Home Maintenance 101: How to Deal with a Wet Basement

a basement

Ensuring that your basement is free of water and pinpointing and resolving underlying issues are two home maintenance tasks you can’t afford to avoid. Aside from protecting your home’s value, fixing a wet basement is also vital for safeguarding your family’s health. Left unaddressed, moisture in your basement could wreak havoc on the walls and floors, promote mold growth, and even ruin your roofing.

Determining Where Water is Coming From

In general, you have a wet basement issue if you see puddles on the floor following rain, and if your basement looks and smells moldy. Long-term moisture would eventually ruin finishes, trim, framing, and the foundation that could cost thousands of dollars in repair costs. It could likewise promote the growth of mildew and mold, which could harm your family’s health. In most cases, moisture could come from the following sources:

  • Precipitation, including rain, sleet, snow, and melted hail flowing into your basement though improperly sealed windows or under doors.
  • Groundwater from pockets underneath the soil that could seep through poorly sealed concrete slabs.
  • Hydrostatic pressure, which enables the water-drenched soil to push moisture through your basement’s floor and walls.

Drying Up Your Wet Basement

The ideal way to prevent water from flowing into your basement and ruining it is to find the cause and then fix it. In some cases, the solution is as easy as grading your property or extending your downspouts so that water doesn’t flow into your house and instead flows away from it. Sometimes, however, the solution isn’t so easy.

For example, if the moisture buildup in your basement is due to hydrostatic pressure, the perimeter of your foundation should be excavated and installed with a proper waterproofing membrane and drainage system, advises one of the best basement foundation contractors in the area. This would reduce the pressure placed on your foundation and stop water from seeping through your basement walls.

Additionally, you could consider using a sump pump for removing water due to seeping groundwater. Bonus tip; if your house was constructed or renovated with the last couple of years, look at your contractor’s warranty for any clauses regarding basement issues to see if your contractor could be held liable for the repairs.