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Causes of Leaky Basements

Anchored Walls knows that a finished basement is a great investment for nearly any home of any age. A finished basement has the ability to add extra living space which can be used as a game room, home office, study, home library, extra bedroom, or even as a home theater. A finished basement also has the ability to dramatically increase your home's resale value as well as its curb appeal.

The Clay Bowl Effect

When your Iowa or Missouri area home was built, a hole was excavated into very hard, virgin soil to accommodate the basement. The ground never "forgets" this hole, thus whenever the ground becomes saturated, water will always seek to fill this hole. This water creates pressure around your walls and floor that allows for seepage opportunities at any cracks or joints. This water pressure will occur during prolonged heavy rains despite your best efforts to keep ground water away from your home. That is why downspout extensions, proper grading, caulking driveway cracks, and even adding room addition slabs may mitigate the amount of seepage you receive, but won't solve the problem.

Three Types of Leaks

Locating where water is entering your home is key to choosing the appropriate solution, so mark the source whenever the seepage is active.

Through the walls:

The most common basement leak is due to seepage through wall cracks. These cracks will continue to deteriorate and will eventually leak, and this basement foundation wall water seepage will get worse over time. Other possible wall leaks are tie rod ends, honeycombed concrete and pipe penetrations.

Through the floor or floor/wall joint:

Most modern homes are built with a drain tile system around the footings to keep water from creating pressure against the floor or cove area (floor/wall joint). Some drain tiles run into the sump pump, others to the city storm sewer system. If seepage occurs in this area, check your pump's operation first, if that is working normally, then your drain tile is not. You should consider using a modern battery backup for your sump pump system.

Over the top of the wall:

Water entering at the top of the wall, between the concrete and wooden sill-plate, is due to one of 2 things: The soil grade has been built up outside the home, higher than the concrete. Homeowners, in their efforts to keep water away from the foundation, build the dirt level higher than the concrete wall, ironically creating a seepage problem through the below grade brick or siding.

Sometimes there is an above grade penetration of water, due to a caulking or tuck pointing issue. Any water that penetrates the veneer of the house will run down the back side of the siding and appear at the sill-plate juncture in the basement. The surest way to verify which of these two "spillover" problems you have is to water test by running a hose on the ground on a dry day. If water comes in, it is a below-grade problem. If water does not come in, then it is an above grade problem that will require caulking, tuck pointing or possibly roofing repairs. Anchored walls can help you conduct this test if you need assistance.

A basement is a valuable part of your home, can add additional living space and is designed to be dry, usable space, whether as a finished recreation room, a workshop, or simply a safe storage area. Once a leak occurs however, its usefulness and value is very limited - fortunately permanent solutions are available for all seepage problems.

If you have a leaky basement with excess amounts of moisture, however, it will significantly decrease the value of your home. It'll also be a wasted and unsafe space for your family. Basement leaks need to be repaired immediately to avoid further problems and repair costs. At Anchored Walls, Inc., we make having a dry basement as easy as picking up the phone.


Hydrostatic Pressure

Wet and leaky basements often times are exposed to flooding and water damage. This is a concern especially for homeowners who have older homes in IA that haven't been properly set up with basement waterproofing systems. As homes age, the waterproofing systems that were put in place when they were built become much less effective, and your basement walls and basement floors begin to get damaged by excess moisture. However, leaky basements aren't only limited to older homes, newly constructed homes in IA also can have moisture issues that need to be addressed.

Regardless of how well your basement may look now with the leaks, with enough time the excess moisture around your home will start to eat away at your basement walls and floor. Due to the fact that older homes were typically waterproofed using methods which are now outdated and ineffective, you might find yourself needing to have a newer basement waterproofing system installed.

Most basement and foundation water damage is caused from hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure occurs when the soil around and beneath your home gets saturated with excess moisture from rain, melting snow, over-watering, or condensation from A/C units. This water puts pressure against the walls of your basement and will even start to put force against your basement flooring. With continuous hydrostatic pressure being put on your basement walls and floor over many years, your walls and floor can start to crack and rot because of the pressure acting against them. Hydrostatic pressure can sometimes be a constant strain on your walls and floor if your basement is routinely flooded.

Soil Settlement

In many homes, soil settlement or the weakening of your foundation base is either caused from excess moisture in your clay soil or from water leakage. Foundation repair can be done with the help of our foundation repair specialists serving homeowners in Iowa.

Water damage and leaky basements can be caused due to various reasons which might include weather conditions such as summer storms, cracks in plumbing equipment, blockages in drains and toilets, weakening of concrete basements, and improper functioning of a/c systems and other appliances. All these factors may lead to water damage which will leave you with a damaged and leaky basement.

Basement moisture can cause problems for your basement walls, floors, ceilings, and personal belongings. Water damage effects and ruins your indoor air quality as well.

It causes a lot of damages within a few hours and this can make for a very unhealthy living environment. A leaky, damp basement can act as a breeding ground for molds due to the increase in moisture. Molds typically grows on wood, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, or insulation. To control mold growth, Anchored Walls needs to control the amount of moisture in your home.

Improper Yard Drainage

Many homeowners in IA are not concerned with having proper yard drainage until they have a wet, leaky basement on their hands. Water will always follow the path of least resistance to lower levels and when a property doesn't have proper yard drainage, water pools up in low lying areas and seeps into the ground and eventually into your basement. Not having suitable slopes and drains on your home's lot to direct water runoff away from your home can make for a basement moisture problem for your family. Flooding basements, when fixed immediately, may save your family thousands of dollars and frustrations in the future.

The two categories of water found on a yard are surface and subsurface. Subsurface water is the water located below the immediate layer of topsoil which cannot travel any lower due to the rigidness of the soil beneath it. Surface water is the other type of water found on lawns in IA. Sources of surface water are rainfall and over-watering, which can come from sprinklers, and can be particularly frustrating in suburban areas in IA.

Please contact Anchored Walls for more information about fixing leaky basements or to make an appointment with us. We look forward to working with you soon.

Basement Wall Cracks

So, you've noticed that there's a tiny crack in your basement wall. You may think that this isn't a very big deal and it's not really letting any water in. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A basement wall crack which may appear tiny on the inside of your home may actually be much large on the outside. Water seeps in through this large exterior crack and then gets into your basement via means of the tiny crack. If left untreated, this tiny crack can even begin growing larger itself. A leaky basement, if not fixed with a basement waterproofing system, will lead to a plethora of repair costs and headaches in the future.

If you live on a lot that has lots of clay materials in the soil, the pressures that it will exert on a small crack on the inside of your wall can actually cause it to grow very quickly if you don't have it fixed soon. Our basement waterproofing experts serving IA will be able to tell how much damage this tiny crack could eventually produce, but you need to have it fixed by us as soon as possible.

Even a small-looking crack can lead to standing water in your family's basement. All basement wall cracks need to be evaluated, no matter how much of a concern you think they may be. Don't subject your family to living in a home with a wet basement. If left untreated, it could lead to serious structural problems for your home and even dangerous living conditions for your family.