Wet or damp basements are a common problem in homes. Wet basements create mold, mildew, and ruin flooring and wall materials. It’s easy for water to find its way into your basement, merely from gravity – water flows down hill and along your foundation, stopping when it hits the basement. The wet soil all along the outside of your foundation walls creates pressure, finding its way through the smallest crack, or worse yet, the pressure creates its own cracks in the wall. Often homeowners will turn to more expensive fixes such as waterproofing the entire basement, which requires extensive excavation and landscape repairs.
But before deciding on such an expensive fix, the source of the water in your basement should be identified, possibly offering a much cheaper solution. Ground water can seep through floors and foundations due to heavy rain or seasonal run-off, or it could be constant water seepage. Often the source of this water is your home’s gutters and downspouts.
Gutters can overflow because of excessive rainfall, clogging from leaves or debris. Improper installation, for example, can cause draining from the second floor gutters into the first floor gutters, overflowing them. Sometimes homeowners install gutters in one or two locations but not all the way around the house. This causes an overload of water into your gutters which cannot drain away from your house properly. Water problems can also be caused by disconnected downspouts or downspouts that aren't long enough to direct water away from the house.
So before deciding to undertake an expensive basement waterproofing project, first check your gutters and downspouts to make sure they aren’t causing your wet basement problems.