Maybe you’ve tried installing a home dehumidifier or sump pump which helps a little, but you still have to deal with your leaky basement walls. You don’t have to live with a wet basement. Save yourself time and money by requesting a free professional basement evaluation.
It can sometimes take a little while to realize your basement wall is leaking, but as soon as you do, you’ll probably realize what a big deal it is. Leaking basement walls don’t just stop because you’ve noticed them, and many people’s “solutions” are nothing more than a bandage that will eventually stop working, whether it takes a few days or a few years.
Do These Basement Walls Look Familiar?
It can be difficult to identify and repair issues related to dampness, cracks, and leaking basement walls. However, if you have an experienced expert, you’ll be able to do just that. Remember that finding the real problem is the first and most important step in this process.
Leaking Basement Walls
Learn more about what causes leaking in your basement walls
Water in your basement points to a larger problem, which is something you shouldn’t ignore. Water can also lead to basement condensation, efflorescence, and other problems that can be both surface-level and hidden. For these reasons, it’s important to schedule an inspection as soon as you notice excess water in your basement.
Waterproofing your basement is an important part of making sure your home stays safe, but the cost of waterproofing can vary widely. That’s because it typically relies heavily on how large your basement is, the extent of any damage, and what types of repair solutions will be used. The best way to determine a cost for waterproofing your basement is to schedule an inspection from a JES basement waterproofing expert.
Depending on your basement style, whether you’ve already painted your basement, and the extent of the water problems you’re having, you may need an expert to do it for you. Professional basement waterproofing contractors have access to reliable interior drainage systems, sump pumps, dehumidifiers, and more. It’s important that you consider all these factors before you try to do it yourself.
You should not have water coming from your basement walls. Most commonly, water coming from your basement walls indicates that there are minuscule cracks in the walls that are letting in water. You need to fix the root problem that’s causing water to accumulate in your basement.
Too many homeowners put off fixing their leaky basement walls. It’s extremely important that you fix this problem as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you could end up with any of these problems.
Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew are both very common problems that occur whenever there’s high moisture in the area. Most of the time, the relative humidity needs to be at least 55-65% for mold to start growing in earnest, but if you have water droplets on your basement walls, the humidity in those specific areas is very high, which means it will probably start growing on those areas of the wall.
Although most mold and mildew aren’t toxic to humans, that doesn’t mean you can just ignore it. Mold and mildew can both be bad for your respiratory tract when you breathe in the spores, meaning they can exacerbate allergies. Plus, they make great food for many pests, so you’re basically inviting pests into your home with mold and mildew.
Much of the time, leaking basement walls happen because your home’s structure is failing. Typically, it’s because of bowing basement walls that are starting to cave in because of the hydrostatic pressure on the outside. It’s important that you fix the problem at the root as early as possible so you can address these structural concerns.
In extreme cases, basement bowing may end with the basement wall literally crumbling in on itself. Of course, this is unlikely and would typically happen only after many years of ignoring serious problems in the basement. However, do you really want to take that chance? Fixing the problem early makes it less likely that you’ll have a complete structural failure.
High Indoor Humidity
When you have a leaky basement, the water resting on the walls will typically start to cause high levels of humidity in the basement. As with any other amount of resting water, this tends to significantly increase the possibility for the room to become extremely humid. The problem is, in most homes, this high level of humidity won’t just stop in the basement.
As the basement becomes more and more humid, it’ll start to move up into the home. This might happen if you go into the basement regularly, if you don’t have a very secure basement door, or even if you just leave it alone for long enough. For the most part, there’s really no way you’ll be able to avoid basement humidity becoming general home humidity.
High Energy Bills
When you have high levels of indoor humidity, you’re also going to start having high energy bills. Think about how you feel when you’re in humid weather — you probably feel hotter when it’s hot, and you feel colder when it’s cold. Your body will tend to react much more strongly to the temperature when there’s a lot of moisture in the air.
It’s most common to respond to that in a home by turning the thermostat up or down, depending on what the outside temperature is. Plus, your air conditioner may take more time and energy to condition the air. That means you’re going to end up with much higher energy bills than a home that doesn’t have humidity concerns. With the money you can save, it almost makes more financial sense to invest in basement waterproofing than to avoid waterproofing your basement with a professional.
There are many reasons your basement walls may be leaking. However, these are the most common reasons someone will discover their basement walls are leaking.
Water in the Soil Surrounding Your Foundation
If you live in an area where the water table is above the very bottom of your basement, you’re going to deal with hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is scientifically defined as “the weight of water when it is at rest,” which means the amount of force water exerts just sitting in a space. Even though it’s not rushing like a stream, the water in the soil around your foundation has a lot of weight, and that means it has a lot of power.
The water in the soil surrounding your foundation can be very heavy. That water then presses in on your basement walls, which can lead to serious basement bowing and basement cracks. Because water wants to fill up any space it’s in, it will invariably start to move through those cracks, causing a leaking basement wall.
Did your area recently get a lot of water? Have you been seeing flood warnings on the news? If there’s a lot of water outside, it’s natural to assume there would be a lot of water trying to get into your basement. When there’s a lot of water running through the area around you, you’re going to deal with excess hydrostatic pressure both above and below ground.
Below-ground hydrostatic pressure can be very damaging to your basement walls. Your basement is used to a certain amount of pressure, and suddenly increasing that amount of pressure can be extremely detrimental to the basement walls. Additionally, if you have above-ground windows, the extra hydrostatic pressure can push on the windows and the window lining.
Poured Concrete Walls with Cracks
Poured concrete walls tend to be more prone to issues than other types of walls. The hydrostatic pressure on the outside of your poured concrete basement walls is very extreme for any type of wall, but unfortunately, poured concrete walls can have more serious issues more easily than many other types of walls.
If you have poured concrete walls or a concrete foundation, you may end up with cracks in them from the hydrostatic pressure. As already explained, basement wall cracks make it very easy for water to pass into the basement from the outside. Any time you notice basement wall cracks, even if there isn’t any water flowing through, you should consult with a foundation repair specialist.
Underground Water Reserves
Does your home sit on or near an underground water source? This can be very damaging because it often makes the soil around it much more moist than it would be in an area without an underground water source. Moist soil is not only prone to expanding, but it’s also much heavier than dry soil, which means you’re likely to have issues with bowing basement walls and cracks.
Unfortunately, many people don’t know whether their homes sit near an underground water source. It can be very difficult to find out on your own. That’s why you should instead consult with an expert, who can give you information on the problems you’re facing regarding your basement walls and any leaking you’re experiencing.
Although basement condensation from leaking basement walls can be frustrating, some people have come up with various methods of fixing them. These fixes vary in quality and lasting ability.
A concrete patch may seem like a very sensible situation. Typically, a concrete patch goes on top of the area that’s leaking. You dry off the area from the inside, apply a concrete patch, and wait for it to dry. In an ideal world, the concrete would dry before the water was able to make its way through and it would stem the flow of the water.
Of course, this is rarely what happens. Instead, because concrete cures extremely slowly in the grand scheme of things, water almost always pushes through before the concrete has completely cured. Even if the concrete cures before water has come all the way through, remember that this doesn’t fix the root problem, which means you’re likely to experience it again.
Because you can often use epoxy as a tool to stem leaks in things like plastic tubing and copper piping, many people then wonder whether they can mix epoxy to use on their leaking basement wall. That has led to a number of people who believe they can DIY their leaking basement wall fix. After all, epoxy is waterproof, right?
Although epoxy can be a very useful tool in some situations, it’s not as useful when you’re dealing with a leaking basement wall. Leaking basement walls are leaking for a reason; more often than not, that small crack will grow or be joined by a variety of other cracks, which you’re not going to be able to fix with epoxy. You need to fix the base problem before you move onto other fixes.
Some people just install a basement dehumidifier. After all, if it pulls moisture from the air, it should be able to pull condensation from your wall as it appears. This concept stems from an idea that’s unfortunately common among homeowners: the idea that a dehumidifier is strong enough to remove water that’s already condensed onto a surface.
A dehumidifier may be able to help avoid excess moisture in the air because of a leaky basement wall, but it’s not going to remove the leaks in the first place. Remember, there’s a reason a leaky basement wall exists; it doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. If you can fix the source of the leaking, you’ll be much more ready to take on the problem of fixing the leaks themselves.
Professional Basement Waterproofing
Lastly is professional basement waterproofing. These other potential “fixes” are typically quick and easy, and some are very cheap, while others may not be quite as much. However, the problem is that these “quick and easy” fixes, while nice in the short term, are absolutely not worth it in the long run. When you cheat your basement out of a strong fix, you’re going to end up with issues that just compound in on themselves.
The only way to get a true fix for your leaking basement walls is to invest in professional basement waterproofing. This will take longer and likely be more expensive than just putting up a concrete patch. However, it’s up to you: Do you want a fix that’s cheaper and less difficult, or do you want a fix that actually works to stop the problem?
A leaking basement wall can definitely be a sign of a very serious problem. If you’re experiencing leaking from a basement wall, your first step should be to call a waterproofing expert. When you contact an expert, you’re more likely to get answers about the source of the problem.
Some people choose sealants and paint to fix issues with leaky basement walls. However, the problem is that both sealants and paints are temporary solutions that will need to be reapplied, and they don’t fix the actual root of the problem. Instead of going for sealant and so-called “waterproof” paint, you should talk to an expert to come up with a full-scale solution.
There’s no one type of basement that’s immune to problems that might require basement waterproofing. Cinder block basements, slab basements, concrete basements, and all other types of basements can end up with basement water problems. You should be vigilant and watch for water-based concerns in your basement no matter what type of basement you have.
As you can see, stopping your cinder block basement from leaking is possible, but it may be more difficult than a DIYer can handle. Especially if you’re starting to experience serious leaking issues, it’s time to contact JES so you can schedule an inspection.
Call in the Experts for a Fix to Your Leaking Basement Walls
The best way to fix leaking basement walls is to delegate the problem to the experts. After all, experts are the ones who are dealing with these problems every day. Even though you might not know what to do in a situation where your basement walls are leaking, experts have gone through a lot of specialized training to make sure they know what to do when your basement walls are leaking.
This is exactly why it’s so important to call in the experts when you start having issues with a leaking basement wall. Contact a JES basement waterproofing expert, who will be able to help you schedule a free inspection.
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