If you have water coming in your basement but are unsure from where a simple water test can be done to locate the problem(s) area. A leaking basement foundation can come in four different ways. First is through seepage this is when water is coming in where the wall sits on the floor. Second is through a crack in the foundation wall. The third is up the floor caused by static pressure under the foundation of the house. Last is by the sill plate which is where the house sit on the foundation. There are different tests that can be done to find different causes of your water leak.
The first thing you want to check is your gutter and downspout lines as they are your homes first line of defense against water problems. You should have your gutters cleaned two-four times a year depending on your location. Having clean and properly working gutters helps prevent water damage to your foundation. A garden hose can be placed in your downspouts to make sure they are flowing properly. The downspout lines should also be ran at least 20 ft away from your foundation so the water isn’t draining right back to your home.
To check to see if your home has a seepage issue you start by placing the garden hose on the ground about 10 ft away from the foundation wall. Let it run for about 20 minutes and then go in your basement to see if water is coming in at the floor where the wall rests on it. Repeat this process by moving the hose around the perimeter of the home. If you have water coming in your basement where the wall sits on the floor you have a seepage problem which can be fixed with an exterior or interior waterproofing system. Explanation of these two systems can be found under the Waterproofing tab.
If you do not have water coming in from the first part of the test the next step would be to place the garden hose right against the foundation wall on the outside. Go into your basement right away. This will let you know if any of the cracks in your foundation wall leak as not all cracks do. If the crack is going to leak it should leak within minutes of placing the garden hose on the outside foundation wall by the crack. A crack(s) in your foundation wall can be repaired two different ways. The first way is to dig out the crack from the outside and permanently repair the wall; AquaProof Inc offers this service with a Lifetime Transferable Warranty. The second option for crack repair is to have the crack injected on the inside. This option is cheaper; however, it is a temporary solution. At some point that crack is going to leak again or the water is going to find/make another weak spot in the foundation to come in. So if you are going to spend a lot of money finishing your basement or store priceless items in it a crack injection would not be the option for you.
Doing these tests with your garden hose should help you find any water leaks your basement may have.
There are two issues this test doesn’t touch on they are sill plate leaks and static pressure. Sill plate leaks usually happen with hard driving winds during a rain storm. Your sill plate is where the house (brick, siding, etc.) sites on the foundation (poured concrete, block, etc.) and is usually above ground. If the sill plate is above ground it is a simple handyman fix with concrete caulking on the outside and inside of the sill plate. This is not something you want to pay thousands of dollars for a waterproofing company to fix. In some case the sill plate is a few inches to a few feet underground; in this case a subsurface system can be installed on the outside of the foundation wall that is leaking to collect the water and then drain it away from the house. When cracks in the basement floor have water coming up them this is called static pressure. A static pressure leak is caused by water build up under the foundation of the house. This can be controlled by installing a sump pump and a sump pump discharge line.
If you have other questions, need more information or would like to schedule your free estimate* please call our office today 513-459-5400 or submit a contact form.