Ninety-Eight percent of houses experience a form of basement leakage
The presence of efflorescence, a white mineral deposit inside the foundation walls indicates moisture penetration. The severity of the problem, whether minimal or actively leaking, is not always indicated by the amount of efflorescence. Other than puddles of water that can accumulate on the basement floor, there are often other clues that a homeowner may notice; such as rusty nails in baseboards, rotted wood near floor level, rusted metal bottoms of household appliances, mold and mildew, lifting flooring or tiles, peeling paint, and a high humidity level. If looking to purchase a home look for signs of water problems like these mentioned. Other signs that the home has a water problem are; items being stored on skids in the basement, and any signs of water staining on walls, either bare concrete or finished wall board.
Poor surface drainage is one of the main causes of basement leaks. The ground should slope away from the house at a rate of one inch per foot, for at least the first six feet. As a preventative measure, any gaps between where the driveway and sidewalk meet the foundation walls should be sealed. Ensure that your gutters and downspout systems perform correctly and are connected properly, and are free from clogs and debris. They should be redirected to discharge above grade at least six feet away from the house.
These suggestions will not solve all water problems but will help minimize the amount of surface water coming in contact with the foundation wall.
ACTIVE PROBLEMS AND INVESTING IN PROFESSIONAL SOLUTIONS
In many cases basement leakage is not significant from a structural point of view and can be controlled relatively inexpensively, as outlined above. However, any presence of foundation cracks, damaged perimeter drain tile, a high-water table, or even underground streams call for professional corrective measures.
There are many products which are marketed to the “Do It Yourself” market which claim that they have solved the secret of wet basement problems, some even “guarantee” professional results. Wise Cracks® has had it proven time and again that if such remedies worked we wouldn’t be in business! Many of the Company’s requests for repairs come from home owners who have tried these remedies and often more than once.