How to Fix a Leaky Foundation

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Did you know Maryland has an average annual precipitation of 59 inches? That’s a lot of moisture for your foundation to contend with, and all that rain can cause serious damage to it.

When moisture is able to penetrate your foundation, leaks can get into your basement and cause even more issues for your home. Rest assured, there is a solution to the problem, and this article will talk all about how to fix a leaky foundation. 

How a Leaky Foundation Forms

Before you can start identifying leaks in your foundation, you need to understand how it happens in the first place. There are two main reasons your foundation might be leaking.

Foundation Settlement

When rain is absorbed into the soil around your basement, it can become weak and unsupportive. Over time, your foundation can settle, sink, or break when surrounded by wet soil. 

A great way to visualize this is by imagining what happens when you step into mud. Your foot sinks into the wet, soft soil because it is applying more pressure than the mud can support. Foundations follow the same idea – wet soil cannot support the weight of your home’s foundation. 

When a foundation begins to sink into the soil, cracks form in the concrete and water can enter your basement. However, foundation leaks can be caused by another process.

Hydrostatic Pressure

Another force that can cause your foundation to leak is hydrostatic pressure. Essentially, hydrostatic pressure is the force a liquid exerts on an object relative to its depth. 

It’s the force that acts on your ears as you go deeper into a pool. As your body goes deeper into the water, more pressure is exerted onto you.

Since basements are below the ground, water deep below the soil will exert pressure on the walls of your basement in the same way. Eventually, the concrete walls of your basement will begin to crack against the pressure. 

Signs of a Leaky Foundation

Now that you understand how foundation leaks might occur, you’ll have a much easier time identifying the issue. Here are the top signs that you’re dealing with a leaky foundation. 

Mold or Mildew

When water enters a dark or cool area such as your basement, humidity rises and water condenses. This process creates the perfect environment for mold to grow. Plus, if your basement has carpet, wood, or other fabrics located within it, there’s a good chance mold will spread to these areas. 

Not only will this cause damage to your basement, but it can also become a health hazard to those in your home. Some mold types can cause respiratory issues – and in some cases, lead to death. 

If you see any signs of mold or mildew in your basement, call a waterproofing contractor immediately. You’ll avoid damage to your home and to those you love.

Higher Utility Bills

Humidity doesn’t just lead to mold growth, it also causes your bills to rise. If humidity enters your basement or crawl space, the moist air can rise into your home and cause your HVAC system to work harder.

As the air conditioning in your home works to even things out, your energy bills go up. Meanwhile, water continues to seep into your basement and the humidity keeps rising – along with your bills. 

Wood Rot

Water and humidity can also affect wooden structures in your basement or crawl space. If there are any wooden beams or supports present in your foundation, leaks will damage them

If you’re noticing that wood in your crawl space or foundation is breaking down or becoming cracked and brittle – you may have a leaky foundation. 

Standing Water

This one is obvious. If there are puddles of water in your basement or crawl space, there is most certainly a leak in your foundation.

Letting these pools of water sit will only contribute to rising humidity below your home. Eventually, this will also lead to all the problems listed above. 

Options For How to Fix a Leaky Foundation

So, you know what causes a leaky foundation and how to confirm if that is the problem your foundation is facing. The next step is considering the ways you can fix it. 

DIY Leak Repair

Many homeowners’ first instinct is to try and fix the problem themselves with a store-bought vapor barrier or dehumidifier. Unfortunately, repairing a leaky foundation is a task that usually requires special tools and training that may be difficult for many homeowners to attain. 

DIY waterproofing options are not impossible, but they can end up costing you more money, more time, and more damage if not done properly. We strongly recommend staying away from DIY options when it comes to foundation issues. 

Basement Waterproofing

Perhaps the best way to defend against a leaky foundation is by hiring a waterproofing contractor. At Armored Basement Waterproofing, a professional technician can install a subfloor pressure release system in your basement.

This system uses an interior French Drain to direct leaking water toward a sump pump in your basement. Depending on the size of your basement, the installation may require more than one sump pump. 

We also offer an additional wall liner which gives your space a fresh look and offers additional protection against leaks and moisture. If you want to learn more about our waterproofing process, click here.

Keep Your Home Safe

Foundation leaks can cause serious issues for a basement. In turn, these issues can spread further throughout your home. Hopefully, our guide on foundation leaks has given you the knowledge needed to make the best decision for your home. 

At Armored Basement Waterproofing, we value an honest approach to our work and we guarantee a quality job. If you want to learn more about how to fix a leaky foundation contact us today and continue exploring our website.