List Your Business
 
 
     

Wet Basement Problems

39 People have recommended this article.

Nothing is more frustrating than dealing with a wet basement. It can damage walls and flooring and ruin irreplaceable things like photo albums and family heirlooms. But knowing the causes of wet basements and how to prevent water damage can help avoid this frustration.

Where wet basements come from

In order to prevent wet basements, it is important to understand where the water is coming from. There are four common sources of water that seeps into basements:

  • Surface water running down foundation walls

  • Groundwater in water-saturated soils being pushed into the basement by hydrostatic pressure

  • Storm sewer water from the municipal storm sewer system backing up into the home's existing perimeter foundation drain and leaking into the basement (this can only occur if the perimeter foundation drain system is connected to the municipal sewer system)

  • Sanitary sewer water from a combined municipal storm/sanitary sewer system backing up into the home's drain system, causing sewer water to come up through sink drains and floor drains on lower levels.

When homeowners experience wet basements for the first time, it is imperative to determine if the water problems are going to reoccur or if it was a one-time event. Essential to solving this question is determining where the water is coming from.

Controlling surface water

If this is the first time for basement water problems, the first thing to check for is surface water draining down next to the foundations. Water coming in at one location and only at the exterior foundation wall are typical indications of surface water problems. Here are some things to look for:

1 Are the gutters overflowing because they are blocked with leaves? Keeping gutters clean of debris should be a part of every homeowner's routine maintenance program. Depending on the surrounding trees, gutter cleaning may be required a few times a year. Products are available to prevent leaves from getting into the gutters.

2 Are gutters overflowing because there are not enough downspouts on the house? If you don't mind getting wet, you can do a self-check (your gutters must be cleaned out first). After at least 15 minutes of heavy rain, check your gutters. If you see any water overflowing, you have a problem. Any water overflowing out of the gutters is running down next to the house foundations. Even if the water is not getting into the basement, it could be causing unseen problems like eroding soil from under the house footings, which can lead to cracking of walls and ceilings.

The easiest solutions to overflowing gutters are to either add another downspout on that run of gutter or to increase the size of the downspout. The best solution between these two is probably adding another downspout because the second downspout can act as a back-up if the other gets blocked.

However, if you choose to replace the existing downspout with a larger one, make sure the contractor increases the size of the corresponding hole in the gutter. It doesn't do much good to install a larger downspout if the gutter hole is left small.

3 Do the downspouts extend at least 10 feet from the home? While many homeowners do not like downspouts extending out this far, 10 feet is the minimum distance needed to discharge water coming off your roof far enough away from the house.

Be careful not to discharge downspouts too close to your neighbor's property. Most towns and cities have ordinances that prevent downspouts from discharging too close to the property line and causing water problems for neighbors. Your local building safety or inspections department can provide you with the minimum distance.

4 Do the downspouts drain into the footing tile system? It was common practice in the first half of the 20th century to have the downspouts draining into the footing tile system around the house. Vertical tiles were installed up from the footing tile system at each downspout location and the downspout was inserted into the open end of the tile. Sometimes the gaps around the downspout were mortared shut.

Having the water from the roof drain down next to the footings can add to hydrostatic pressure problems, especially if the footing tile is leaking or blocked. This can occur over time due to soil movement or damage from tree roots. If the downspouts are draining into the footing tile system, the downspouts should be modified so they drain onto the ground and discharge at least 10 feet from the house. The vertical tile should be capped with a preformed cap or concrete.

5 Are there any paved areas next to the house that slope toward the house? Sometimes paving settles over time and water flow can change direction toward the house. If this is the case, the paving should be removed and replaced so it slopes away from the home.

6 At paved areas that abut the house, is there sealant in the joint at the pavement-house wall intersection, and if so, is it cracked? Sealant sometimes cracks over time due to age or incorrect installation. If the sealant is cracked, the cracked sealant must be removed and replaced with new.

7 Is the ground around the home sloping away from the home at least 10 feet? Look for any depressions in the ground next to the home foundation walls. If any are found, fill in with dirt so the water drains away from the house. Use a clay-type soil that sheds water instead of sandy soil that allows water to soak into the ground. Make sure that at least eight inches is kept between the top of the earth and any wood or stucco on the house. If this cannot be done, the house may have been built too low and to correct it may be too expensive to be feasible.

8 Are there any hills sloping down toward the house that may be the source of the water? If this is the case, a civil engineer may be required to analyze the situation and determine the appropriate solutions.

9 Is there a lawn/shrub irrigation system discharging too much water next to the house? Avoid placing lawn irrigation next to the house. If this cannot be avoided, instruct the installer to limit the amount of water dispersed next to the house. Make sure the irrigation system includes a working rainstat so the system does not turn on when there has already been plenty of rain for the plants and lawn.

Controlling subsurface groundwater

If no surface water sources are found, then the source of the water is likely subsurface groundwater under hydrostatic pressure. Unfortunately, subsurface groundwater problems are more difficult and more expensive to fix than surface groundwater problems.

When the groundwater levels outside the basement rises above the level of the floor, the basement acts like a boat in a pond. If a boat is sitting in water, water will leak in through any open cracks or holes. It works the same way with a basement. Hydrostatic pressure can push water through hairline cracks.

Symptoms of this are water coming up through cracks in the basement concrete floor or water coming in at multiple locations.

If you have an older house within town and the house has a basement with no sump pump, it is likely the perimeter foundation drain system connects directly into the city storm sewer system. If the level of the basement is below the street level, there is the potential of storm water backing up in the city storm sewer system and being pushed into the perimeter foundation drain system. This can saturate the soils around the house at the basement level with storm water under hydrostatic pressure, causing water to leak in.

Another source of subsurface groundwater is an underground spring.

No matter where it is coming from, the best way to control subsurface groundwater is to install some type of perimeter drain system to relieve hydrostatic pressure. The groundwater is pushed into the drain system and not into areas where it can damage carpets, walls or belongings. The water drains by gravity into a sump pit where a sump pump discharges it out of the house.

There are two basic types of drain systems for wet basements. One is a perimeter above-slab gutter system installed at the base of the exterior foundation walls on top of the floor slab. It doubles as a base material for the wall. The other type of drainage system is a below slab perimeter drainage system. The below slab system requires the partial removal of the concrete floor slab and installation of drainage pipe making it more expensive than the base gutter system.

It is believed that an under-floor drainage system is better because the under-floor drains are believed to relieve the hydrostatic pressure before the water reaches the bottom of the floor slab.

Storm water backing up into your home

In many older houses with basements (mostly pre-1980), there is a perimeter foundation drain outside the exterior wall, at the level of the basement floor, next to the footings at the time the house was built. A pipe was usually installed from the perimeter foundation drain to the street where it was connected to the city storm sewer system.

This can become a problem as the city storm sewer system becomes too small when more development causes more rain runoff. When this happens, the rainwater in the sewer system can get so high that water flows backwards toward the house. The perimeter foundation drain fills with water and releases large quantities into the soil next to the footing and basement floor. The soil becomes water-logged and the water which is under hydrostatic pressure leaks into the basement.

Usually the installation of an interior perimeter basement drain system connected to a sump pump will take care of the problem. The interior perimeter basement drain system can usually pump the water out and onto the ground as fast as the water is backing up from the city storm sewer system.

If that doesn't take care of it, the other, more expensive alternative would be to dig up and cap the pipe that is running from the house to the street from the perimeter foundation drain. However, this is not always possible because many times, this pipe is also draining sanitary waste from toilets and sinks in the house.

If you believe you have this problem, contact an experienced contractor for advice.

Sanitary sewer water backing up into your home

If the water is coming up through floor drains or sink drains in the basement, then the problem is likely water backing up from the municipal sanitary sewer system. This usually occurs in older sections of some cities that have combined sanitary and storm sewer systems. During heavy rains, combined sewer systems can become overwhelmed with water. This can cause sewer water to back up in the system and sometimes into homes.

You can imagine the mess this creates for homeowners because it usually means they are getting other people's fecal waste backing up into their basement. To correct this, cities should update their sewer systems so the sanitary sewer and storm sewer are running in separate pipes. Until this work is complete, the homeowner can install backflow preventers that help stop sewer water from flowing backward into the house.

Unfortunately, because the city sanitary system works in conjunction with every house sanitary piping, the backflow preventer usually cannot be located on the house's main sewer line. It usually requires several backflow preventers at all basement drain locations, such at every floor drain, sink and toilet.

* Information above was gathered from www.statefarm.com

This content was sponsored by:

(321) 263-5650
11229 River Grove Dr.
Orlando, FL 32817
(816) 695-9134
3016 US 40 Highway
Blue Springs, MO 64015
(248) 468-0200
28317 Beck Rd Suite E20
Wixom, MI 48393
(866) 545-6653
3773 North Federal Highway, Suite #206
Pompano Beach, FL 33064
(248) 207-4937
44480 Grand River Ave
Suite #107
Novi, MI 48375
(805) 395-2095
350 Cedarwood Dr.
Paso Robles, CA 93446
(407) 426-9995
421 W Robinson St
Orlando, FL 32801
(866) 685-0009
28287 Beck Road, Suite D1
Wixom, MI 48393
(888) 446-9737
32568 Dequindre Road
Warren, MI 48092
(800) 246-2456
288 North Mayflower Rd
South Bend, IN 46619
(866) 308-0505
1675 W Hamlin Rd
Rochester Hills, MI 48309
Disaster Rescue
1964 Sycamore Trail #4
Las Vegas, NV 89108
Atlanta Water Damage Pro
8735 Dunwoody Place, Suite 7
Atlanta, GA 30350
XSI Disaster Services, LLC
3355 Lenox Road, Suite 750
Atlanta, GA 30326
waterdamage
Los Angeles, CA, United States
Los Angeles, CA, United States
Los Angeles, CA, United States
Los Angeles , CA 90078
StayDry Waterproofing
4600 N Grand River Ave
Lansing, MI 48906
none
San Diego, California
San Diego, CA 92101
DKI Services
25 Northwest Point Blvd
Suite 1000
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Turtle Roofing
8404 Sterling St #1
Irving, TX 75063
Constructeam
31780 Groesbeck Hwy
Fraser, MI 48026
BIONIC Emergency Services
18106 NW Freeway
Suite H2
Houston, TX 77065
Advanta Clean
469.518.0123 1293 N Plano Rd Richardson, TX 75081
Richardson, TX 75080
Scavello restoration
90. s keim st
collegeville, PA 19426
Renew restoration
1209 Todd ct
gastonia, NC 28054
Lightning Restoration of the Carolinas
170 Bradley Branch Road, Unit 8
Arden, NC 28704
Water Damage Las Vegas 247
1157-1299 S Tomsik St
Las Vegas, NV 89117
A-1 Restoration
420 Buckbee Street
Rockford, IL 61104
ServiceMaster by Disaster Recon
33851 Curtis Blvd #202
Eastlake, OH 44095
Water Damage Services of Baltimore
822 Guilford Avenue #612
Baltimore, MD 21202
ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba
2912 N Central Park Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
1st Responders 24/7 Property Restoration
1032 S Northpoint Blvd
Waukegan, IL 60085
RestorationEze
1115 Broadway
Suite 107
Denver, CO 80203
Certified Construction services LLC
3521 W US Hwy 40
Greenfield, IN 46140
Crescent Movers
6321 N. Cicero Ave, Unit A
Chicago, IL 60646
Coastal DKI
3324 SE Gran Park Way
Stuart, FL 34997
SI Restoration
1121 Wilso Dr
Baltimore, MD 21223
Emergency Restoration
1401 East 14 Mile Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Kala Construction Inc.
337 N. Vineyard Avenue,
4th Floor
Ontario, CA 91764
Drytech Restoration Services
80 Central Ave.
Spring City, PA 19475
ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba
3909 West Howard St.
Skokie, IL 60076
MyWebPal - Water Damage Atlanta
50 Hurt Plaza SE #1300
Atlanta, GA GA 30303
HD Restoration
p.o. box 31194
Mesa, AZ 85275
Regent Reconstruction
205 Gotcher Avenue
Lake Dallas, TX 75065
Polygon
15 Sharpner
North Andover, MA 01845
Rapid Recovery Team
3000 NW 25th AVE
# 6
Pompano Beach, FL 33069
PuroClean Disaster First Response
5851 Ramsey St Suite C
Fayetteville, NC 28311
ERX emergency restoration
2850 Synergy Street North
Las Vegas, NV 89030
MyWebPal Water Damage Houston
2211 Norfolk St
Houston
TX 77098
Houston, TX 77098
Water Damage Pro Restoration
121 County Rd 595
Hanceville, AL 35077
SERVPRO of Perry Hall/White Marsh
9008 Yellow Brick Rd.
Suite F
Baltimore, MD 21237
Water Damage Zone and Restoration
15115 Califa St. Unit C
Sherman Oaks, CA 91411
Rapid Restore Pros
111 W Anderson Ln
Ste D224
Austin, TX 78752
ABC Cleaning and Restoration
P.O. Box 951
Madison, AL 35758
Mr. Fix It of Sierra Vista, LLC
121 N 6th St
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
Servpro of Chattooga, Dade & West Walker Counties
25 Hannah Way
Rossville , GA 30741
AAA Emergency Services Inc.
11279 Lebanon Road
Cincinnati, OH 45241
Flood Pro
601 S. 291 Hwy
Liberty, MO 64068
waterdamagefloodpro
West Coast Restoration.5482 Wilshire Blvd,Los Angeles
PROVO, UT 84606
PuroClean Emergency Restoration Services
68 Avondale Road
Yonkers, NY 10710
Sunlight Water Damage Restoration
1225 Franklin Ave
Garden City, NY 11530
Morgan Miller Plumbing
13911 Norby Rd
Grandview, MO 64030
Superior Restoration in Temecula
PO Box 892005
Temecula, CA 92589
Polygon
15 Sharpner
North Andover, MA 01845
Servpro of East Central Austin
1029 Reinli St., Ste 11
Austin, TX 78723
Relief Water Damage Restoration
2615 West Casino Rd. Suite 6A
Everett, WA 98204
ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba
2912 N Central Park Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
Royal Water Damage Restoration
1923 Fairview Ave.
Willow Grove, PA 19090
Drytech Restoration Services
80 Central Ave
Spring City, PA 19475
Statewide Solutions
PO Box 75
Parlin, NJ 8859
Dan Dan The Carpet Man
37 N Orange Ave #430
Orlando, FL 32801
Allstate Water Damage
West Coast Restoration. 5482 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90093
AdvantaClean
1293 N Plano Rd
Richardson, TX 75081
Water Damage San Diego
1747 Hancock St, Suite F
San Diego, CA 92101
H2O PRO, LLC.
31765 Hickory Manor Road
Frankford, DE 19945
Rapid Dry LLC
11252 Midland Blvd
Saint Louis, MO 63114
NYC Duct Mold Water Cleanup
931 East 23rd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11210
24/7 Restoration
23011 Moulton Pkwy
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Carpet Care and Beyond
5200 Dallas Hwy, Suite200
Powder Springs, GA 30127
waterdamagefloodpro
West Coast Restoration.5482 Wilshire Blvd,Los Angeles
PROVO, UT 84606
Pittsburgh Cleanup Professionals
1500 Parkway View Drive, Suite 1511
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
Five Star Property Repairs
49399 Brooklyn
Shelby Township, MI 48317
Statewide Solutions Water Damage Restoration & Mold Remediation
541 Becca Way
Monroe, NJ 08831
Salt Lake City Water Damage Repair
124 North 556 West, Suite 1011
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Compleat Restorations
702 Pointview Avenue
Ephrata, PA 17522
First Restoration Services
173 Rutledge Rd
Fletcher, NC 28732
Firestorm Restoration
2916 Graham Rd., Suite A
Franklin, IN 46131
Fvie Star Carpe Cleaning & Restoration
1657 13th St
Ogden, UT 84404
Water Damage Advisor
1459 lake baldwin lane
unit b
orlando, FL 32814
Servpro of Southeast Tucson/Sahuarita/Green Valley
881 W. Ward Ln.
St. 2
Green Valley, AZ 85614
Elite Restoration
60 Huntingdon St
Lexington, TN 38351
Commercial cleaning & restoration
4925 N. Shamrock Place, Suite 105
Arizona, AZ 85705
Insulation Machines for Sale Used
612 N State Road #170
Davison, MI 48423
Water Damage Restoration Specialists of New York
363 Canal Street
New York, NY 10013
Orem Water Damage
340 S Orem Blvd, ​Suite 203
Orem, UT 84058
Dry Ones Water Damage Restoration
8210 NW 59th St
Pompano Beach, FL 33321
AmeriDri
780 Highway 105
Unit B
Palmer Lake, CO 80133
Johnson Construction Company LLC
1707 N West St.
Lima, OH 45801
Saint Louis Water Damage
7253 Watson Road #1088
Saint Louis, MO 63119
No Bull Construction
1517 Glider Court
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
Dry-Tech Restoration Inc
1520 N Hwy A1A, St A
Indiatlantic, FL 32903
SERVPRO of Bartlett/Cordova
6755 Whitten Place
Memphis, TN 38133
Virginia restoration experts
p.o. box 2346
spotsylvania, VA 22553
Seven Star Restoration
PO Box 6437
Point Cook
Melbourn Victoria Australia, AA 03030
Disaster Doctors
645 Taylor Way Suite 300
North Salt Lake, UT 84054
Jarvis Restoration
1393 Calle Avanzado
San Clemente, CA 92673
Thompson Restoration and Renovation
156 Farlow Dr
Knoxville, TN 37934
Professional SEO services
597 Southridge Dr Hamilton, ON L9C 7W4 Canada?
Hamilton, VT 85001
Gold Coast Flood Restorations
10965 Hartley Road, Suite S
Santee, CA 92071
First Team Restoration
6400 West Contractors Street
Boise, ID 83709
ARC Water Damage
3327 Mt Diablo Blvd
Lafayette, CA 94549
The Flood Brothers,Inc
512 N. Juanita Ave
Unit B
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Phoenix Restoration Services
1612 Terminal Ave
Garden City, KS 67846
Water Damage Zone Inc.
15115 Califa Street
Suite C
Van Nuys , CA 91411
RGC
1480 Old Deerfield Ste 22
Highland Park, IL 60035
8 Reasons You Should Call a Water Damage Specialist
1. Mold Problems If you have a large mold problem, calling a specialist is in your best interest. Leaving a mold problem untreated can result in structural damage to your home and possible thousands in repairs. 2. Mold Detection If you're not...
Read More...
Protecting your home from water damage
Warnings like water stains on the ceilings or a leak under the kitchen sink can lead to real problems, like a weakened roof or rotten floorboards.
Read More...
Five easy ways to avoid water damage
Five very simple ways to keep your house water damage free.
Read More...
What is water damage restoration?
Ever wonder what water damage restoration is and what all they do?
Read More...
Steps to reduce flood and water damage
Many things can be done before the snow melts or before a heavy rainstorm to reduce damage to home and property.
Read More...
How Can I Prepare for Water Damage?
41 People have recommended this article.   Each year, water-related damages cost property owners and renters billions of dollars. The most common damage results from plumbing problems (tubs, toilets, pipe breaks, showers), rain water, washing...
Read More...
How to spot water damage in your home
30 People have recommended this article.   Water damage can indicate major problems with a house's foundation, pipes or past maintenance. If often indicates a serious problem with the structure of the building and can serve as a red light to...
Read More...
Types of Damage to Hardwood Floors
26 People have recommended this article. Burns Burns on hardwood floors can be common, especially in the kitchen area. The severity of the burn defines how to fix it. Surface burns can usually be buffed out but deeper burns need to be cut...
Read More...
The 3 Categories of Water Damage
41 People have recommended this article. Category 1 Water Damage That which is clean at the releasing source and does not pose a hazard if consumed by humans. Category 1 water may become progressively contaminated as it mixes with soils on or...
Read More...
Guidelines for dealing with water-damaged property
59 People have recommended this article. Ten Tips for the Homeowner: If the object is still wet, rinse with clear water or a fine hose spray. Clean off dry silt and debris from your belongings with soft brushes or dab with damp cloths. Try...
Read More...
Dealing With Your Belongings Ruined By Water Damage
26 People have recommended this article. How to dry tiles or linoleums Tiles and linoleum often do not easily get affected by damage from water. You can dry these by simply opening the doors and windows of your house. This can help remove excess...
Read More...
Water Extraction
33 People have recommended this article. Water extraction is needed to speed up the drying process after water or flood damage. Flooding and standing water in your home can bring much more damage than just structural damage. Your wet home could...
Read More...
Water Damage Repair
12 People have recommended this article.   There is a myriad of situations that can result in your home being exposed to water damage and in need of water damage repair. Even the best preventative measures can still leave you exposed. Some...
Read More...
Carpet Water Damage
15 People have recommended this article. Water intrusion affecting carpet and other floor coverings is among the most difficult situations faced by a homeowner or building manager. There is no standard procedure for dealing with every flooding...
Read More...
Tips for Salvaging Water Damaged Photos
68 People have recommended this article.   When disasters hit, most people don't mourn the refrigerator or the couch. Instead, the loss of precious family photographs, scrapbooks and memorabilia is what brings them to tears. While it may seem...
Read More...
Tips for Salvaging Water Damaged Books & Papers
39 People have recommended this article.   Marriage licenses, birth certificates, favorite books, letters, old tax returns and other paper-based items can usually be saved after a drenching. The key is to remove the dampness as soon as...
Read More...
How to protect the outside of your house from water damage?
Tips to protect the outside of your home from water damage.
Read More...
Top 3 Things You Can Install to Protect Your Home from Water Damage
Even after taking the preventions we’ve discussed here, check frequently around the house for signs of leaks. It’s important to find them before they cause serious damage. Of course, it’s impossible to keep watch for signs of...
Read More...
How to prevent your kitchen from causing water damage in your home?
Easy tips to help prevent water damage in your home starting with your kitchen.
Read More...
 

In your area: