If you’re having problems with moisture in your basement and home, there are many potential reasons for that moisture. One of the biggest problems can come from water seeping through basement floor cracks.
Any basement with floor cracks has a higher tendency to have high levels of moisture. That’s because water is great at getting into places where it doesn’t belong, and if you have a crack in your basement floor, it’ll start seeping water quickly.
Basement Repair Solutions in Virginia, Maryland, DC
Identifying & Repairing Basement Issues Related To Dampness, Cracks, and Leaking
It’s important to handle the issues that a leaky basement floor can start encouraging in your home. If you’re seeing basement floor cracks and seeping water, keep reading to learn more about how you can fix that problem.
Waterproofing Basement Floor Cracks
These cracks may cause you to ask a lot of questions. Is there a way to fix water coming through the cracks in your basement floor? The good news is, there are useful answers to these questions.
When you look through these pictures, you may see images that look familiar to what you are seeing in your home. Are you starting to see water coming up through basement floor cracks in the same way as these? If you are, it’s important to talk to a JES expert so you can fix the problems before they turn into significant structural problems.
Some people may not be sure what’s happening to cause these cracks in the basement floor and the leaking water. Indeed, these cracks can show up for seemingly no reason, which makes it difficult to pin down the reason for your leaking basement floor.
When you have a leaking basement floor, it’s usually because you’re having one or more of these three problems.
The first major problem is house settling. House settling happens in many homes to a small extent; it’s natural for the soil underneath the home to compress a little bit over time, especially because your home is so heavy. However, the problem comes when this normal compression happens too much.
It’s especially common for you to start experiencing house settling if your home stands on unstable soil or if the construction company didn’t prepare the area well enough before starting to build the foundation. If you’re starting to see significant amounts of house settling, you can start to see cracks everywhere in your home including in your basement floor, which can start to leak water.
This is the pressure that water exerts when it’s at rest. Water is extremely heavy, and therefore it exerts a lot of pressure, even when it’s not raining or flooding or even moving. The water that collects in your home outside of your basement itself exerts a substantial amount of pressure, and that pressure can eventually crack a basement floor. Then the water can start seeping through the basement floor cracks which can lead to mold and mildew issues as well.
The best way to fight against hydrostatic pressure is to install a system that can relieve that hydrostatic pressure without allowing the water into your home. Because it’s a problem that impacts a lot of homes, it’s a problem that there is an answer to. It’s important to talk to an expert to discover that answer so you can fix it.
Poor Support Design
Another potential cause comes in the form of poor support design. When the construction team initially built your home, someone had to design the home. That also means designing where the foundation walls would go, where floor joists would go, and where the home’s weight would largely fall.
If the designer didn’t properly space out the support, that can lead to very serious support problems. One of those problems can include a crack in the basement floor as too much pressure is exerted on it. You may be able to alleviate this pressure by additional support systems to help take the pressure off, but that requires a professional’s touch.
These are a few of the most common issues you might discover after water starts seeping through your basement floor cracks.
Mold and Mildew
Whenever you have a significant amount of water or moisture, you’re going to also have mold and mildew. Mold grows most effectively in areas with around 70% relative humidity, although it can also grow at lower humidity if there’s standing water.
Mold and mildew invite a variety of ugly problems into your basement. Not only can it have health risks, but it also can lead to structural damage, especially if that mold grows on wooden floor joists.
If you have high levels of relative humidity in your basement caused by water coming up through the cracks in your basement floor, you’re almost certainly going to end up with mold and mildew. It’s important to tackle it as soon as possible so you can avoid that.
Insects and Rodents
Once you have mold and mildew, what’s next? Unfortunately, the answer is often insects and rodents. That’s because many insects feed on the mildew, and when those insects come, rodents are more likely to try and find their way in.
This problem just compounds. When you have these pests, you’ll find additional problems, usually relating to their cleanliness or lack thereof.
If you stop your problems before this point, you can often avoid the presence of insects and rodents altogether. It’s not something that inevitably will happen when you start seeing water seeping through basement floor cracks; it is a sign you need to get in touch with a professional.
Uncomfortable Living Space
As the water in the basement starts to evaporate, it’ll turn into humidity. Although that humidity can have negative impacts on the basement, it won’t just stay in the lower areas of your home. Through a physics concept called the “stack effect,” it’ll rise into the rest of the house.
High humidity makes people uncomfortable. That’s especially true in areas with higher heat because warmer air can hold more humidity than cooler air.
Unfortunately, this discomfort is typically unavoidable if you do have basement floor cracks and seeping water. Your best bet to avoid the discomfort is to get the actual problem fixed so you no longer have these high levels of humidity.
High Electric Bills
When the humid air starts circulating through your home, you’re probably going to start seeing higher electric bills as a result of this humidity. In fact, humidity is a direct attribute to higher bills and might have been something you didn’t notice before.
Humid air requires more conditioning than dry air. As the air in your home gets more humid, you’re going to need to put in more air conditioning to guard against that humidity. That means, of course, higher electric bills.
This is one of the reasons you should pursue fixing leaking basement floor cracks as soon as possible. It may cost you money at the outset, but that money can pay dividends each month as you save on your electric bills.
Severe Structural Problems
One thing you’ll notice regularly if your basement floor starts leaking is that the problems won’t just end with humidity. Especially if it gets into the inner workings of your home, you also could start seeing much more worrisome structural issues.
Mold, mildew, insects, and humidity all eat away at the structure of your home. That means when you have these problems, you’re inevitably going to have structural concerns.
There are many reasons for severe structural problems, and basement moisture is just one potential reason for it. However, it’s a good argument for getting your basement floor cracks looked at as soon as possible.
Lowered Home Value
At the end of all of this, what do you have to show for it? Unfortunately, one thing you’ll see is a lower home value overall. Homes with severe structural damage, mold, mildew and basement cracks are simply worth less than homes without these issues.
If you even want to get back up to a baseline, much less actually increase your home value, you’ll need to invest in fixing serious problems. That’s a losing proposition for many people who let these basement floor cracks go for too long.
Instead of waiting until your home’s value is lowered, you should instead tackle your problems head-on. It’s important to fix the cracks in your basement as soon as possible so you don’t run into this ongoing problem.
So what can you do when it comes to water seeping through basement floor cracks? Although it can seem like it’s just a factor of life, it’s not. There are many ways you can fix these leaking basement floors.
These are some of the common methods of fixing basement floor cracks.
This style of fix is one that many DIY practitioners employ. Rather than tackling the issues underneath the basement floor, a concrete patch essentially puts a bandage on top of the crack to try and avoid letting more water come through.
Unfortunately, this method is doomed to fail. If you just put a bandage over the top of the crack in your concrete, you’re just going to encourage the water to find some other way in. In some situations, you may even find that the concrete never fully dries because of the water underneath it.
JES doesn’t recommend this because it doesn’t actually fix things. Instead, you need to get to the bottom of the problem you’re struggling with and fix that.
What if your problems are coming from house settling? In this case, you may want to investigate piering options. Piers go underneath your home and push into the bedrock, a stable layer of rock, to support the home.
If your home is sinking, this can be an effective solution. The piers help sustain your home and make sure it doesn’t continue sinking. With a strong enough pier, you may even be able to return your home back to its initial height.
There are a few different types of pier systems that JES offers. If your home is sinking, a JES inspector can perform a free inspection and give you information regarding which type of system will work best for you.
Crawl Space Encapsulation
Homeowners with dirt crawl spaces or other issues regarding crawl spaces may opt for this fix. Encapsulation-style fixes may also be useful for basements that are dealing with significant moisture issues — you’ll need to remove the entrance of moisture into the basement.
This entire process can be useful for homeowners of all types. If you’re currently handling a serious amount of moisture in your crawl space or basement, encapsulation may be the only option, especially if you have open crawl space vents or a dirt floor in your crawl space.
Regardless of where your moisture problems are popping up, a JES expert can let you know whether encapsulation may be for you. Plus, you can then get encapsulation from a professional who will do it right the first time.
Water Coming Through Cracks in Your Basement Floor
There are many different problems you may need to handle if you’re seeing a crack in your basement floor and it is seeping water. Waterproofing these basement floor cracks takes significant work, but if you talk to the right expert, you can get that work done.
Anyone who’s having leaking basement floor issues should waste no time in talking to a JES expert. With a free inspection, you’ll be able to determine your problems and the potential fixes.
Water Appearing on Your Basement Floor
Water suddenly appearing on your basement floor can be worrying. What do you need to know about this potential source of concern?
There are a number of reasons you might have water coming up through your concrete floor. You might have a leak and not know it, making it seem like the water is “appearing from nowhere.” Alternately, hydrostatic pressure may have pressed upon the concrete floor, opening up minuscule cracks that are leaking water.
Prevention is the most important step here; keeping water from coming up in the first place is much easier than trying to fix the problem when it’s already happening. When you’re building or buying your house, make sure you request an inspection from a qualified expert.
By itself, water on your concrete floor can present a slipping hazard and smell strange. The real problem doesn’t typically arise with the water on the floor, however. Typically, water appearing on your basement floor indicates a deeper concern, such as a foundational problem, that you need to tackle.
If water is coming up into your concrete basement floor, you need to fix the root of the problem. Just putting a tarp over the floor or adding a thin layer of concrete onto the floor won’t fix whatever’s causing the problem. Only an inspection by a JES waterproofing expert will reveal the root of the problem.
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