It’s common for basements to be damp and humid, but that doesn’t mean it has to be that way. Wet basements can spell trouble for many homes across the country, with moisture leading to expensive structural damage over time.
While the effect is subtle, it can damage your home and reduce its value if left ignored. Before you can address the issue, you need to be aware of how water can get into your basement.
Causes of Water Leaks in Basements
The soil surrounding and supporting your basement is constantly exerting huge amounts of pressure on your walls and foundation. Depending on how moisture and weight are affecting your soil, it can erode, settle, expand, or freeze.
For your floors, that can mean cracked or uneven concrete. These forces can also push your basement walls inward and crack them open. Water can get in through even the smallest of microcracks, so cracks in your floor or walls don’t have to be very prominent for them to be a problem.
If your basement drainage systems aren’t able to keep up with the demands of a heavy storm or downpour, or if your sump pump fails, that water doesn’t have anywhere to go — except your basement.
The same can be said for plumbing leaks. If a pipe is broken underground, it can deposit huge amounts of water directly into the soil. Eventually, that water will find its way into your basement and create a huge mess.