How to Tell Where Water is Coming Into Basement

June 22, 2023

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Most homeowners need to know how to tell where water is coming into basement sooner or later! Porous concrete often lets moisture in from the outside. Also, basements can trap humidity from water heaters, clothes washers, or just the surrounding air. Plumbing leaks can also mean standing water in a basement.

To tell where water is coming into a basement:

  • Check for interior plumbing leaks.
  • Look for leaks around appliances, including air conditioners and the clothes washer.
  • Dry the area completely and check the next day for the leak location. Ensure you check the basement walls as well as its floor!

These steps can tell you where water is coming into your basement, but of course, it’s good to know more about your wet basement. With this in mind, keep reading for more details on how to go through each of these suggestions. Then, discuss any basement leak, persistent flooded basement, or standing water with a professional basement waterproofing contractor near you as needed. You may require an expert solution, like waterproofing exterior walls or installing proper drainage for the property.


leaky basement springfield

How to Tell Where Water Is Coming Into a Basement

Here are some more details on how to find where that basement leak is coming from!

This information can tell you where your home might need repairs or waterproofing services.

Check for Plumbing Leaks

Start by checking for plumbing leaks around your home. To do this, turn off the main water valve to the home, usually located in the basement. Next, check the water meter and see if it’s still running. If so, there is probably a plumbing leak or broken pipe! If you can’t spot a leak under a sink or elsewhere, call a plumber.

Check Appliances for Leaks

Check for leaks around appliances that use water. These include a clothes washer, water heater, humidifier, and dehumidifier. Dry the floor around these and wait a day, then check for water again. If the floor is damp, this can alert you to a leaking appliance.

Basements can trap humidity from a clothes washer or water heater, resulting in standing water. Check for moisture coating these appliances, and then add a dehumidifier to your basement. This might take care of the problem!

Clean & Check Basement Walls and Floors

If these steps don’t work, clean the basement floor and walls, and dry them completely. Wait 24 hours and check the space. If you spot moisture, this can tell you the leak location. Look for water seeping in or less noticeable water stains.

Check Around Walls, Windows, and Doors

Also, remember to check the basement walls and windows and not just the floor. Walls, doors, or basement windows can let moisture in from outside the home, which then pools around the floor.

white, beautiful flowers, window

Signs of Underground Basement Leaks

Water in the basement is one sign of an underground water leak. Porous concrete floors absorb moisture from the outside and let it collect along their interior surface. You might also see water standing along the joint where the basement walls meet the basement floor.

Additionally, low water pressure throughout your home can signal a water leak inside or outside. A spike in your water bill that you can’t explain by way of a rate increase can also mean a leak! You might also check for puddles or muddy areas in the lawn or overly green grass patches.

Inside the home, note that mold and mildew can also indicate a water leak in the basement. Drywall, framing, and other materials absorb that moisture, risking mold growth. Moisture under carpeting can also mean mildew and even musty odors throughout your home.

How Do I Stop Water From Coming Through My Basement Wall?

There are several things you can do to help waterproof your basement. In fact, you might even try more than one of these solutions for your home! A foundation repair contractor can also advise on the best choice for your property.

Maintaining Gutters

Homeowners often forget that gutters and downspouts direct water away from a structure. In turn, clogged gutters or short downspouts risk water pooling around the foundation. To address this issue, keep the gutters clean and purchase downspout extensions for your home.

clogged window wells

Fill In Cracks Immediately

Fill any cracks in those walls and add a waterproof coating. Even waterproof paint designed for basement walls provides added protection against moisture.

Correct Property Grading

If needed, correct your property’s grading or slope. A house should sit on a “crown” of soil that slopes downward about six inches every ten feet. Correcting that grade ensures underground moisture runs away from your structure.

Installing the Right Drainage System

French drains are excellent for overly moist soil. These pipes install underground and trap moisture from the soil. Then, they direct it to a drain or even a landscaping feature, keeping that moisture away from the foundation.

A sump pump might also be needed to keep water out of your basement. These work by using an electronic pump to push water away from the home.

Landscaping Solutions

A contractor might also recommend a retaining wall, berm, or other landscaping change for your property. Some adjustments to the topography of your property’s soil can help protect moisture from collecting around a home’s foundation.

A swale is a landscaping feature that can channel water away from your home. A swale is a shallow ditch lined with stones and vegetation designed to absorb moisture or guide it off of your property.

Is Water In a Basement Bad?

Unfortunately, some homeowners might overlook water in a basement because they assume basements are naturally damp. However, excess moisture is the number one enemy of concrete walls and floors! Water breaks down cement binders, increasing the risk of cracks and other damage. Trapped moisture in a home also risks mold along walls and mildewed carpeting.

In turn, homeowners should address damp basements quickly. In addition to the methods suggested above, consider a dehumidifier in the space. Sump pumps also help with excess moisture collecting on the floor and walls.

Also, ensure the home has proper ventilation through the roof. Blocked roof vents and other roofing issues can mean trapped moisture in the home. That moisture can make its way to the basement, where it creates excess dampness.

Lastly, remember to keep appliances in good condition and free of leaks, especially those in the basement. A leaking water heater wastes water and means wasted power! That water also seeps into basement floors, damaging the concrete. In turn, a homeowner should address needed repairs and maintenance quickly.

Springfield Foundation Repair Experts is happy to help explain how to tell where water is coming into a basement. Hopefully, you found this information useful. Also, call our Springfield IL, foundation repair contractors when you need expert repairs. We’ll start your property off with a free price quote and inspection. Additionally, we guarantee all our work to last. For more information, call us today!

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