If you have rainwater seeping into your basement, you might think it is just a minor inconvenience, but it can actually cause serious damage to the health of your home, including mold growth and foundation problems. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent rain from leaking into your basement. From improving your exterior drainage system to installing a basement sump pump, there are several effective solutions to keep rainwater out of your basement.
In this article, the Columbus basement waterproofing experts at Chapman Drainage & Basement share their experience to help you better understand why rainwater seeps into your basement and provide a number of solutions so you can put a stop to it before further damage occurs.
What Causes Rain to Leak Into Your Basement?
Rain can leak into your basement for several reasons, including poor grading around your home that causes water to flow toward the foundation, cracks in your foundation, insufficient or clogged gutters, and poor sealing around basement windows or doors. Since these are the most common areas where rain leaks into your basement, it is essential to check for cracks and clean your gutters regularly.
What Kind of Damage Can a Leaking Basement Cause?
A leaking basement can cause a number of problems. As such, our basement waterproofing contractors highly recommend you address the underlying issue as soon as you notice water in your basement.
Cracks in the Basement Foundation
If your basement leaks, there is a good chance your foundation is exposed to outside pressure due to moisture in the surrounding soil. Hydrostatic pressure is the force of water that builds up against a foundation wall when the soil becomes saturated.
Unless the exterior drainage issue is addressed, this pressure will continue to build until the foundation cracks, at which point your basement will flood more than before. Foundation cracks are a primary concern because they weaken the overall structural integrity of your home and have a negative impact on everything else.
A leaking basement indicates that the soil surrounding the house is saturated, which can cause a foundation to settle unevenly. Uneven settling can lead to cracks, doors and windows that won’t open or close properly, and other damage. In addition, uneven settling can cause issues with plumbing and electrical systems.
Mold and Mildew Growth
Another common thing we see as a result of leaking basements is mold growth and mildew. Mold and mildew can be dangerous because they release microscopic spores that can cause respiratory problems and other health issues. Over time these substances can even weaken building materials, leading to structural damage and costly repairs.
How to Stop Rain From Getting Into Your Basement
There are several different things you can try to alleviate rainwater from getting into your basement. However, if you try the following solutions and none of them work, it is probably time to call in a professional basement waterproofing contractor.
Clean Your Gutters
A leading cause of leaking basements is clogged gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters prevent rainwater from being directed away from the home, so it has nowhere to go but down the side of the house and into the basement. If your gutters are clogged, cleaning them will allow the water to flow through the trough, down the downspout, and away from the foundation, which is what you want.
Install a Sump Pump
A sump pump serves to pump water out and away from your basement. Although a sump pump doesn’t correct the underlying cause of the leak, it can keep your basement dry while you figure out its cause.
Check Your Window and Door Seals
If you have an older home, the seals on your windows and doors may allow water to leak into your basement. Resealing the perimeter of your windows and doors with a waterproof silicone sealer will stop water from getting in through these areas.
When Is It Time to Contact a Basement Waterproofing Contractor?
If none of the simple solutions above fix the problem, it’s probably time to contact a basement waterproofing contractor. A professional basement waterproofing company will be able to pinpoint the cause of your leaking basement and provide a long-lasting solution that keeps your basement dry through the heaviest rains.