If you’ve asked, “why is water coming in my basement where the walls meet the floor,” chances are your foundation is experiencing hydrostatic pressure. In this article, you’ll learn why your basement is leaking water, what this could lead to, how to stop it, and how to prevent it from happening again.
Why Is Water Coming In My Basement Where The Walls Meet The Floor?
The answer is hydrostatic pressure. This is when water builds up in the soil surrounding your foundation and pushes against your walls, seeping through any openings. Water can weigh about 60 pounds per cubic foot, making it extremely heavy. If your basement is acting as a floodwall, sooner or later, it’ll break. The American Society Of Home Inspectors found that over 60% of basements have moisture seepage. They also found that 38% of basements experience mold and fungus growth due to an elevated moisture level.
Concrete is a porous material, meaning water can still seep through your foundation walls. But the most common place that leaks water is where your basement walls meet your floor. This is called a cove joint, and it exists because your walls and floors were poured separately during construction. When hydrostatic pressure builds in the soil around your foundation, it tends to seep through the cove joint first. The only way to counter this is by installing an interior or exterior drain tile system.
What Could This Lead To?
Water seepage is not something you want happening in your basement. It could lead to,
- Mold – Once humidity levels reach 70% in your basement, mold, and fungus can grow on your walls, floors, and anything else stored below your home.
- Musty odors – If your basement is damp and filled with mold, chances are it smells musty too.
- Wet floors – If your basement is too damp or humid, condensation can stick on your floors, leading to a potential slip and fall.
- Water damage or wood rot – If rot eats away at the wooden beams under your home, you could be looking at bigger problems than just a wet basement.
- Warped hardwood floors – If the floor above your basement is made of hardwood, there’s a possibility it can start to warp and bend due to rising moisture.
- Increased energy bills – When humidity builds up in your basement, it can rise into the rest of your home. This will force your air conditioning to work harder, leading to an increase in your utility bills.
- Increase in humidity – As we mentioned, the air below you will travel into the rest of your home. If your home is already humid during the summer months, chances are you don’t want it worsening due to a poorly sealed basement.
How Do I Stop Water Coming In Basement Where Walls Meet Floor?
The only way to stop water from coming into your basement where your walls meet your floor is by installing a drain tile system. There’s no way to prevent water from soaking the soil near your foundation completely, but you can catch that built-up moisture and send it somewhere else. This is how a complete basement waterproofing system works.
- The vapor barrier – The first part of a complete basement waterproofing system, the vapor catches water seeping through your walls. When the moisture hits the vapor barrier, it drips down to the drain tile below.
- The drain tile – The second part involves a perforated pipe laid in a bed of washed stone. This pipe will collect moisture that’s dropped down from the vapor barrier and any water rising from the soil below it, preventing it from seeping through your cove joint.
- The sump pump – Once your drain tile collects the built-up moisture, it sends it to a sump pit (a hole in your basement floor). Inside this hole is a sump pump. This device detects when water reaches a certain level in the pit and ejects it away from your home.
These three waterproofing methods are the best solution to keeping water out of your basement.
How Do I Prevent Water Coming In Basement Where Walls Meet Floor?
In order to prevent moisture from coming into your basement, you need to minimize how much saturates the soil outside your foundation. Here’s how.
- Your gutters – There’s no way to stop rain from pouring onto your house. That’s why your gutters are there. Their job is to prevent rain from dripping directly over the side of your home and eroding or seeping into the soil. By cleaning them regularly, you’ll prevent water from pouring over the sides. Professional waterproofing experts also recommend extending any downspouts, so they are at least 20 feet away from your home.
- Your grading – If your property is graded (sloped) toward your home, water could be draining into the soil outside your foundation. You can make minor adjustments yourself with a shovel and wheelbarrow, but we recommend calling a professional landscaper.
- Your yard – If your yard is very flat, chances are, during the rainy seasons, it turns into a swamp. If that’s the case, you might need a French drain. This perforated pipe works like a drain tile system and collects water that builds up in your yard, channeling it away from your home.
Who Can Help You?
If you have water coming into your Chicagoland basement, call The Real Seal. We’ve been sealing and waterproofing thousands of basements, crawlspaces, and other types of foundations since 2011. Reach out to us today and schedule your free inspection, where we’ll find out why your basement is seeping water. We also provide foundation repair, concrete leveling, and more.