If your basement repeatedly floods during the rainy seasons of the year or you constantly find patches of dampness no matter how hard you try to keep it dry, there are several potential causes. Thankfully, Foundation Recovery Systems also knows of many different solutions for this unsanitary and irritating problem. Our team will help you properly waterproof your basement to ensure you never have to deal with basement flooding again.
Diagnosing and Fixing the Problem
Of course, before we can fix the problem, we need to figure out what is causing these constant bouts of flooding and dampness. There are many potential causes, and if you have issues with extensive dampness and flooding, there may be more than one issue at play.
Learning to recognize the warning signs of dampness, instability, leaks, and flooding is important; if you know where the water is coming from, you stand a better chance of fixing the issue before real damage is done. This short guide should help you to recognize common basement flooding problems.
Leaking Windows and Window Wells
If you have ground-level windows, leaks are likely if the window wells have substandard drainage or their drainage systems are blocked by debris. You can recognize leaking windows and window wells by pools of water and discoloration under the windows.
If you have leaking pipes or pipe joints somewhere in your home, this water is likely to make its way down to your basement. You won’t always see this dampness, but you will be able to tell there’s a leak somewhere in your system by sudden drops in water pressure, rises in your water bill, or a musty smell in your basement.
Leaking Water Heaters
A leaking water heater is one of the most obvious and immediately dangerous sources of water in your basement. Anyone near a water heater when a pipe bursts runs the risk of scalding and burns. The amount of water that one can leak is huge. A broken water heater can cause a full-scale plumbing flood. You can recognize a smaller leak in a water heater by looking for stains and dampness around its base.
Flooding from external sources is less common but far more destructive than most internal sources of water. If this happens, there’s not much you can do to deal with it until the water subsides outside. However, if you have a sump pump, it will help dramatically with drainage.
Sump Pump Failure
Sump pumps are the unsung heroes of the home. When your sump pump fails, especially if it fails during heavy rainfall, you will realize just how important it was to keeping your home dry. Thankfully, most sump pump issues are easy to fix. You will recognize sump pump issues by excess noise coming from the pump, or by water rising steadily from the basement.
Cracks in Your Walls and Foundation
If hydrostatic pressure causes your walls and floor to crack, water can begin to seep into your basement slowly and steadily. This will not usually result in standing water but will raise the humidity of your home, cause mold formation, and may lead to a musty, unpleasant smell in your basement over time. These cracks are usually quite visible.
There are many reasons your basement could be flooded regularly. The most obvious, of course, is an external source of water or internal plumbing leaks. However, there are other possible causes. These include:
- Leaking Window Wells
If you have basement windows, water building up in the window wells can cause leaks or even a full-scale flood if the weather is extreme and you are unlucky. This can be caused by old, generally worn windows that are at the end of their life, or by damage to the window pane itself. However, the most common causes are damage to the sealant and the sill.
The sealant around your windows is vulnerable to changes in temperature and is exposed to the elements. As such, it is often the first thing to wear away. When this happens, water will quickly begin to leak into your basement. If you have older windows with wooden sills, they can also be a cause of leaks; if the wood starts to rot, water will get through in surprising amounts.
- Cracks in Your Walls or Floor
Your basement is one of the areas in your home that is most vulnerable to cracking. This is because of the immense amount of pressure that it faces. Cracks in your basement and floor as a result of foundation damage or hydrostatic pressure can let in surprising amounts of water, especially if the ground is saturated after a severe storm.
Dehydration, too, can be an issue for your basement. If the soil under your home shrinks as a result of dehydration, your foundation may not have enough support. This can lead to cracking and settlement. When the soil becomes saturated again, however, these cracks will let water into your basement directly. They will act almost like channels for the water.
- Blocked Drainage Systems
Your home’s drainage systems are incredibly important to its health. From your roof gutters to your sump pump, they are all part of a larger system that works to prevent water from building up around your home. Blocked drainage systems or a broken sump pump can cause serious flooding in your basement. As such, it is important to stay on top of maintenance.
If one part of your drainage system becomes blocked, it will affect the rest of your systems until water starts to pool around your foundation. The most common problems this can cause are bowing walls and settlement, but flooding is often a co-occurring issue. Of course, if a big storm rolls in, even the most well-protected basements can see flooding.
Dampness may be hard to get around, but full-scale basement flooding is much easier to prevent. Regular maintenance of your drainage and waterproofing systems is the best thing you can do for your home. Keep on top of these three areas for the best results.
- Sump Pump Maintenance
Your sump pump is one of the most important appliances in your home when it comes to preventing flooding and managing water levels. It is both your first and last line of defense when it comes to water in your home. As such, you must take good care of it. Sump pump failure is the most likely to cause a large flood.
Scheduling regular maintenance appointments for your sump pump is one way to protect your home from flooding. When you have your pump regularly maintained, you will be notified of potential issues and the end of your sump pump’s lifespan as it approaches. This will help you to prevent avoidable breakdowns and floods.
- Gutters and Drains
Your home is likely to have a huge number of internal and external drainage systems that are incredibly important to its health and wellbeing. Keeping these systems clear, healthy, and functioning is one of the best things that you can do for your home. Keep your gutters and drains clean and free from debris to prevent avoidable flooding.
Clearing your exterior gutters once a year and scheduling maintenance checks for interior or subterranean gutters and drainage systems is easy enough, but the benefits are truly huge. You can also invest in good downspouts if yours are a little outdated; this will help you to effectively direct water away from your home.
There are some waterproofing solutions you can install yourself, but many require a professional touch to ensure that installation is completed to an acceptable standard. The benefits of professional installation are:
Professionals have access to information, tools, and materials that the average homeowners cannot get their hands on. As such, professional repairs are of a higher quality and are likely to last much longer than DIY fixes. Professionals also have access to specialized products that are not readily available online or through hardware stores.
Furthermore, you can rely on a professional to notice warning signs and co-occurring issues that may be impacting your drainage systems and home. Catching these small issues before they snowball into real problems will save you money in the long-run and prevent avoidable breakdowns. As such, you can relax, safe in the knowledge that your home is ready for any weather.
If you try to repair damage yourself and it goes wrong, you’re on your own, but when you hire a professional, you can rest assured that any issues will be dealt with quickly. This guarantee of support may not seem like much when you are dealing with something simple, like a broken downspout, but when it comes to your sump pump, it is key.
Beyond this, a professional has skills and experience that few, if any, amateurs do. When you hire professional help, you also get the guarantee of a certain standard of work. The professional level finish that experts offer is a small thing that sets it apart from DIY repair jobs. It’s reassuring, after all, to know that you will get a complete solution every time.
Preventing Basement Floods in The Future
Foundation Recovery Systems offers a range of waterproofing solutions and products that will help you reclaim the vast livable space that is your basement. We are conscientious about offering only the best products and services to homeowners.
We have taken great pains to ensure that even the most utilitarian products conform to these standards in every way possible. When you choose a Foundation Recovery Systems solution, you can kick back and relax, safe in the knowledge that we will make sure your basement is safe, dry, and welcoming.
Our Waterproofing Solutions
The solutions and products we suggest for repairing the damage of flooding and preventing future basement floods depend on the needs of an individual basement. However, there are certain dampness prevention products we recommend more than any others. They are:
Interior Drainage Systems
The most important part of waterproofing is preventing water from reaching your basement’s interior in the first place. That’s why you need an effective interior drainage system to intercept any water that might leak through your walls or wall-floor joint.
As we previously mentioned, a good sump pump is a lifesaver for your home. You need one not only in a flooding situation, but also for typical leaks and water management. Any water the interior drainage system catches will be channeled to the sump pump so it can be properly removed from your home.
Our dehumidifier is energy-efficient, self-draining, powerful, and quiet. Our team will help you to choose the dehumidifier that is best for your basement, carefully considering the size of the room and the humidity of the climate.
Unlike the thin vapor barriers that are stocked in most hardware stores, our Wall Seal™ vapor barrier is uniquely durable. It is abrasion-resistant, puncture-resistant, washable, and mechanically attached. Unlike water-resistant paints, this will never peel, flake, or scuff, and it comes with a warranty.
These solutions may be simple, but they are nonetheless effective ways to prevent basement flooding and minimize dampness. That’s why they come with the Foundation Recovery Systems seal of approval as well as our transferable warranties, guarantees of performance, and speedy repair should something go wrong.
Looking for Professional Waterproofers?
Once you know what issues you are dealing with, you should contact your local foundation repair service to find out how these issues can be solved. Foundation Recovery Systems offers a comprehensive range of foundation and basement repair and waterproofing services. We also offer free inspection appointments for those who are still not quite sure what is causing their basement flooding problems.
Our team is here to help you make the best possible decisions for your home and basement when it comes to ensuring your home stays dry. If you have any questions or concerns about your waterproofing solutions or basement, please don’t hesitate to tell us. We will be more than happy to help you understand why we made certain recommendations or to seek out alternatives you are more comfortable with. Our experts provide basement waterproofing throughout St. Louis, Kansas City, Des Moines, Springfield and Moberly.