Why your crawl space or basement leaks when it rains
Living in the Pacific Northwest means you need to have a strong tolerance for rain, but sometimes, that rain can cause you stress by leaking into your basement or crawl space.
If you have puddles on your basement floor or a poorly maintained crawl space that floods every time it rains, you're not alone. Many homes in the Pacific Northwest have water problems. The first step to solving your home's water problems for good is to understand why water leaks into your house in the first place.
Causes of leaks
The most common cause of basement and crawl space leaks is the pressure created by the water in the soil surrounding the foundation. There are two different forms of pressure that can cause issues:
- During periods of heavy or persistent rain, the soil can become saturated, creating hydrostatic pressure (or water pressure) that can push moisture and water through your basement or crawl space walls and floors.
- The looser soil around your foundation tends to absorb more water. The area around the home is often flooded with rainwater from clogged gutters or downspouts that are discharging water right next to the foundation. When the soil expands, it creates lateral (or sideways) pressure against the foundation. This can cause damage to your home's foundation and create leaks in the basement.
How water seeps into your home
Water can find its way into your basement or crawl space in a number of ways, such as:
- Through cracks in the walls or floor
- At the joint where the poured concrete floor meets the wall
- Through cracks in mortar joints of block or masonry foundation walls
How to waterproof your home
- Clean gutters: When it rains, clogged gutters can overflow and rainwater can pool around your foundation. Removing leaves and debris and installing leaf guards and downspout extenders to direct water away from the house can all help prevent the soil around your house from becoming saturated.
- Improve grading: It's important to make sure surrounding soil is pitched away from the house so that water drains toward your yard, not your foundation.
- Install an interior waterproofing system: The most effective way to keep water out of your basement is to install an interior drainage system that minimizes hydrostatic pressure. By installing drain tile along the joint where the floor meets the wall, where most water leakage occurs, you can capture water before it makes its way onto the basement floor. Water coming through the foundation walls will also be collected by the drain tile. The drainage system then carries the water to a sump pump that automatically pumps the water out of your home.
Our WaterGuard drainage system uses the concept of a traditional French drain and incorporates a unique, patented design that prevents the system from becoming clogged. The next time it rains, you won't have to worry about a wet basement!
If you think your home's not ready for this year's heavy rainfall, then consider scheduling your free evaluation with TerraFirma today!