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Is Your Basement Leaking?

Is Your Basement Leaking?
Is Your Basement Leaking?

Are you having trouble with basement leaks? If so, you’re not alone. Water can cause many issues for property owners, especially in basements. Problems caused by basement leaks include mold, wood decay, and damage to drywall and flooring. So, basement leaks are no laughing matter.

What causes basement leaks?

Common causes of basement leaks include:

Foundation Cracks

One of the most common factors behind basement leaks is a crack in the foundation wall, otherwise known as the outer wall of your basement. Typically, these cracks develop over time when pressure builds up in the soil along your basement’s foundation and presses against the foundation wall. This pressure is called “hydrostatic pressure,” and it can cause foundation walls to bow inward and even crack horizontally. Water can then make its way inside your basement through the crack. Because horizontal foundation cracks are structural, you should contact a foundation repair contractor right away for an inspection.
Vertical foundation cracks are also a problem. They’re caused by shrinkage in poured foundation walls during the concrete curing process. While they don’t affect your home’s structural integrity the way horizontal cracks do, they can still cause basement leaks and should be looked at by a pro.

Plumbing Issues

Is your home’s plumbing system functioning properly? When it isn’t, it can cause water to build up underground. A clear warning sign that your home’s plumbing system has a problem is when you notice sewage leaking into your basement. This means a drain that usually allows water to flush out of your home is blocked. When this happens, the first thing you should do is stop using water (to avoid further leaks or flooding into the basement) and contact a licensed plumber to assess your plumbing.

Poorly Functioning Downspouts

Downspouts are one of your home’s best defenses against water leaking into your basement. When installed properly, they help divert excess rainwater away from the home. However, if they’re not correctly directed away from the home, water can build up against the foundation wall, contributing to cracks over time. To prevent this, downspouts should always be directed far away from the home’s foundation, so water can’t soak into the ground near the home and damage the foundation.

Aging Patchwork and Sealing

Typically an issue with older homes, patchwork or sealing in the basement is a sign that the home is prone to water leaks. If your basement has patchwork, it would be good to have the area inspected so proper precautions can be taken to avoid water damage down the road. No one can predict when water damage will occur, but there are precautions that every homeowner can take to lessen the chance that their basement will experience water damage. Now is the time to think about leaks before the April showers! 

How to fix a leaking crack in a basement wall

The chosen repair solution to fix a leaking crack in a basement wall depends on the type of crack and what caused it. While a hairline vertical crack caused by concrete shrinkage might be a DIY project, repairing a horizontal crack is a job for the pros. 
Also, keep in mind that merely repairing a foundation crack isn’t the best solution for keeping water out of your basement. For more information on basement waterproofing, see Basement Drain Systems: The Secret To A Dry Basement.
If your home has basement leaks and you’re in our service area in Lincoln, Omaha, Kearney, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa and parts of Northeastern Kansas contact us today for a free inspection and repair estimate.


Dave Epp

Dave is the President at Epp Foundation Repair with over 27 years of experience in the industry. Dave has worked on thousands of foundation, basement, concrete, and crawl space repair projects since 1993. Dave is involved in several civic and church organizations and enjoys coaching youth sports, mainly football, golfing, and elk hunting.



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