Does your basement flood every time it pours? Can’t figure out what might be causing the issue? We’re here to help. Wet basements not only are unpleasant to clean up, they can also lead to mold and mildew issues that can be very challenging to get rid of. Even the smallest water leaks can lead to long term mold problems that can impact the health of everyone in your home. It’s best to identify the issues that may be causing your basement to flood when it rains.
To help our fellow Michigan homeowners stay protected from water entry throughout the year, we here at StayDry thought we’d share some essential information on the importance of drainage around your home. Let’s take a look at the many ways your drainage could fail, and how you can combat these issues.
Problems With Drainage System
A good drainage system will funnel water away from your home to help keep your home and basement dry. Debris in gutters, downspouts, and drainage pipes can cause your drainage system to not work properly. This becomes an issue in many areas in the fall, when leaves and pine needles clog gutters and downspouts, resulting in water pooling and collecting in areas near your basement. This can be an issue in the Spring as well, as melting snow and heavy rains have nowhere to go but to your basement.
Sometimes a poorly designed drainage system or landscape around your home can cause water to pool in the wrong places. It may be worthwhile to have a professional like Staydry Waterproofing inspect your drainage system and the landscape of your property to determine if there are any design issues. There are many different solutions available, like installing a French drain system or improving existing gutters and downspout drains, and it is best to get the opinion of a professional before spending a lot of money on DIY improvements.
Cracks in Basement & Foundation Walls
One of the leading causes of water leakage issues stems down to cracks in your home’s foundation. Concrete cracks are a fairly common occurrence in homes, but if left unchecked, they will continue to grow and worsen. It can be challenging to identify what is causing cracks in foundation walls, and even tougher to determine the best repair options, but there are some telltale signs that you can spot yourself. Take a look:
Vertical Cracks – Vertical or diagonal cracks can be a source of leaking water. Luckily they are common in older homes and are typically a result of foundation shifting and concrete curing over time. They typically do not require expensive repair methods to fix, and crack injection is often utilized. You should consult with a professional to determine if other repair methods like installing a drywell should be implemented.
Horizontal Cracks – While horizontal cracks also result in water leaking into your basement, there are more serious issues to consider. Horizontal cracks indicate a bowing foundation wall. Exterior soil pressure from outside of your basement walls is causing the foundation wall to buckle, which can be seen from the inside of the basement as a horizontal crack. If left unfixed, the crack will continue to worsen and you run the risk of complete foundation wall failure.
Leaking Plumbing Pipes
Water from leaking plumbing pipes often winds up in your basement, and it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the location of the leak. If you suspect that this is what is causing water to pool in your basement there are some things that you may want to try doing:
Reduce your home’s water pressure – You can expect a normal water pressure to be around 40-85 psi, and if you are out of that range then it is likely putting unnecessary strain on your water pipes.
Water Softener System – Calcium and magnesium are often found in groundwater and over time will build up in your home’s plumbing pipes. Most homes that access their water from wells have a water softener system in place to counteract hard water buildup issues. You should regularly stock your water softener system with salt if that is what it uses and check to make sure that it is operating properly.
Hydraulic Cement or Polyurethane Caulk – If you can identify the source of a leak, a simple solution is to plug up the leak with a hydraulic cement or polyurethane caulk solution.
Water Leaking from Floor
Water seeping through your basement floor can be difficult to detect and notice but may be the cause of your water problems. If your basement has a floor drain or manhole of any kind, it’s a good idea to make sure it is draining properly. You can do this simply by pouring a bucket of water down the drain.
If water is simply not being diverted away from under your basement floor foundation, a French drain may be necessary to help funnel runoff water away from your basement. Look for cracks in your basement floor that may indicate water leakage. It is not only important to address basement floor cracks because of water mold and mildew problems but also because poisonous radon gas can leak through damaged basement floors and floor cracks.
Problematic Drainage? Call StayDry!
If you’ve been experiencing issues with the drainage in and around your home, and the tips above haven’t solved the problem, it’s essential you call StayDry. Our professionals can come out and assess the issue, then take the proper course of action to keep your home protected and your basement dry.
Give us a call today at 800.782.9379 or contact us here for a free estimate.