No one wants to deal with the potential damage that comes with water infiltration, such as mold and mildew, insect infestations, and foundation damage. Waterproofing your basement is a totally doable DIY project that can save you time, money, and headaches in the long run.
By creating a watertight coating on both the masonry above and below ground level, you can stop water leaking into basement after heavy rain and hold back the flow of water, even under pressure. This not only prevents damage, but it also keeps your basement dry and free from that unpleasant musty smell.
How to fix water coming through basement floor?
To ensure that the repair is effective and long-lasting, here is what you need to do:
Identify the culprit for your foundation leak repair
Check out the basement to track the path of the water, it may require specialized equipments.
Commonly the sources of leaks in concrete basements include
- cracks in the walls or floor,
- faulty or damaged pipes, and
- poor drainage systems.
Clean the area with a wire brush or other abrasive tool, you can also use a pressure washer to remove debris.
If the leak is coming from a crack in the concrete
There are some DIY solutions that you can attempt before reaching out to a professional. One such solution is to use hydraulic cement or polyurethane caulk to seal the holes or gaps, which can be purchased for a relatively low cost of around $10.
However, that this fix is only effective in cases where the problem is caused by a small hole that’s allowing water to slowly drip through due to surface runoff or wet soil. If you’re dealing with a larger leak or more complex issues, it’s always best to consult with a professional to ensure the problem is adequately addressed.
If you’re facing basement leaks where the wall meets the floor
➡ The issue is likely caused by groundwater, and plugging the openings won’t be enough to solve the problem. In this case, it’s best to consult with a professional to assess the situation and recommend the proper solution. They may recommend installing a sump pump or French drain to divert water away from your foundation and prevent further damage.
There are many different types of products available, including epoxy injections, polyurethane foams, and hydraulic cement.
If the leak is coming from a faulty or damaged pipe
The next step is to repair or replace the pipe. This may involve excavating the area around the pipe, cutting out the damaged section, and installing a new pipe. In some cases, it may be possible to use a pipe sealant or epoxy to repair the leak without replacing the pipe.
If the leak is the result of poor drainage
If you’re having trouble with downspouts that are dumping water too close to your home, you can make some adjustments to help guide the water farther away. One solution is to add plastic or metal gutter extensions. However, this may not be the most effective long-term solution as they can be unsightly and potentially hazardous.
A more permanent solution is to install an underground drain pipe. This option is invisible and capable of moving large amounts of gutter runoff much farther from your house.
Repair Footing Drains
When water seeps into your basement at the bottom of walls or where walls meet the floor, it’s often caused by hydrostatic pressure pushing water up from the ground. To fix this issue, there are a few steps you can take.
First, you should check whether you have footing drains. These pipes are typically installed underground during the construction of your home to carry water away from the foundation.
To locate leaks in your basement, you can typically find them by searching for a manhole or drain in the basement floor. Alternatively, a cleanout pipe that is capped a few inches above the floor can also be a good indicator of a leak.
➡ If you discover that your footing drains are clogged, you can try opening the cleanout and flushing the pipes with a garden hose. If this method doesn’t work, it’s best to hire a plumber with an auger to clear the pipes. The cost for this service typically runs around $600.
Install a Curtain Drain
If you’re dealing with water infiltration in your basement, one effective solution is to install a curtain drain. This type of French drain intercepts water before it reaches your home and diverts it away from the foundation.
A curtain drain is essentially a shallow trench, typically around 2 feet deep and 1.5 feet across. It’s filled with gravel and perforated piping that allows water to enter the drain and flow downhill away from your home. It’s important to note that if the drain runs through an area with trees or shrubs, it’s best to use solid pipe to prevent roots from growing into the piping and clogging it.
➡The cost of a curtain drain installation can vary based on the length and complexity of the project. Generally, you can expect to pay between $10 and $16 per linear foot. Keep in mind that this investment can help protect your home’s foundation and prevent costly water damage in the long run.
Pump the Water
If you’re dealing with a constantly damp or flooded basement, subsurface water may be to blame. While completely preventing water from entering your basement can be challenging, you can redirect it away from the interior using an interior drain system.
This system involves cutting a channel around the perimeter of the basement floor and chipping out the concrete. Perforated pipe is then laid in the channel, allowing it to collect the subsurface water and drain it to a collection tank located at the lowest point in the basement. A sump pump is then used to pump the water out of the house.
➡While an interior drain system can be a bit pricey at around $5,500, it’s the most effective and least invasive option if your basement is unfinished and has easy access. It’s also a great choice if you have mature landscaping in your yard that you don’t want to damage by digging an exterior drainage system.
How to fix a foundation leak from the outside
It’s recommended to have the ground excavated to expose the crack on the outside of the wall in serious cases. From there, the crack can be filled with hydraulic cement that expands as it dries, effectively creating a seal. A waterproof coating is then applied and left to cure into a rubbery membrane that is 100% waterproof. Finally, a dimpled membrane is fastened over top to provide added protection.
While this process can be quite effective, it can also be quite costly. For less severe cases, cracks in the foundation can be filled in with an epoxy injection or expandable foam. However, it’s important to keep an eye on any filled cracks and check them again after a few months to ensure they haven’t changed.
➡If you notice any cracks getting worse over time, it’s best to bring in a professional such as a structural engineer or foundation specialist to assess the situation and recommend the proper solution.
Point to be noted
If you’re dealing with drainage issues around your foundation, regrading may be necessary. This involves altering the slope of the ground around your home to encourage water to flow away from the foundation.
➡The cost for this type of work typically ranges from $835 to $3,000. While it may be a significant expense, it’s essential to address drainage issues as they can escalate to more serious problems if left untreated.
The solution may involve improving the drainage system around the foundation. This might involve installing a sump pump, creating a French drain, or grading the soil to direct water away from the foundation.
Tried everything, still nothing?
If you’re still facing the same problem, even after making sure your gutters are working and patching obvious holes, it’s possible that surface water isn’t draining away from your house properly. A common cause of this problem is a lack of proper soil grading around the foundation.
Ideally, the soil around your home should slope away from the foundation on all sides, forming a “crown” that’s at least six inches higher over the first 10 feet. But over time, the soil can settle and create low spots that allow water to pool near the foundation.
To fix this, you can add soil around the foundation using a shovel and dirt. You’ll want to use a water-shedding clay-loam mix that you can purchase from a landscape supply store.
➡For around $30 (plus delivery), you can get enough soil to create a two-foot-wide, three-inch-deep layer along 57 feet of foundation.
By adding this soil and creating proper soil grading, you can ensure that surface water drains away from your home and reduces the risk of water infiltration in your basement or crawl space.
Reshape the Landscape
It’s important to be mindful of the siding that slightly overlaps it. If you build up the crown too much, it could bring soil too close to the siding, which can lead to rot and termite problems. To avoid this issue, make sure there’s a minimum safe distance of six inches between the crown and the siding.
One solution to redirect water away from your home is to create a berm or a swale. A berm is essentially a mound of dirt that can be easily constructed in small areas by a landscape contractor for a few hundred dollars. However, for larger projects, berms may not be practical as you’ll have to bring in too much soil.
In that case, a swale may be a better option. A swale is a wide, shallow ditch that redirects water before it reaches your home.
➡The cost of a swale can range from $450 to $2,000, depending on the size of the project. Once the landscaping grows in, both berms and swales can become attractive features in your yard.
Waterproof the Walls
Fixing a leaky basement can be a challenging and costly process. If you’re experiencing water infiltration, the first step is to identify the source of the leak. This could be caused by cracks in the foundation walls or floor, faulty pipes, or poor drainage.
One solution to getting the water out is to install an interior drainage system. However, this doesn’t waterproof the walls, so you’ll need an exterior system for that. This involves a French drain to help with hydrostatic pressure.
The downside to this option is that it’s a large scale job that requires excavating around the house, which can be costly and time-consuming. Plus, it can take a toll on your yard, and you may need to remove decks or walkways.
➡The price tag for this type of repair can also reach up to $18,000.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is it normal for old basements to leak?
It’s not uncommon for old basements to leak. As a basement ages, it can experience wear and tear, which can lead to cracks and holes in the foundation walls or floor. Additionally, the soil around the foundation can settle over time, causing pressure on the walls and leading to cracks, allowing water to seep into the basement, especially during periods of heavy rainfall or snowmelt. While it’s not entirely normal for a basement to leak, it’s not uncommon either, especially for older homes.
Q. Is a leaky basement a big deal?
In short, yes, a leaky basement is a big deal. Water infiltration in a basement can lead to a host of problems, including structural damage to the foundation. Water can also cause electrical hazards, leading to safety concerns. Additionally, a leaky basement can significantly decrease the value of your property. Therefore, it’s essential to address any water infiltration in your basement as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need to seek professional help to ensure that the repairs are done correctly and the issue is fully resolved.
Q: What should I do if I have water leaking into my basement after heavy rain?
If you’re experiencing water leaking into your basement after heavy rain, it’s important to identify the source of the leak. Check for any cracks in your foundation walls or floor, faulty pipes, or improper drainage. Once you’ve identified the source, you can take steps to fix the issue.
Q: How can I fix water coming through my basement floor?
If water is coming through your basement floor, it’s possible that you have a problem with your foundation. In this case, it’s best to consult with a professional to assess the situation and recommend the proper solution. They may recommend installing a sump pump or French drain to divert water away from your foundation.
Q: How can I fix a foundation leak from the outside?
Fixing a foundation leak from the outside typically involves excavating the ground around the foundation to expose the source of the leak. From there, the crack or hole can be repaired using hydraulic cement or another appropriate sealant. A waterproof coating can then be applied and a dimpled membrane fastened over top for added protection.
Q: How can I fix water leaking into my basement after heavy rain?
To fix water leaking into your basement after heavy rain, you’ll need to identify the source of the leak and take appropriate measures to fix it. This could include repairing cracks in your foundation walls or floor, installing a sump pump or French drain, or improving your home’s drainage system.