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Common Causes for Water Damage in Basement

You want to repair your basement the right way, the first time. JES basement experts can help you understand why your basement floods and help you fix it.

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Hydrostatic Pressure

hydrostatic pressure bowed basement walls

Hydrostatic pressure is a phenomenon responsible for many forms of damage to your basement—and it all comes down to the soil. Expansive soils like clay are common in Maryland, Virginia, and parts of North Carolina; when clay soil makes contact with water, it absorbs it up like a sponge and expands. When this happens to the soil around your basement, the expansion can inflict hydrostatic pressure, meaning the soil presses up against your basement walls, forming cracks and leaks.   

To combat hydrostatic pressure, you can opt for structural support in wall braces, wall anchors, or carbon fiber wall reinforcement. For water management to avoid the effects of hydrostatic pressure, interior drainage systems like a basement drain and a sump pump will help combat poorly drained soil. 

Clay Bowl Effect

Backfilled Soil - What Causes Basement Water Problems?

When your basement was first constructed, builders had to excavate soil to fit the structure underground. Once the basement was complete, the excavated soil was backfilled into the earth around your newly constructed basement. The problem is that once soil has been excavated, we can’t pack it down to the same level of compaction that it once was. This creates a “clay bowl” of compact soil around your basement, with loose soil directly in contact with the basement walls. The effects of this clay bowl effect are obvious during periods of rain, as water can easily flow through the loose soil and into your home.  

Since the clay bowl effect pools water around your foundation and basement, you can fight back by ensuring your basement is waterproofed. Along with interior drainage and sump pump combo, have a vapor barrier and dehumidifier installed to combat excess moisture and humidity from the soil.  

Interior Leakage

Inside of a leaking basement with standing water on floor

While many basement issues appear from the outside of the home, it’s possible that the call is coming from inside the house… as in, your water heater, busted pipes, leaking egress window, frozen pipes, broken sump pump, and more. Interior leaks can make a great case for having an interior drainage system installed. Interior drainage systems catch condensation or indoor puddling, and redirect it to a sump pump where the water is forced away from your basement. Having a free inspection done by one of our experts can help you figure out what’s really going on in your basement.  


Our Experts Can Inspect and Diagnose Your Wet Basement for Free

When you’re facing water damage in your basement, finding the root cause of the issue will ensure that you can fix it once and for all. Our experts based in a location near you in Virginia, Maryland, or northeastern North Carolina are highly knowledgeable of the construction trends, soil, and weather conditions that wreak havoc on your basement.  

We’ll provide you with a completely free inspection of your home, then provide you with a transparent quote for the repairs you need. At JES, we put the power into your hands when it comes to making decisions about your home and basement. That’s why we won’t pressure you to book with us. Get started with your free inspection today! 


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