What's Causing a Leaky Basement in Your Pittsburgh, PA Home? | Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing

What’s Causing Our Basement to Leak?

By on September 23rd, 2014
Tags: Basement Waterproofing, Foundation Repair, Q&A, Residential Blog, Water drainage

Answers to Your Questions About Leaky Basements in Pittsburgh, PA

DownspoutThere are a number of reasons that your basement may be showing signs of water. Some can be fixed easily. Some require professional assistance. How do you tell the difference for your Pittsburgh, PA home?

The most common factors that are responsible for problems are…

1. Broken or dislodged discharge lines can cause the water to leak out and accumulate wherever they are compromised. If that downspout is disconnected before it even gets to the line leading into the ground, it’s going to get worse. If you can’t reset it yourself, have a roofing professional consult with you for what should be an easy fix. Check your gutters and downspouts regularly during a heavy rain event.

2. The exterior footing drain has failed. Most homes were constructed with an exterior drain that runs the perimeter of the foundation. Those systems always fail over time. Some even go bad a few months after a home is built. Sand, clay, and good old-fashioned mud easily leach into that pipe and once it’s blocked in one spot, the rest of the lines can’t displace the water. These “outside the foundation” methods don’t work over time and are why 90% of companies today are doing internal drain waterproofing.

3. Plumbing issues can mask themselves as foundation water problems. A telltale sign of a leaky basement is water seeping at the top of the wall instead of at the typical footing wall joint inside.

4. wet floorMulch beds around the outside of the home can be raised higher than the inside sill plate. If the mulch or soil above is too high, the water may find its way over the top of the inside basement wall. The water on the wall may be the color of the dyed mulch outside. If this is your issue, reduce the mulch a few inches below the frost line.

5. Improper grading can cause water to channel toward the foundation. This is especially true in our hilly region. Adding dense soil to the perimeter can lessen the amount of water that is making its way in. It’s a good first step in seeing what you have.

6. There is always the possibility that there is a spring at or near the foundation. It’s actually uncommon to experience water this way. One indication of a natural spring leak is that it’s coming in 24/7, even when it hasn’t rained for days.

One of the great things about Matthews Wall Anchor & Waterproofing is that we will explain what we find and we’ll let you decide what you want to do. There’s no hard sell, and we don’t use scare tactics with our clients. If we find something that you can fix, we’ll tell you!

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