Five Solutions to Common Wet Basement Problems
A Wet Basement Can Be Hazardous To Your Health
A wet basement is a nasty basement, full of foul smells, disgusting mildew and unusable spaces. Water in your basement can also put your home at risk of serious devaluation. If not addressed quickly, basement moisture can destroy floors and walls, damage roofing and promote dangerous mold growth.
Maybe the simplest solution to a wet basement is to extend your gutters at least five feet away from your home. Plastic or metal gutter extensions are quite cheap and widely available at virtually any home improvement or hardware store, but they are not a very attractive or convenient addition to your architecture. If you would rather not trip or run the lawnmower over plastic gutter extensions, you can hire a professional landscaper or waterproofing contractor to install a permanent underground pipe that will drain water from the roof away from your house, for about $10 per foot.
If water is visibly dripping into the basement through gaps or cracks around exposed plumbing pipes, it is easy to plug the openings with caulking or hydraulic cement, each less than $20. Plugging gaps works best when you are dealing with a simple hole in the wall that is letting water seep in, but if you have standing water on the floor or a leak where the floor and walls meet, your problem is with groundwater and a $20 plug is not going to solve the problem.
Restore the Crown
Still dealing with dripping water even after you have cleaned out the gutters and plugged visible holes? Is there evidence of water oozing in from high up on the walls near the foundations? The likely problem is that surface water is not draining away from your house properly. Most homes are built on a ‘crown’ of soil that begins to settle over time. Build up the crown again with a little elbow grease and about $100, depending on the size of your home. A single cubic yard of clay-loam mix costs about $30, including delivery and is enough to cover a two-foot wide by three-inch deep layer along 57 feet of your home’s foundation.
Repair Footing Drains
If the water is coming in low on the walls or at the point where the wall meets the floor, it is likely that hydrostatic pressure is forcing water up through the ground. You should first check for footing drains, a system of underground pipes that are installed during construction, which are designed to transfer water away from the foundation. If you have footing drains, you will see a drain in the basement floor, manhole or a cleanout pipe located a few inches above the floor. Clogged drains should be flushed out or augured by a professional plumber.
Waterproof the Walls
Once you have addressed some of your home’s draining issues, you may still need to waterproof basement walls against moisture. A French drain, installed outside and designed to relieve pressure and protect your home’s foundation, requires serious excavation and major inconvenience, but it is usually the best solution if the foundation has a ton of gaps. It is a great alternative if you have a finished basement, too. It is better to rip up the yard and replace landscaping later than to destroy your finished basement.
Contact Horizon Services
With over 20 years of service experience, we have helped thousands of homeowners in the Delaware, Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Maryland areas with their plumbing needs. Our team of plumbing professionals consists of some of the most experienced and most qualified plumbers working today in the Delaware Valley. These are top-notch plumbing technicians who can accurately diagnose and quickly fix any and all plumbing problems. Plumbing emergencies are our specialty!.