How To Identify A Basement Leak

Sep 12, 2017

An unfinished basement space can go unnoticed for years until a homeowner finally decides to finish it – and any leaks are somewhat inconsequential. Once the space is built out however, leaks become a significant source of concern. Here are a few tips on what to look for and how to resolve any leak issues:

Seepage through the Floor

Most homeowner’s encounter water in their basements when it seeps up through the floor. In many parts of the United States, the lower part of a house is actually constructed below the natural water table. For this reason, the water in the surrounding environment seeks its own level and will infiltrate a poorly waterproofed floor and leave small – or large! – puddles in the basement. If this is the case with your home, the only solutions are to improve drainage around the house and to completely seal the basement floor and walls against seepage.

Inadequate Waterproofing of the Walls

More insidious than water seeping through the floor is the infiltration of water through the walls of your basement. Often, it is hard to recognize that this is indeed what is happening. Check such things as bubbling or other distortions in wallpaper, paint and even paneling to determine if water is moving into the living space. Another, more obvious, and far more serious, indication is a crack in the actual foundation. This last situation should be checked by a professional ASAP and dealt with as necessary or the homeowner is surely in for a very expensive repair.

Overall Poor Drainage around the House

When water works its way into your home’s basement, the first step should be to relieve reason and not just patch up the symptom. The first place to look is outside the home and the drainage system that protects the house. Every rain gutter should be properly vented at lease six feet from the home. In addition, any low spots near the home should be filled to eliminate any water running back towards the house. Finally, trees and shrubs should be planted around the base of the home, as they naturally, and beautifully, will absorb a lot of the water that falls in a normal rainstorm.

Any Evidence of Mold

Mold is quite fastidious in its choice of environments. Simply put, it must have a regular supply of moisture or it just cannot survive. Still, it can survive in the most unlikely of places so any evidence of mold should be thoroughly investigated. If it is a simple case of condensation then a dehumidifier can usually solve the problem. More extensive mold growth means that water is infiltrating the space and the homeowner must figure out the cause. It really pays to determine the cause at the outset as further problems, and far more expensively solved ones surely lay ahead.

For more information on the warning signs of basement leaks and other home plumbing repair issues, please contact us at Engineered Solutions of Georgia. We can be found online at or reached directly at 678-290-1325