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5 Causes and Solutions for Leaking Basement Walls

A home’s basement walls are created within a large hole built by home builders. Once the basement walls are built, the home builders will fill the remaining empty space around the walls with dirt, called backfill soil. Backfill soil is not as tightly compacted as the untouched soil, which can contribute to the triggers of leaking walls in your basement

5 Causes of Basement Wall Cracking and Leaking

1. Footing Drains

A footing drain is a pipe that has holes drilled in it, which is installed on the outside of a foundation to help direct water away from a home’s foundation. Unfortunately, these holes can become clogged with the backfill soil, and once the pipes are clogged, it will allow water to collect near the basement’s foundation, causing hydrostatic pressure and basement wall cracking.

2. Hydrostatic Pressure

Hydrostatic Pressure-Basement wall cracking and leaking

Hydrostatic pressure is the result of what happens when water has no route away from a home, so it begins to push against the foundation. This pressure will press against basement walls causing basement wall cracking and leaking as water enters a homeowner’s basement.

3. Wall Cracks

Bowing or tilting walls are the results of hydrostatic pressure pushing against the walls of a basement. Basement wall cracks will allow water to seep through and create a wet basement.

4. Soil Settlement

The backfill soil builders used to fill the empty space around a home’s basement walls will settle due to being loose. Once backfill soil settles, it will allow water to run towards the foundation, contributing to hydrostatic pressure against basement walls.  Additionally, gutters that do not face away from a home will also contribute to hydrostatic pressure.

5. Hurricanes and Nor’easters

Hurricanes (which typically occur in the summer) and nor’easters (which typically occur between October and March) bring heavy rainfall and increased soil erosion (be sure to read our Hurricane Tips). Flooding, high winds, and even snow follow these storms, which increase hydrostatic pressure and the likelihood of a wet basement.

5 Basement Waterproofing Solutions

Flooded basement with block wall

If a basement shows signs of water leakage or flooding through cracked walls, JES Foundation Repair has basement waterproofing solutions that will help keep a basement dry and prevent further issues with wall cracks or bowed walls.

1. Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier provided by JES is one solution to prevent humidity in a basement. Dampness in a basement due to humidity will create mold growth, rotting wood, fungus, and dust mites. JES dehumidifier provides protection for basements by removing odors and stopping mold growth and is designed to withstand long-life damp basement conditions. Plus, the JES dehumidifier connects to a drain, so homeowners do not have to empty water out constantly.

2. Interior Drainage

Our BasementGutter™ Interior Drainage, sometimes referred to as a French drain, is equipped to help make sure water around a basement is easily directed away from the home, and the design separates soil from the basement floor to prevent clogging. JES provides a year-round serviceable product with a 20-year warranty for homeowners. 

3. Sump Pumps

Another drainage system that will keep a basement dry is a sump pump. A variety of sump pumps are available from JES Foundation Repair for to include, SafeDri TripleSafe Sump Pump, Safe Dri SuperSump Pump, and SafeDri SmartSump Pump systems. Sump pumps are designed to have airtight floor drains which allow water to exit but not enter. JES sump pumps have a high-volume pumping option, a child-safe cover which repels pests, odors, and radon gas, and the design includes an alarm alert to let homeowners know if a basement water level begins to rise.

4. Wall Anchors

Foundation wall anchors can strengthen and repair a basement’s bowing or tilting walls. The three-part system works together against the pressure being exerted against basement walls by molding to basement walls to provide stability. Benefits of choosing JES wall anchors include a year-round installation, a lifetime warranty on each wall anchor, the installation has little mess to landscapes and is an economical solution to basement bowing walls.

5. Carbon Fiber Wall Repair System

JES’ Carbon Fiber wall repair support system helps restore the value of a home, by restoring basement bowing or tilting walls. Ten times stronger than steel, the carbon fiber system is installed flat against bowing and cracking basement walls. These fibers made from pure epoxy have a strong and flexible design to provide basement walls with stabilization. 

FAQs

Yes, the way your landscape is designed can impact your basement’s moisture levels. Improper grading or drainage can lead to water pooling around your foundation, increasing the risk of water seeping into your basement. Ensuring that your yard slopes away from your foundation and that downspouts direct water well away from your home can help mitigate this risk. If you suspect landscape-related moisture issues, JES Foundation Repair can provide guidance and solutions. 

Basements can be susceptible to water intrusion during any season. However, periods of heavy rain or melting snow, such as in spring or after severe weather events, can heighten the risk. It’s also worth monitoring during prolonged rainy periods or rapid snowmelt. 

It’s recommended to regularly check your basement, especially after heavy rainfalls or during seasons with increased precipitation. Monthly checks can help you spot early signs of water intrusion, allowing for timely intervention. 

Repair Your Leaky Basement with JES


If your home’s basement is showing any of the warning signs we’ve discussed, click the link below for a complimentary, comprehensive inspection. This is your chance to get expert eyes on your situation, identifying potential issues before they worsen. Taking action now can save you time and money in the long run by addressing small problems before they escalate into major repairs. Don’t let a wet basement issues compromise the safety and comfort of your home.

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    Phillip Mazzotta

    Phillip Mazzotta

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    JES Foundation Repair service area map of the Mid-Atlantic region.

    Our Locations

    Baltimore

    8361 Town Center Ct
    Nottingham, MD 21236

    Fredericksburg

    311 Central Rd.
    Suite 2-02
    Fredericksburg, VA 22401

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    2569 Quality Ct
    Virginia Beach, VA 23454

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    309 Quarles Rd
    Ashland, VA 23005

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    456 Old Courthouse Rd
    Appomattox, VA 24522

    Winchester

    45 W Boscawen St,
    Winchester, VA 22601