How to Find the Source of your Basement Leak After a Heavy Rain Storm in your Spokane Valley home
There are few things worse for a homeowner than finding water in the basement, especially when it’s not entirely clear where it’s coming from. Fortunately, water seeping through your basement walls isn’t always a cause for alarm.
There are a number of potential causes for basement leaks, some of which have easy and relatively inexpensive solutions.
As soon as you notice wet spots on your basement floor or wall, investigate the area around it to see if there are any obvious sources.
Signs of a basement water problem include small streams of water, damp walls, and puddling on the floor. The most common way that water enters a basement is through the foundation wall-floor joint.
The wall-floor joint, also known as a cove joint, is one of the most common culprits of basement leaks due to the gap between the wall and floor. As the amount of groundwater builds up, such as during a heavy rainstorm, more pressure is placed on the joint, allowing water to seep in.
Apart from wall-floor joints, here are a few other common sources of basement leaks:
- The tops of your walls: Water can seep over the top of your basement walls when the ground surrounding your home is level or sloped towards your home.
- Wall cracks: Cracks in the wall are one of the most serious causes of basement leaks and often become apparent when it rains. These are fairly noticeable in unfinished basements, but in unfinished basements you’ll have to inspect the outside of the foundation for cracks that run through the wall.
- Floor cracks: As with wall cracks, cracks in your basement floor can also be a sign of a serious problem. Cracks smaller than an 1/8 of an inch wide are normal, but anything wider should be sealed.
- Tie rod holes: More common in older homes, these holes appear in poured concrete foundations where tie rods were used to hold wood planks together. Luckily, plugging these holes is a quick and easy repair.
- Window wells: The wells outside your basement windows may let water in when there’s insufficient drainage around your property or when your gutters aren’t working properly.
- Honeycombs: Poorly mixed concrete can sometimes create air pockets within basement walls, resulting in “honeycomb” marks along the wall. These bubbly patches are usually a minor problem and can be sealed up.
- Leaking pipes: Drain pipes are another possible culprit for basement leaks. Check your ceiling and walls for stains or mold.
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