Sunday, July 28, 2013

Causes of Wet Basement


One of the major problems I have encountered during Home Inspection is water leakage in the basement. Basement is basically a depression in the earth, if it’s not properly constructed or maintained, over time it will leak.
The best way to prevent water penetration in basement is to eliminate the conditions which are causing water to come in contact with foundation and to divert it away by using proper grading.
The biggest contributing factors for leaky basements are!

1.   Improper grading around the house
Lack of proper grading is simply the largest contributing factor to leaky basement. The landscaping around the house should be such that it enables water to flow away from the house. It is recommended that the grade adjacent to the foundation should be sloped 1:10 away from the foundation. If it is not achievable due to site conditions, swales should be constructed along the perimeter to gather water and direct and discharge it away from the foundation.

2.   Downspouts are not extended away from the house
The downspouts should not discharge storm water close to the foundation wall. It is recommended that the downspouts are extended about 4 feet to 6 feet away from the foundation wall and have splash pads.

3.   Basement windows sill too close to grade
It is recommended that basement windows sill should be around 8 inches higher the adjacent grade to prevent water penetration in basement due to snow accumulation and water.

4.   Deteriorated parging on the foundation wall
Foundation wall needs periodic maintenance if the parging on the foundation wall is peeling off or is deteriorated it needs to be repaired immediately.

5.   Cracks in foundation wall
Cracks can develop in foundation wall due to variety of reasons. However, if they develop they should be repaired immediately by qualified contractor to prevent further damage and water penetration in the basement.

6.   Poorly constructed foundations and basements
Sometimes the foundation wall and slab on the grade are not properly waterproofed. Furthermore, the drainage tile in the perimeter which is required to collect water and discharge it away is not present, is clogged or not properly installed. This will enable water to accumulate near foundation wall and will eventually leak inside.

At RK Home Inspection we check thoroughly your house grading, foundation cracks and other contributing factors to protect and provide you with honest reporting enabling you to take and informed decision.   

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