump to move the water for you.
It’s best if the sump pump is installed in a sump pit, which should be the lowest point of the basement. This will help draw all the water towards it. The sump pit is also useful when it comes to protecting the pump from any debris that may end up damaging it over time.
Pumps come in different sizes and are powered in a variety of ways and it’s best to hire a professional to figure out how much water a basement will have to deal with in an average rainy season.
It’s also useful to have a backup pump that’s not connected to your power system. That way a sump pump will work even when you’re experiencing a blackout.
Once water is drawn away from the basement, it’s important to make sure that the basement is sealed off so that no more water can get in. That’s done by installing a vapor barrier. They are used to cover basement walls so that no water or humidity can get in. When combined with a drainage system, a vapor barrier basically guarantees that no water will ever damage your basement or its walls.
It’s important to control the amount of moisture you’ve got in your basement. It will make the room more pleasant and comfortable to use and, in the long run, it can prevent mold and mildew from appearing. There are store-bought dehumidifiers that you can use around the house, but they are usually not powerful enough for a room as damp and large as the basement.
Dehumidifiers that are used in the basement can remove a lot more water than ordinary ones. They can also remove allergens and make sure that the air is cleaner and healthier. It should be set up so that it removes the water into the sump pump and therefore drives it away from the property. This is a device that you’re definitely going to need if you’re planning to use the basement as a living space.
Waterproofing the basement and removing humidity from it is the best way to deal with porous concrete and the walls that are letting water into the basement. It’s best to start with a free inspection and estimate provided by an expert from Foundation Recovery Systems that will allow you to find the best drainage solution out there.