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How to Stop Water from Coming Up Through the Basement Floor

water coming up through basement floor

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Moisture always finds its way to the lowest point. Of course, being under the ground, the basement is the first line of defence. Every basement is susceptible to seepage and if the builders haven’t handled things right when building your home, you may notice water often coming up through the floor.
The problem here is that water, over time, damages your home’s foundations, which can lead to a house ending up beyond repair.
In this post, you’re going to learn why seepage is occurring in your basement and how to stop water from coming up through the basement floor.

Why Is Water Coming Up Through Basement Floor

There are three primary reasons why water seepage might be occurring in your basement.

1. Drainage Problems

When a water drain clogs or collapses, the oncoming water needs to exit somewhere. Over time, water will find its way through the basement floor and walls. In this instance, you need to have the drains cleaned and/or repaired.

2. Pipe Leakage

The water pipes in your home are located behind your walls. If a leak occurs, gravity will eventually lead the water down the wall, and into the basement. In some instances, the leakage isn’t noticeable on the walls, but only when it starts accumulating in the basement itself.

3. Groundwater

The most likely cause of water in the basement is due to groundwater. As groundwater gathers around the soil surrounding your house, it starts pushing up against the floor and walls (thanks to the hydrostatic pressure). Eventually, the water comes into the basement through the tiny wall or floor cracks. Plus, your basement is made out of concrete, and concrete is porous.

How to Prevent Water Seeping Through Basement Floor

Unless you’re an expert and/or have all the right equipment, there isn’t much you can do to fix water leakage. Not to mention that there might be multiple reasons behind the “water coming through basement floor” issue. So, the best way to go is definitely referring to a professional to get to the bottom of the issue and fix it for you.
If you want to learn more about the problem, here are a few things that you or a professional can do to stop the leakage.

1. Install Gutter Extensions

Downspouts on some houses are built so they dump water five of fewer feet from your home. This is not the correct practice, as the rainwater is directed right into the ground surrounding your house. Adding gutter extensions made out of metal or plastic can help dump the water far enough away from your home so that it doesn’t add up to the water build-up around your basement.
Gutter extensions, however, aren’t ideal, given the fact that they are easy to trip over or run over with your lawnmower. An underground drain pipe is a much better solution here, seeing as how it won’t present a physical obstruction. Plus, a drain pipe placed under the ground can move bigger water quantities.
You can install the above-ground extensions on your own, but the more permanent drain pipe solution is best left to the professionals.

2. Plug the Gaps

Look for wet spots on your walls. If they are concentrated in particular areas, check to see whether this is where your plumbing pipes are. This is indicative of problematic areas on the plumbing. The best way to go here would be plugging the openings using polyurethane caulk or hydraulic cement. This is not too hard to do on your own, and the whole endeavour won’t set you back too much, but a more permanent solution would be to have your basement walls waterproofed to stop water from potentially finding an alternative way into your basement.

3. Repair the Footing Drains

If the wall leakage that’s causing the issue is located low on your walls or where the wall meets the floor, the problem is in the hydrostatic pressure that’s pushing the water from the ground and into your basement floor.
The first thing that you need to do here is see whether there are any footing drains installed under your home. The footing drains are used to move the groundwater away from your home’s foundation. Installing these drains is recommended, but if you have them, and you’re still experiencing a lot of water in your basement, have them cleaned out – they might be clogged.

4. Install the Curtain Drain

Instead of footing drains, you can install a curtain drain, which diverts the groundwater away from your house. Curtain drains are also known as exterior weeping tiles or French drains. These are installed by digging a trench around your home’s perimeter, inserting the drains, and covering them up with gravel and soil. This is a very complex and expensive process to be dealing with on your own, so hiring expert help is advised.

5. Install the Interior Weeping Tiles

Interior weeping tiles work on the same principle as French drains. The only difference here is that these are installed around the entire surface of your basement. The basement floor is cut out using a circular saw, and then the same process is applied as with the French drains. This also involves a lot of work and investment, which is why hiring experts is again advised.

6. Restore the Crown

Every house is built on a “crown” type of soil, sloping around 6” for the first 10’. However, as time passes, the foundation will inevitably start settling. Hiring professionals to restore the crown soil should help you stop water from coming through the basement floor.

Stopping the Basement Soaking

Although you now know at least a few actions to prevent water from soaking your basement, you should still focus on leaving the whole thing to the professionals. In reality, the reason behind water-related basement issues is very difficult to pinpoint and even harder to take care of. If you take matters into your own hands, you might end up trying to fix something that’s not broken.
So, leave it to the experts to avoid complications, unnecessary additional expenses, and future foundation issues.

Paul S

Paul has more then 20 years in basement waterproofing and plumbing projects experience. Looking for an advice from an expert plumber? Make sure to read Paul's articles about residential waterproofing and plumbing projects in Toronto.

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