April Showers Bring Wet Basements and Water Seepage
It’s wonderful to finally be able to welcome Spring to our lands. The Winter in New England (especially in NH and MA) has been particularly brutal this year with its lingering cold temperatures and above average snow fall. Nevertheless, Spring is here and with the lovely warm temperatures, sunshine and daffodils also comes those “April Showers”.
We talk about basement flooding throughout the Blog and our main website but in this post, we are going to talk about basement water seepage. Basements are more likely to experience water seepage and water seeping than they are to experience full on basement flooding.
Basement Water Seeping is caused by a variety of issues and events
Hydrostatic Pressure May Cause Water Seepage – Hydrostatic pressure is water pressure; the build-up of [ground] water in and around a home’s foundation, basement walls and floors. When ground water levels rise, this causes additional hydrostatic pressure and water may be pushed up against a home’s foundation/basement flooring. This can result in flooding and seeping of water into cracks and seams throughout the whole foundation. Hydrostatic pressure tends to result in a wet basement floor and could cause puddling.
Water seepage due to hydrostatic pressure fix: Basements that are wet from water seepage can generally be returned to dry and the problem can be solved with a sump pump or a basement drainage system.
Foundation Wall Cracks May Cause Water Seepage – Using a poured concrete foundation has been a practice that has improved over the past 60 years. Having a poured concrete foundation increases the quality of basements and allows homeowners to have many options for basement finishing. However, poured concrete does have a tendency to crack. These foundation cracks are perfect avenues for water, soil gases, insects, etc.to seep in and penetrate a home.
Water seepage due to foundation wall cracks fix: Basements that are wet from water seepage through foundation wall cracks should have the cracks sealed. Sealing foundation wall cracks will prevent water seeping into the basement through cracks.
Cove and Cold Joints May Cause Water Seepage – Cove joints are seam points where the wall and the foundation floor meet. Cove and cold joints occur in homes where the foundation is a concrete poured foundation. This means that the concrete footings, basement floor and the walls were poured at different times. Water may seep and find its way through the cove and/or cold joints. The source of water seepage at and around cove joints is not necessarily due to a foundation wall crack. Water due to hydrostatic pressure can cause seepage through cove joints also.
Water seepage due to or at cove joints fix: Water seepage through cove joints should be confirmed because waterproofing for cove joints involves foundation excavation and also interior work. A basement drainage system often needs to be installed as well.
Bulkheads, Window Wells and Garage Doors May Cause Water Seepage – If there is puddling or standing water around your bulkhead, and your bulkhead is old and leaky, then you may experience water seepage around and down the bulkhead well. If you have windows in your basement that are below grade, then you have potential for water to seep into your basement. Water may fill in around your windows and cause seepage. Don’t forget about your garage doors. Water may run and seep under garage doors if the grade of your property or the pitch of the driveway is not done so that water drains away.
Water seepage due to bulkheads, window wells and garage doors fix: Water seepage through the bulkhead and window wells would be easy to diagnose and you will likely need to either replace the bulkhead and/or window well or install a drainage system. If you have leaking or seepage from your garage area, you should consult first with a basement waterproofing specialist as there may be different factors causing the seeping water.
While water seepage in the basement may not be as disastrous as an immediate flooding of the basement, seeping water in the basement could lead to the eventual flooding of that basement.