Water seepage in the basement is a very common problem, particularly here on Long Island where the water table is so high. Seepage can be a huge problem depending on how severe it gets and even worse, it isn’t covered by insurance. Constant water leak problems can cause water damage to property and mold issues that can spread and make your home dangerous; so it’s important to take steps to prevent seepage issues and water damage before they happen, if possible.
Checking your gutters is an important first step to prevent water from entering your home. The job of your gutters is to direct water away from your home’s foundation walls so they need to be clear of obstruction and undamaged so that water flows where you want it to. Your downspouts should lead water at least 5 –10’ away from your house or water will end up seeping right back in through the basement walls.
Make sure your home is graded so that the water flows away from your home. The dirt around your house should be sloped about 2 inches for every foot. This helps to keep water away from your home naturally.
Inspect your foundation walls for cracks in your basement. If these are visible, wait until the dry season and apply a construction-grade epoxy with a caulk gun to the cracks. Make sure it gets deep into the cracks to ensure that the holes are filled. This can help prevent leaks from hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure of the water in the soil around your foundation. This pressure alone is often enough to press water through your foundation and into the basement walls. To prevent seepage from hydrostatic pressure, it may be necessary to apply basement waterproofing to the walls of the basement. This should also be applied in the dry months to ensure a secure bond with the walls. Professionals can also be hired to inject waterproofing around the outside walls of your basement to further prevent seepage from hydrostatic pressure.
Another option for basement water is the addition of a French Drain. In a French Drain, a trench is dug around the interior foundation that is graded to direct water toward a single corner. A sump pump is then connected to water pipes to direct water outside of the house.
Basements with a French Drain may have higher humidity levels and excess water year-round, so it’s important to ensure that mold growth does not take place. Have a mold remediation company come and inspect your situation if you are concerned about mold growth. Many of them are able to offer help with seepage control issues and may find other sources of incoming water to help you further prevent leaks.