Many basements, though they don't leak, are damp and uncomfortable. The first step is to fix any active leaks that exist. The next step is to determine the cause of the dampness and a proper solution.
The three most common causes are:
- water under the floor
- water build-up against the foundation walls
- condensation of humid air on the cool basement surfaces
Excessive dampness during wet rainy times of the year usually indicates that one of the first two causes is the problem. Excessive dampness in humid times and not corresponding with rainy wet times is often the third cause.
If you suspect any of these problems then you should try this simple test:
- Tape a piece of aluminum foil to the floor or wall.
- Tape completely around the edges making sure no air will be able to get behind the foil. Duct tape works well.
- After a day or two inspect the surface of the foil. If there is water on it you probably have a condensation problem.
- Peel off the tape and inspect the concrete underneath. If it's excessively damp or wet then you know that moisture is coming through it.
For problems under the floor, drainage and/or sealing maybe be necessary.Floor level water problems generally appear where the foundation walls meet the floor and/or through cracks in the floor slab. Water leaking in these areas is usually associated with high ground water level due either to geographical location or heavy rains.These water levels cause hydrostatic pressure which forces water up from under the floor. In severe cases the water will cause cracks in the basement floor and additional leaks. Typically these leaks appear several hours or more after the beginning of heavy rains and continue for quite some time after the rain has stopped.
Causes of Seepage
- Lack of footing drains
- Improper installation
- Depletion through silt build-up of existing drain capacity
The repair of an existing system or installation of a new system is usually necessary.This involves:
- Opening the floor
- Trenching along the footing
- Installing a new drain system of perforated pipe encased in washed stone.
Since a poor or improper system may not fail for some time it is very important that this work be performed by an established and reputable company. This will ensure that you get the proper system, a system that will last, and one that is backed by a company that will be there when you need them to stand behind their work.
An improper system can cause serious problems and damage to your home.Eastern Waterproofing Co., Inc. provides a 20 year, 100% labor and material, written transferable guarantee for this type of work. We would be happy to provide you with references and a free written proposal for this type of work.