If you have water problems in your home, there are several measures you can take to get your house free of water, your foundation stable and keep your basement dry. First though, you must determine if the source of the water leak is an internal problem or external.
Interior water problems can be caused by common things such as cooking, showering, humidifiers and clothes dryers. All must be properly vented to avoid moisture build up in your home. Another less common but possible cause is plumbing leaks. Have a professional plumber inspect your home’s inbound water lines for any leakage.
There are several possible reasons for exterior water problems as well. First, check the house’s gutters, downspouts and roof run-off to ensure they are properly working and directing water away from the home for a minimum of at least 6 feet.
Also, make sure that the slope around the perimeter of the home is positive and pulling water away from the foundation, and that the soil is properly graded in order to allow suitable drainage of surface water around the base of the foundation.
Check all external concrete flatwork, including sidewalks, drives, porches and patios. Make sure that they are sloped at least ¼” per foot away from your house and that water is not being channeled toward your house by these structures. If they are falling toward your home, have a professional replace the concrete, or appropriately re-route it.
One of the most important areas to check for water problems is your basement and/or crawlspace. If there is a dampness or water leak of any kind, a drainage system may need to be installed either in the interior or exterior.
A 4″ corrugated pipe wrapped in filter fabric and filled with clean gravel may be installed near the footing. The drainage pipe will need to be run outside, or if that is not possible, to an internal sump pit that will pump the water away from the home. A trained waterproofing expert will be able to help you rightfully determine what drainage system is appropriate for your needs.
If it is necessary to use a sump pit, make sure that the sump pump installed is the right size. Installing too large of a sump pump will shorten the overall lifespan of the pump whereas installing a sump pump that is too small will cause the pump to be overworked and constantly running.
Interior drainage systems are usually installed when an exterior drainage system is not an option. Interior drainage systems are used to help control water leaks, not necessarily stop them from happening. They should be considered only after ruling out the installation of an exterior drainage system.
Be sure to check for cracks in your foundation, basement walls and floors. Any spotted cracks that are larger than a hair-line need to be inspected by a professional foundation repair technician.
A trained professional will be able to check your house for correct waterproofing, observe any foundational damage and discover water leaks and their cause. They can help you to choose and install a proper waterproofing solution for your basement and foundation as well as seal any cracks and repair your foundation.