Usually, we associate basement leaks with wall cracks and loose windows, but if the water is coming from the floor rather than the walls or ceiling, obviously the finger must be pointed elsewhere. Here are some answers for the common and puzzling question: Why, oh, why is water coming up from my basement floor?
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Mysterious Paths of Ground Water
Most of us have groundwater present under our home’s foundation and usually, it doesn’t enter (it’s not supposed to). But, water can be mischievous and if an opportunity arises, it will surely use it to crack your flooring and foundation. So what opportunities are we talking about? • Difficult weather- Water levels are vulnerable to change. They either rise or fall. If this winter you had snowstorms and constant rain, those water levels have probably risen, reached your foundation and started to put pressure on it thus creating a puzzling basement leak.
• Soil & surroundings – Water tables are higher and nearer to homes placed in moist and rainy areas. Unlike in desserts, where they are far beneath the ground and have a harder time climbing up to your foundation. So don’t be surprised if you live near a lake or ocean and constantly face floor leaks. A good basement waterproofing will get the job done. And if that too doesn’t work, seriously consider moving out.
• Concrete & Mortar – Many homes have high water tables underneath but still manage to prevent basement leaks. How? Well, a home’s vulnerability also depends on quality materials and age. In older homes, the mortar starts to break and lose resistance. A similar rule goes for concrete: If it isn’t properly placed or if it’s old, water will have a much easier time cracking it.
Sump Pumps & Weeping Tile
Another common cause for basement floor leaks is damaged sump pumps, weeping tiles or window wells. When the sump pump isn’t draining water the proper way, the water tables rise and slowly start entering the home. This usually happens because of age, improper cleaning and debris build up. A weeping tile is also likely to lose track if it is clogged, detached or broken. It is placed at the foundation’s base and if gets clogged, water will use the situation and start putting pressure on the material, causing it to break and completely lose functionality. Window wells are great for increased comfort and natural light in basements. However, they too are vulnerable to soil and water pressure. To avoid damaging them, frequent cleanups and inspections are necessary as they get clogged by debris and leaves.
A Problem with Pipes
You might have perfect pipes inside your home, but you never know the condition of that outside – lurking around or under the walls and foundations – sewage pipes. Sometimes, whether because of improper maintenance or freezing, they clog and break, causing huge amounts of contaminated sewer water to travel freely through the soil. And we all know the true nature of water: mischievous – it loves cracking floors, windows and walls. To save yourself from bacteria, unpleasant smells and floods – do regular drain camera inspections. Some homeowners even decide to schedule “ a flushing appointment” with a plumbing agency every 18 to 24 months.