A variety of avoidable factors can cause basement leak and water Issues. Learn more about several avoidable factors that can lead to wet basement problems and guidance for homeowners to minimize the resulting damage. By implementing these tips, homeowners can extend the lifespan of their homes and reduce the need for costly repairs.
Improper Excavation Causing a Wet Basement
When a house is being built one of the first steps is to excavate (remove) all the rock and dirt, deep enough, not only for the foundation to be properly laid out, but also to create enough space for the construction workers that will be working on the foundation of the house to conduct their work.
An important part of the excavation process is to locate the point at which water forms below the ground. The reason being is that if the foundation is poured below the point at which water forms under ground, this may very likely result in wet basement problems in the future, since the basement is surrounded with water for decades, essentially penetrating through the foundation and into the basement.
Another important step of excavation is to properly determine the depth of the foundation so that the top of the foundation (where the wooden footing goes) is below the point at which frost forms. If the top of the foundation is above the point at which frost forms, what happens in winter is that the ground freezes, which makes the ground harden and expand creating pressure on the foundation.
When spring comes and the frost melts, the ground around the foundation contracts and loosens. This creates a hole in-between the foundation and the ground, causing water to leak downwards and eventually over the span of several years, this movement of dirt, water, ice and essentially the foundation may cause the foundation to crack, resulting in wet basement problems.
It is essential for the excavation process to be done properly by experienced professionals if a house it to withstand the seasonal nature of the Canadian climate.
Age of the House
Even if excavation was done properly when the house was built, age plays a major role in the health of the house.
After a decade or two, the dirt under the house, which was stable and firm when the house was built, will inevitably shift causing the foundation and the house to shift with it as well. These shifts and movements in the ground and essentially the house cause added strains to the foundation, and eventually cracks form causing leakages and wet basement problems.
Most of the time a crack repair professional can effectively and efficiently seal the foundation crack, preventing further water leakage and damp basement problems. When choosing a basement crack repair professional in your area look for someone with experience and a reputation.
The Crackmasters team are crack repair experts who have successfully repaired thousands of foundation cracks and saved our customers thousands of dollars in possible damage.
Improper Maintenance Leading to a Wet Basement
Due to our seasonal climate in Ontario, houses experience added strains on the foundation throughout the year. In winter the land freezes, causing it to expand, and harden. This adds pressure on the foundation of the house, weakening the foundation, especially if excavation was done improperly. When spring comes and the snow melts the ground softens and contracts causing a gap in-between the foundation and the land surrounding it. To make matters worse, all the snow surrounding the house melts and the water finds its way downwards and into your basement. This water may soften your foundation over time, making it more susceptible to crack and a damp basement, especially if excavation was done improperly when your house was built.
To help reduce foundation cracks and a wet basement, during the winter season, shovel the snow away from the walls of the house, especially when the snow is about to start melting (just prior to spring). This will reduce the amount of water flowing along your foundation and the damage from water will be reduced drastically.
Another important and fairly inexpensive method to reduce wet basement issues is to keep gutters clean and functioning properly. Damaged gutters can result in water falling directly along the foundation of the house, and not away from it. This water finds its way downwards towards your basement and wakens your foundation.
Another important maintenance measure to minimize wet basement problems is to inspect basement windows annually. The sealant that seals the gaps between your windows and the foundation of your house may weaken and crack over time, and this may result in water leaking into your basement, further weakening the foundation and accelerating the inevitable deterioration. Therefore, if you inspect your windows regularly, checking for any cracks, or signs of water leakage, you can spot the problem on time, and take the necessary measures to prevent further damage to your house.
Finally, if your basement windows are partially under ground with wells around them, you want to make sure that the well has a drainage system in place which leads any trapped water away from your house. If there is no drainage installed, then any trapped water will not be able to escape and this may very likely result in leaky basement problems. Make sure that objects such as leaves, dirt, flowers, weeds, rocks, etc. do not get trapped in your basement window well. This will help minimize the likelihood of the well drainage being clogged, and will in effect minimize wet basement issues.
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