Most homeowners don’t like discussing a certain area of their home–their basement. In older homes, years of neglect have likely contributed to a leaky and wet basement. Basements without waterproofing often have a wide variety of problems. For example, leaky rod tie holes could be letting in water during storms and wet spells. You could also have cracks in your foundation, a faulty sump pump, or other issues that are contributing to damp basement problems in your home.
There are many questions regarding wet basements and what can be done to solve the problem. Let’s look a little bit more at some of the problems that a wet basement can cause in your home.
Why Is My Basement Wet After It Rains?
After a heavy rainstorm, you may notice that your basement walls are moist. Sometimes, you might even notice puddles of water on your floor. Many older homes have foundations that are porous, meaning that they let water pass through. As water accumulates around the outside of your home, it will pass through your foundation through the point of least resistance. If your basement has cracks or leaks in the foundation, water will come through quickly and accumulate around the perimeter of your basement. Hydrostatic pressure is also a key determinant in the ground surrounding your home. During a heavy rainstorm or snow melt, the ground around your home becomes saturated with water. This pressure pushes water through cracks and holes in your foundation, causing water to accumulate.
Why Are Wet Basements a Problem?
Wet basements are a bad thing. Continuous leaking water through your foundation can cause concrete walls to crack and bend, leading to expensive repairs in the future. Standing water in your basement can lead to long-term problems, such as mold buildup. Black mold is a harmful type of mold that thrives in wet, moist environments, like a flooded basement. In addition to these problems, a wet basement can:
- Reduce the resale value of your home: Many potential homebuyers in for-sale-by-owner situations will first look at the basement to determine whether or not they should buy a home. If the basement looks damp, grungy, and wet, most buyers will become disinterested in the home, even if the rest of the home is in stellar condition.
- Drive Up Long-Term Repair Costs: If you frequently have standing water in your basement, it can be a big contributor of other problems. For example, it can cause wood to rot in your home. If you put off fixing a wet basement, you might be looking at an expensive home renovation job in the future.
- Contribute to Health Issues In Your Home: As discussed earlier, wet basements are a frequent cause of mold. Black mold can trigger asthma attacks, cause respiratory problems, and even be harmful to infants.
At the end of the day, a west basement can impede your ability to utilize all the area in your home. People with finished basements often enjoy a recreation area, a storage space, or even a hobby room because of a dry, finished basement.
How Can I Fix My Wet Basement
There are several ways to repair a wet basement. Many homeowners will try a do-it-yourself solution. If a cracked foundation is leaking, it is possible to apply a grout solution to stop the water. However, this will work for only a short period of time. Many professional basement waterproofing installers will use a polyurethane injection to stop water from leaking into a basement. Polyurethane injection is a tried and true method because it will bond to the surface area throughout the crack.
Another way to dry up your wet basement is to explore a French drain and sump pump solution. French drains are installed around the perimeter of your basement and collect water that may leak in. The French drain will then channel water to your sump pump basin. Once your sump pump basin reaches a certain level, the pump will automatically activate, channeling water away from your home through either a sewer or channel pipe.
Sump pumps aren’t only applicable to a French drain. Many homeowners also install these in the lowest area of their basement. Because of the slope of their basement, water will drain towards it and be removed from your home.
Even with a fully waterproofed basement, there are some precautions that you can take to make sure that your basement stays dry. Here are some of the ways that you can channel rainwater away from your foundation wall and keep your basement dry:
- Get extenders for your gutter spouts and make sure that water drains away from your house instead of pooling around the foundation.
- Get polyurethane injection around pipes that come into your home from the outside.
- Setup a sump pump monitoring system in case your sump pump fails or the power goes out.
What Are the Long Term Benefits of Fixing a Wet Basement?
There are several long term benefits of fixing a wet basement. First and foremost, you might be able to sell your home more quickly. Additionally, you might be able to have a smaller insurance premiums on your home each year. Here are some of the immediate benefits of repairing your wet basement:
- Better energy efficiency: With a dry basement, you will have energy savings throughout the year. If your basement is dry, you won’t need to run the dehumidifier as often. Also, during the winter months, your dry basement will be less prone to heat loss.
- Added value to your home: When you repair your wet basement, you will improve the resale value of your home and be able to utilize more space.
- Eliminate mold and pests: A dry basement will eliminate the possibility of mold and pest infestation.
At the end of the day, you won’t have to worry about the costly task of cleaning up a wet basement after a storm. When your basement floods, you often have to get rid of household items and spend thousands on costly cleanup. Why not waterproof your basement and never worry about standing water ever again?