Tips for Fixing Cracked and Leaky Basement Walls

Tips for Fixing

Cracked and Leaky Basement Walls

You have just stepped downstairs in the middle of the night to take the laundry out of the dryer.  You are bleary eyed and your next stop is bed.  As your foot touches the ground, you are shocked into wide-eyed wakefulness.  Something is wrong.  The ground shouldn’t be damp, but it is.  You immediately recognize that you have a leaky basement.

Nobody wants to hear that they might have to fix their basement walls, but the older your house gets, the more inevitable it becomes.  Thankfully, simple cracks in the foundation of your home or basement walls are easy to rectify.  The first thing you are going to need to do to fix those leaky basement blues is find the source of the problem.

First, look for cracks in the walls.  Use a flashlight to search every corner and crevice.  If your basement is made of concrete, you should be keeping an eye out for efflorescence, or white discoloration in the concrete.  That is a telltale sign that your leak is nearby.  Other obvious signs include bubbling paint, warped plaster, or places in your basement that seem prone to mold or larger than normal deposits of mildew.  Every time you find a new symptom of the problem, you are a step closer in recognizing whether this is something you can do yourself, or whether it is time to call the big guns.

If the symptoms are minor bits of moisture collecting from the subterranean depths of your basement, maybe you should just try a dehumidifier that will collect the liquid for easy removal.  If the problems are a bit more obvious than the proper thing to do is purchase a waterproofing compound and try a little crack repair yourself.  These two minor bits of help are going to fix most problems.

Some basement walls though, are going to need more than just a run to the local hardware store.  If you are starting to notice consistent moisture, or even dribbles of water coming from the corners, then maybe the job has moved past DIY and headed into emergency plumbing territory.  If that’s the case, then the right thing to do is call your local professionals.  Dr Pipe Drain & Plumbing Services are going to be happy to help you find out what the problem is and give it the attention and care it deserves.

How to Prevent Basement Leaking

How to Prevent Basement Leaking

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” this adage is truer today than ever before. This is especially true when it comes to basement leaks. Taking the time to prevent the leaks can save you hundreds in basement repairs later on.

Basement Leaking in Toronto Area

The majority of the leaky basement problems are due to what is known as run-off. This is water that collects on roofs and is ushered down gutters that deposit it along the baseline of the home.  Keep your gutters clear and make sure that all sown spouts are in good working order. This will ensure that rain water is directed away from the home and thus prevent basement leaks. These are the outside problems that can exacerbate leaking basement problem.

Inspect the basement for cracks and fissures. Repair any cracks found with an epoxy mixture that is injected into the cracks and that will remain flexible. The flexible epoxy will prevent new fissures from forming along side the old ones if the cracks are being caused by external pressure. Use a chisel or hammer to actually open the crack, making the inside of the hole wider than the top then fill it with epoxy or hydraulic cement. This method creates a great seal.

Another thing to check for outside is the grain of the lawn. The lawn should be sloping away from the base of the house. This is an easy although expensive fix. It will involve a light excavation and the purchase of some dirt. You will enough dirt to create an angled slope away from the base of the house for about 4-6 feet outward. This will help any water from rain or snow to follow a natural path away from the walls. Erosion along the base of the house could possibly add to this effect.

Knowing the flood history of the area can also help you to avoid leaks in your basement. If the house is not above the recorded flood level of the last flood from 100 years back take measures to prevent the basement from flooding. You can use the natural landscape to achieve this purpose. Embankments can also be erected to provide sufficient cover from any flooding.

Clean the floors and walls thoroughly and then use a waterproofing sealant to coat them this can be followed up with a waterproof paint for an added measure. For some of these you will need to have a professional contractor for others not so much. If all fails a contractor can install a sump pump system to drain away any water that collects behind the walls. Visit the website for Dr. Pipe Drain and plumbing for more on waterproofing your basement.