Here I’ll be discussing basement leak repair options and how to fix water seepage professionally.
Water is an extremely important part of our existence. We drink it, wash with it, produce with it, and it helps grows our food. However, having water in the wrong places can be very destructive.
One of the places where water causes major damage is the basement of your home, and this comes as a result of leaks.
If you have a leaky basement, then you’re reading the right article.
How To Fix A Leaky Basement
The repair options you will explore are dependent on where the leakage is coming from. Let’s see the options you have available.
Ina case where you see water trickling into the basement through cracks or gaps around your plumbing pipes, all you need to do is plug the spaces.
The good news is, you can do this all by yourself. All you will need is some polyurethane caulk or hydraulic cement. These materials aren’t expensive and you can find them in any home improvement store near you.
Plugging is an ideal solution when the leakage is caused by a hole where water passes through, either from wet soil or surface runoff.
I have to mention though, plugs won’t work in cases where the water is shooting up through the basement floor, or by the joint where the wall and floor meet.
Restore the Crown
In an instance where the gutters are working and you’ve already plugged the existing holes, yet water still leaks into your basement, then it means the surface water isn’t draining away from your foundation.
Your house should rest on a crown of soil, which slopes at a minimum of 6 inches over the first 10 feet in all directions. The soil around the foundation will settle over time, after which you can build it back using a shovel and some dirt.
A cubic yard of the water-shedding clay-loam mix is sold for about $30 in most home improvement stores, and it is enough for a 2 ft. Wide, 3-inch deep layer across a foundation of 57 feet.
Reshape the Landscape
If the siding of your home slightly overlaps the foundation, then building up the crown would bring soil (which attracts termites), closer than you would like. 6 inches is the recommended safe distance.
If this is the case, build a berm (which is a mound of dirt), or a swale (which is a wide but shallow ditch), to channel water away, even before it has a chance to get to your foundation.
Berms are easy to build in small areas. You can hire a landscaper to do this for you, and it wouldn’t cost you more than a couple of hundred dollars.
For larger projects, berms aren’t the best option, simply for the fact that you have to truck in excess soil. Digging a swale is your best bet in this situation. It’ll cost you about $1,000.
The good thing is, berms and swales can be aesthetically pleasing after the landscape has grown in. Not a bad option at all.
Repair Footing Drains
If you have water leaking into your basement by the low end of the walls or by the seams where the floor and wall meet, then hydrostatic pressure can be blamed for shooting the water from the ground.
The first thing you need to do here is to check if you’ve got footing drains or underground pipes installed when the house was built. You should also check to see if there is a drain or manhole on the basement floor.
If the drains are clogged, you can open the cleanout and blast the pipes clean using a garden hose. If this fails, then you need to hire a plumber with an auger to do the job.
Plumbing charges for this kind of job should range between $500 to $600.
Install a Curtain Drain
If you have no functional footing drains, you can install a curtain drain to redirect traveling water away from your house.
Curtain drains have a shallow trench that’s about 2 ft deep and 1.5 ft across. It is filled with gravel and the pipes are perforated so that it can intercept water from the top of your house, and channel it down the slope to a distance that’s far and safe away from your foundation.
If the drain runs through trees and other plants, you should think about using a hard pipe to ensure roots don’t grow into the pipe and crack or clog it.
Curtain drains aren’t expensive, they cost around $14 per linear foot.
Pump the Water
In a case where you can’t keep the sub-surface water from coming in, you have to redirect it from inside your basement. You’ll need to create an interior drain system to do this.
First, create a channel around the perimeter of your floor, then chisel out the concrete. The next step would be to lay a perforated pipe into the hole, which is linked to a collection tank at the low end of the basement. It is from here your sump pump can pump it out of your basement and into the sewer system.
If your basement is unfinished, then this would be the best time to install the interior drain system. This is because there would be little to no obstructions and easy access to do the work.
This is also a good option if your yard has already mature landscaping, one that will not be destroyed by an exterior drainage system.
Waterproof the Walls
While installing interior drainage systems are great, it doesn’t waterproof the walls from the outside. This is why installing an exterior French drain system is a good idea.
What the French drain will do is this – Relieve the hydrostatic pressure being put on the outside of the foundation walls. And the result is obvious – a significant reduction in foundation leaks.
Installing a French drain around your home’s perimeter is a big job, and may demand a lot of excavation. However, it has proven to be a very effective solution. Though I must confess, the job will be much easier if your foundation has several gaps.
Also, installing a French drain can take as much as $20,000 from you, so consider the cost as you make your plans. Also, keep in mind that all the excavation will leave your beautiful yard all beaten up, but that can be resolved after the installation is complete.
If you’re able to achieve this, then you’ve taken a huge step towards keeping your basement dry and free of leaks.
How to Stop Water Seepage In Basement Walls & Floors
Now that you can identify the causes and effects of basement seepage, let’s discuss how you can fix it.
The EPA advises that you leave water leaks to the professionals to fix, as they have the experience and tools required to do a good job. By doing so, you can potentially save money in the long and short run.
Here is how to stop water from seeping through basement walls and floors.
Basement Seepage Repair Guide
Fixing the problem yourself or hiring quacks to do it may not give you the results you desire, and you will be forced to spend money doing fixes later in the future.
At this time, more damage may have been done to your property.
Why take such a risk?
Here’s what needs to be done to stop water seepage.
This is the act of sealing all cracks and spaces where water can pass through into your basement. There are several brands of concrete sealers in the market you can use to do this.
Have a contractor take a look at your foundation’s exterior to identify the cracks. When the breaches are found, sealing can take place.
It will be a good idea to also reinforce the entire perimeter of the foundation, even the parts that aren’t cracked.
Keep your gutters clean:
Another thing you can do to prevent water seepage is to ensure that rainwater flows away from your foundation and into the main sewer system.
If your gutters are loaded with tree leaves, sticks, rocks, candy paper, and other types of junk, then they will be clogged. Develop a habit of inspecting and cleaning your gutters regularly.
Once in a week is ideal.
If you haven’t done this already, then you should, as downspouts will help direct water away from your foundation.
Make sure that the downspouts are extended far away from your home. A minimum of 30 feet should do.
Redo the landscape:
If your landscape bends towards your basement, then rainwater will flow in that direction and settle. You can redo the landscape to ensure that water flows away after the rains have stopped.
Leaky basements can be a real problem for homeowners, as they can set them back by hundreds or thousands of dollars in water damage repair costs. The good news is several repair options can be used to fight the problem.
Be sure to follow the tips provided in this article to have a fresh, dry basement.