6 Common Causes of a Wet Basement- And How to Fix Them

Last updated on October 20th, 2022

If you have a wet basement, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), basements are one of the most common places in homes for water damage. There can be many causes of a wet basement, but don’t worry- we’ll show you how to fix them! This blog post will discuss the 6 most common causes of a wet basement and how to remedy them.


1. Ineffective Grading and Drainage

One of the most common causes of a wet basement is ineffective grading and drainage. This means that your home’s foundation is not properly sloped away from the house so that water can seep through the foundation. You can fix this problem by hiring a professional to re-grade your property and install proper drainage.

2. Clogged Gutters and Downspouts

Another common cause of wet basements is clogged gutters and downspouts. When gutters and downspouts are clogged with debris, they cannot effectively drain rainwater away from your home’s foundation. As a result, rainwater will pool around the base of your home, causing water to seep in through the foundation. You can prevent this problem by regularly cleaning your gutters and downspouts.

3. Hydrostatic Pressure

Hydrostatic pressure is another common cause of wet basements. This occurs when water builds up in the soil around your home’s foundation, creating pressure that forces water through cracks in the foundation. Hydrostatic pressure can be caused by several things, including heavy rains, faulty gutters and downspouts, and poor drainage.

If you suspect hydrostatic pressure is causing your wet basement, you should hire a professional to inspect your home’s foundation for cracks or other damage.

4. An Interior Water Leak

If your basement is wet, but you don’t have any cracks in your foundation or leaks in your plumbing, the problem may be an interior water leak. This can be caused by condensation from humid air, improper drainage around your home, or even a problem with your sump pump.

To fix an interior water leak, you’ll need to identify the source of the moisture and take steps to reduce humidity or improve drainage around your home.

5. A Crack in Your Foundation 

One of the most common causes of a wet basement is a crack in your foundation. While cracks are usually nothing to worry about, they can allow water to seep into your basement if they’re large enough. 

To fix a crack in your foundation, you’ll need to seal it with a waterproof sealant. You can find these at most hardware stores. Just follow the instructions on the package and take care not to get any on your clothes or skin. If you have a particularly large or deep crack, you may need to hire a professional to help you repair it. 

6. Poor (Or Missing) Drain Tile and Sump Pit Installation

One of the most common causes of wet basements is improper installation or a complete lack of drain tile and sump pits. 

Drain tile is a perforated pipe placed around the perimeter of your basement at the footing level. 

The purpose of drain tile is to intercept any water that might seep through the walls or floor and funnel it to a sump pit. 

A sump pit is simply a hole in the floor with a pump in it. The pump kicks on automatically when water accumulates in the pit and pumps the water out and away from your home. 

If you have an older home, there’s a good chance that you don’t have drain tile. 

The solution is to install a drain tile and a sump pit. This is not a DIY project – a professional contractor should do it. Improperly installed drain tile can make your wet basement problem worse. 

Taking action and finding a solution is important when dealing with a wet basement. The good news is that most of the causes of a wet basement can be corrected relatively easily and affordably. Reach out to us for all your waterproofing needs- we’re here to help!


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