With the winter thaw right around the corner here in the Lehigh Valley, many homeowners will be faced with water creeping into the basement.  Virtually no home is impervious to water infiltration and can be a costly repair job.  A wet basement, or basements that show signs of water damage, can significantly reduce the value of a home, and seriously damage the selling process.

Water can enter a basement or crawlspace in a variety of ways, seeping through the floor if the surrounding ground is constantly saturated or entering through cracks in the foundation walls.  Leaky basement windows can allow water to seep in, while improperly draining downspouts and gutters may cause water to pool around the home’s foundation and leak into the basement.

Depending on the type of water issue at hand, there are a number of techniques used by professionals and homeowners to fix the problem.  A waterproofing company can help homeowners determine what method will be best, but here are a few keys to rectifying your wet basement.

Find the Source of the Water
Finding the cause of your wet basement can sometimes be very easy, while other homeowners will be at a loss for where the problem is originating.  The best place to start looking is around the foundation of your home, where you see the leak inside.  Also be sure to check the downspouts, and any areas where water can collect, close to the home.

Create a Barrier
Shut off the possibility of water continuing to enter the home by creating a barrier between the water and the home.  Waterproofing paints and sealants can be applied to both the outside and inside walls of a basement.  Inside application is easier, while outside you may not be able to easily get to the areas that need sealing.  In this case, a water remediation professional may be in order.  A plastic vapor barrier can be installed in crawlspaces that have vented concrete or dirt floors.  This will help to protect against moisture in this space.

Install Drains
There are a variety of drainage systems available to help with basement water issues.  Depending on the drain, it may be installed at the perimeter of the basement interior or on the exterior of the home.  Drains are designed to capture water from the ground and direct it away from the home’s foundation.

Use a Sump Pump
For other water issues, a sump pump may be the best course of action for you.  A sump pump can help gather ground-water and pump it away from the home.  In this situation, a professional will be able to help you decide which pump is going to be most beneficial.

Water leaking into a basement is just the start of the issues homeowners may have to deal with.  Other problems that arise as a result of water getting into a basement include health hazards, such as mold and mildew growth, and can become a breeding ground for insects that like moist conditions.  It also prevents you from being able to use your basement for storage, a commodity for most homeowners.

If you’ve ever had to deal with a wet, leaky basement, what actions did you take to get rid of the water and prevent it from happening again?


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