leaky basement floor

How to Fix a Leaky Basement

There are many things that can cause a leaking basement. The most common is water seeping in through cracks in the foundation or improper waterproofing methods. Other causes include ground shifting, high water table, and poor drainage. A leaky basement should never be taken lightly because it can lead to serious structural damage over time. If you have a leaky basement then this article will show you how to fix it from inside and out: your foundation walls and your home’s interior.

The first step is knowing if there’s a problem with your foundation wall or not before anything else happens. You’ll need to get an expert inspection from someone who knows what they’re doing so they can identify any other potential problems within the wall for you, such as movement, cracks, or other drainage issues. The next step is to determine what kind of issue you’re having with your foundation wall and if it’s serious enough to be repaired right away.

If the walls are just cracked then there’s no need to worry. It could be a cosmetic problem that doesn’t affect the structure. However, if you have a significant crack in your foundation, don’t ignore it. Even though the crack may appear to be superficial or not cause any major harm by itself or with other cosmetic damage, it should still be repaired because what lies beneath may be much worse.

Water coming into your basement can cause many problems depending on how much water is getting in. If it’s a minor issue you can stop the problem before it gets worse by using waterproofing methods on your basement walls so water doesn’t get in. But if there is a high water table, shifting soil, or a drainage problem then the only way to fix these issues is from inside and out: your foundation walls and your home’s interior.

leaky basement wall

If you have a high water table, then the ground around your foundation may be saturated with water all the time. This will cause moisture to come up through your basement walls when it gets cold outside and when your furnace is running. High water tables are common in flat areas with good drainage but if you still think you have one then you can test for it by digging a test hole around your house. You’ll need to dig down about 10 feet, making sure that the soil is dry enough before starting this. Put clear plastic over the top of the hole after you’re done and mark where there’s standing water every morning. If you don’t see any water then you have a high water table and the only way to fix it from inside and out is by installing drainage.

You can have a plumber install a sump pump in one of the lowest parts of your basement with a discharge pipe going outside or a French drain system around your foundation walls. You’ll also need waterproofing because if your walls aren’t properly waterproofed then all the water in your basement will eventually come through the walls.

If you have a serious drainage problem or shifting soil, then it’s time to get professional help before doing anything else to stop the damage from getting worse. A collapsing foundation is very dangerous and can result in many injuries or even death. Once the problem is fixed you’ll need to waterproof your basement to make sure it doesn’t return, using products like polyurethane-based water sealants and epoxy coatings.

A leaking foundation can be a serious issue if left untreated because most of them lead to structural damage eventually. If you have a leaky basement then you’ll need to find out where it’s coming from and what caused it. If your foundation is shifting, has cracks, or any forms of drainage problems then these are all signs of a leaking foundation. Using waterproofing methods will fix this problem from inside and out: on your foundation walls and on your home’s interior. But if these methods fail you may have a bigger problem on your hands.

Repairing the source of the leak will solve most problems but in some severe cases, like severe soil erosion or serious water damage, it can be difficult to fix. If this is the case then you’ll need to make sure that your foundation remains stable by using steel beams or by installing masonry supports. This will make sure your foundation doesn’t fall over and no longer have a leaky basement problem to worry about.

leaking basement floor

How much does it cost to fix a leaky basement?

A basement leak can vary in price depending on the severity of the problem and what needs to be done to fix it. If you just have a small crack in your foundation, then waterproofing methods will cost $1,000-$5,000. A sump pump that costs $4,000-$12,000 or a French drain system that costs $2,500-$6,500. You may need these systems if you have a high water table or drainage problem. These construction projects can take up to one month for completion and will also need professional help from a plumber and/or contractor for installation.

Can you seal a basement yourself?

Depending on the reason as to why your basement is leaking, it is possible to seal a basement yourself. In many cases, areas underneath the foundation are porous and allow water to seep into your basement. This will be obvious if you see damp spots on your floor or walls during wet weather, or find that within a few days of having had some work done outside of your home (like planting new shrubs), you find water in your basement.

You can seal a basement yourself by using an injection system that applies a clear liquid into the porous areas around the foundation of your home to prevent moisture from entering. This is generally done when there are visible signs of water penetration.

While it is possible to do this on your own, you may need help carrying some of the equipment and supplies to your home. Most important, you should hire a company that is experienced in this work and has been licensed and insured.

You may want to consider hiring a professional for more than just injecting your foundation–sometimes, there is extensive work that needs to be done outside if not inside as well. Consult with someone who can do a full inspection of your property to determine the extent of any damage.

There are several reasons that a basement might flood, including poor drainage in the soil around the foundation, faulty gutters or downspouts, cracks in the foundation walls, sump pumps with failed batteries or broken check valves, and heavy rainstorms. The following sections outline a few things you can try in a DIY fashion.

Before you do anything, turn off the power to any outdoor circuits attached to the house and let your home air out for at least three hours before going inside. This allows time for any remaining power from an electrical leak to dissipate.

If slow seepage is what’s causing your problem, you can try coating the outside of your foundation with a liquid sealant to stop water from entering. Several companies manufacture concrete sealants that are compatible with newly poured concrete and some older surfaces. However, if you have an older house where the basement interior may be affected by the application of chemicals, it is important to hire a professional for this job.

In addition to these sealants, you can also add a layer of gravel around your foundation to direct water away from the structure and use drain tiles in problem areas. You may be able to clear out clogged gutters or install new ones if they’re missing. If you have a sump pump with failed batteries, be sure to have it checked by an electrician to prevent future problems.

Some foundation contractors offer waterproofing services that involve more extensive work, such as digging trenches around the outside of your foundation and filling them with water-resistant materials, sealing cracks in your foundation walls with epoxy, or installing drainage tiles at the base of the area next to your home’s foundation.

If you are experiencing water penetration problems in your basement, call a local foundation contractor for an inspection and estimate on the work that may be needed to stop any ongoing issues with moisture in your home.

Is Waterproofing a Basement Worth It?

basement mold

Basement waterproofing is worth it when you consider the cost of fixing water damage, structural damage, mold and mildew problems, humidity issues in your home, and potential health hazards.

Basement waterproofing may be a DIY project if you have experience, but for more extensive work or problems that seem beyond your skill set or comfort level, call a local Winnipeg basement contractor.

Sometimes the issue could be as simple as basement window cracks that allow water in. In this case, a waterproofing system may not be necessary, but basement window well covers can be a great additional security measure.

It is worth checking out your city’s property line bylaws – there are some areas where you cannot install anything on or even near the edge of your property. It may seem far-fetched, but it’s more common than you think.

If your home is already flooded, don’t wait to call a professional basement waterproofing company for an inspection and estimate on the work that may be needed to prevent future damage or mold/mildew issues.

Sometimes, the cause of your leaky basement could be a foundation issue. If this is the case, don’t try to fix it yourself, call a local foundation contractor for an inspection and estimate on the work that may be needed.

Final Words

Depending on the issue, basement waterproofing can be a DIY project. Before you begin, though, here are some general guidelines to follow so you know from the get-go what needs to be done.


The first thing to look for is cracks in your foundation wall and floor slabs as well as other signs of water penetration such as peeling paint, stained drywall, mildew, musty odors, and mold.

If you’re planning a DIY basement waterproofing project, pay special attention to what kind of crack you’re dealing with. Is the crack horizontal or vertical, if it’s a horizontal crack, it could be a major foundation problem, in which case we suggest that you call a local basement foundation company that specializes in foundation repairs.

There are many reasons as to why your basement is leaking, and most of the time it’s just a grading issue, a leaking window sill, or a faulty sump pump.

If you don’t know what a sump pump means, you may not have it in your basement. Most older homes in Winnipeg and other areas of Manitoba aren’t equipped with sump pumps.

A sump pump is a water pump that you install in your basement to move water away from your home, thereby avoiding a leaky basement.

If your home already has a sump pump installed, your sump pump may be faulty or your basement leaking problem could have been caused by a foundation problem.

While a small basement leak issue can be a weekend project for a handy person, we suggest that you call a professional foundation repair company if you’re not sure what’s causing your basement leak just to make sure it isn’t a foundation issue.

Posted in Basement tips.

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