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Why Your Basement Leaks in Heavy Rain

basement leaking due to heavy rain

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You’ve probably heard the saying, “When it rains, it pours.” And if your house isn’t waterproof, the water will find a way inside your home.
A problem in your basement can result in leaks after a downpour. Basement leaks may affect the state of the walls and floorings in your house. Much worse, it can result in a mold build-up, which can seriously affect your family’s health.
It’s essential to understand the possible cause of your leak to find the appropriate solution. This article will cover some of the common reasons why basements can leak after heavy rain and discuss a few simple ways to fix the common problem.

Why Address Basement Water Leaks?

Basement water leaks can lead to numerous problems affecting your home structure and health. From musty odors to structural damage, the consequences can be significant. Addressing these leaks promptly is crucial to maintain a safe and habitable living environment. Here’s why you should prioritize fixing basement water leaks:
  • Musty Odor and Health Hazards: Excess moisture creates a damp environment ideal for mold and mildew growth, leading to unpleasant odors and potential health issues.
  • Unusable Space: A wet basement becomes unsuitable for storage or living space, leading to damage to belongings and rendering the area inhospitable for regular activities.
  • Structural Damage: Water leakage can cause damage to walls and foundations, resulting in costly repairs and compromising the stability of your home.
By fixing leaks and implementing proper waterproofing measures, you can eliminate odors, reclaim space, protect your home’s structure, and prevent mold growth and associated health risks.

Common Causes of Basement Water Leaks in Heavy Rain

Understanding the causes of basement water leaks is essential for finding effective solutions. Here are some common culprits:
Below are the possible reasons why your basement leaks in heavy rain:

Hydrostatic Pressure

If you notice water leaks in your basement floor, the problem may be due to the concrete used as a foundation for your home. But how did it happen?
The concrete of your home’s foundation absorbs water like a sponge, and we all know that a sponge swells and becomes heavy when saturated with water. The same thing happens to the concrete of your home’s foundation.
Eventually, the foundation will need to drain, causing water seepage in the basement. This occurrence is called hydrostatic pressure or water pressure.

Lateral Pressure

Another form of water pressure that causes structural damage to your basement is lateral pressure. The water coming from the gutter causes the soil to expand and put pressure on your basement walls.
Lateral pressure causes damage to the floor or the wall foundation in your basement, which increases the possibility of water seeping in the basement.

Window Well Issue

A window well issue is a common cause of basement seepage. Though windows allow natural light and fresh air in the basement, they can also collect water.
You can quickly identify if the basement leak is due to a window well issue because the water will be coming through the window frames. Since basements are usually beneath ground level, water will always find a way to get in, even in the narrowest cracks and holes. Ensure your basement has window drains that will prevent water from coming in.

Existing Damages with the Foundation

If your home was built many years ago, it is more likely your basement has acquired cracks or holes over time. Any damage or hole will only help the water from coming through the walls and flooring of your basement, so it is essential to diagnose the problem and get it fixed as soon as you notice it.

Cove Joint

Another common reason for a leaking basement after heavy rain is a cove joint. Homes built ten years ago have basement walls and floors with small gaps in them. If you have water stains on your basement floors or walls, they may be a result of stress fractures or deteriorated concrete along the basement’s cove joints.

Clogged Gutters and Downspout Issues

Keep water from flooding your foundation by installing a downspout that will safely redirect the water to a specific drainage area away from your home.
It is essential to also regularly check your gutters. If your gutters are clogged, water may gather in puddles and can soak your foundation, leading to damage and other issues such as cracks, soil erosion, and basement leaks.

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How to Fix and Prevent Basement Water Leakage after Rain

  1. Identifying the Source of Leak: Thoroughly inspect the basement for cracks, damaged window wells, or clogged gutters to pinpoint the source of the leak.
  2. Improving Grading and Drainage: Ensure proper grading around your home to divert water away from the foundation, preventing pooling and leakage.
  3. Cleaning Gutters and Downspouts: Regularly clean gutters and downspouts to maintain proper water flow and prevent overflow.
  4. Sealing Window Wells: Use high-quality waterproof sealants to seal window wells and prevent water infiltration.
  5. Installing Moisture Barriers: Apply moisture barriers to basement walls to prevent water penetration and moisture buildup.
  6. Foundation Repair: Address any foundation cracks promptly to prevent water seepage into the basement.
  7. Extending Downspouts: Add extensions to downspouts to divert water away from the foundation and basement walls.

Actionable Solutions To Prevent Water Seepage

  • Invest in Professional Waterproofing: Consider hiring experienced professionals to assess your basement’s waterproofing needs and implement effective solutions tailored to your home’s unique challenges.
  • Install Sump Pumps and Dehumidifiers: Invest in sump pump installation and dehumidifiers to manage water accumulation and moisture levels in your basement, preventing mold growth and structural damage.
  • Regular Gutter Maintenance: Schedule regular gutter cleanings to ensure proper water drainage away from your home’s foundation, reducing the risk of basement leaks.
  • Seal Window Wells: Properly seal window wells to prevent water infiltration through window frames, safeguarding your basement from leaks during heavy rainfall.
  • Landscape for Proper Drainage: Create slopes away from your home’s foundation to divert water runoff and alleviate pressure on basement walls, reducing the risk of leaks.

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Professional Assistance for Basement Waterproofing

While some solutions can be DIY, others may require professional assistance. MT Drains & Plumbing offers comprehensive basement waterproofing services, including interior and exterior solutions, sump pump installation, and repair. Don’t let water ruin your basement after heavy rainstorms. Contact us today at (905) 761-5551 for a free home consultation and estimate!

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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