There’s a place and time for water – at the beach or during a bubble bath are perfectly acceptable and welcomed occasions. Water leaking into your basement, however, is a homeowners nightmare. In our upcoming series of blog posts, we’ll take a look at sources of basement leaks. In this article, we’re breaking down leaky walls and wall-floor joints.
So, how does water get through walls, floors, and wall-floor joints? And how can you as a homeowner prevent this? Let’s first explore the causes.
Cracks in Foundation
One very obvious issue and cause for leaky walls, floors and wall floor joints is cracks in foundation walls. Cracks in foundation walls can be caused over time due to a variety of issues.
- Vertical cracks: Vertical cracks tend to be the least concerning of all foundation wall cracks. Vertical cracks are usually caused by precipitation or concrete settling in new construction.
- Horizontal cracks: Horizontal cracks are not as innocent as their vertical counterparts. Horizontal cracks can be an indicator of severe structural problems within a home and often occur when the force of the ground strains the basement or excessive backfilling or frost. These cracks require more immediate attention.
- Diagonal cracks: Diagonal cracks, while not as typically serious as horizontal cracks, they still require attention. Diagonal cracks are common when homes settle too quickly or in homes that are built on hills.
- Stair-step cracks: Stair-step cracks are considered the most hazardous of cracks. Stair-step cracks often point to an area of foundation that is sinking or settling.
- Basement floor cracks: Basement floor cracks come in a variety of appearances, each one with its own unique cause. Basement floor cracks can be an unsightly scene for homeowners, the good news is that many times, they are innocent. With that being said, some basement floor buckling, such as ones with sinking or heaving, require more immediate attention.
Soil Quality Around Your Home
A bigger, less controllable circumstance that can cause water leaks involves the soil quality around your home. If you experience weather that involves heavy precipitation, this can lead to excess water saturating the soil, resulting in soil expansion. The pressure formed from soil expansion, known as hydrostatic pressure, will push against your foundation and take advantage of any foundational vulnerabilities as a way to relieve the large build up of pressure. This is why we often notice many foundation leaks after rainstorms, particularly in weak wall-floor joints which tend to be more susceptible to hydrostatic pressure related leaks.
The word expansion combined with foundation is never a good pairing. Expansion in your foundation can cause a bubble-up effect for other serious problems in your foundation, resulting in some of the cracks and leaking mentioned above.
How do I fix my Basement Wall, Floor and Wall-floor Joint Leaks?
Exterior waterproofing is the best long-term solution to keep your home safe. Many exterior waterproofing measures address the root cause of the leak, which involves making sure that water is re-directed away from your house instead of putting your house at risk of unforeseen vulnerabilities that other solutions may not solve.
At K Kuypers, one of our preferred exterior basement waterproofing methods involves hand-excavation. Hand-excavation may sound intrusive, while in reality, when done correctly, this method is one of the least intrusive options. When excavation is successfully executed, basement walls can be waterproofed, weeping tiles, insulation boards, and window wells can be installed as well.
While we know that dealing with leaks in your home can be stressful, mitigating the potential damage is possible with the right knowledge and experts by your side. The first step is being aware of potential causes and bringing in a team that can help keep both your home and your family safe.
Are basement cracks or leaks causing you stress? Give us a call!
At K. Kuypers, we offer a fully transferable 25-year guarantee for every foundation repair and pride ourselves in offering the best customer service possible. Don’t just take our word for it, read what our past clients have to say!