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6 Reasons Why You Have Water in Your Basement

Puddle of water on a basement floor.

If you have a basement, you’ve likely dealt with issues like damp basement walls, high humidity, or puddles of water on the basement floor. These are all examples of water in your basement. You might be wondering how these problems arise in the first place.

It all has to do with your home’s current water management solutions. Are they functioning as intended? If not, you might need to update them. By understanding what leads to water in your basement, you can take the necessary steps to fix the problem. Let’s dive in!

1. Inadequate Gutters and Downspouts

Water is more likely to get into your basement after rain or snow. Gutters and downspouts are supposed to capture water and move away from your home. However, if your gutters and downspouts are clogged, damaged, or otherwise unable to handle a large amount of rain or snow, water will overflow over the sides and into your yard.

As water accumulates around the base of your house, it starts to put pressure on the basement walls. Eventually, the pressure builds and causes cracks to form along the walls. Even if the cracks are small, water will find its way inside, leading to puddles or damp walls. 

2. Poor Yard Grading

Yard grading refers to the slope or incline of your yard. Most lawns aren’t completely flat, nor should they be—a poorly graded yard is one of the biggest reasons behind water getting into a basement. Whether it be from rain, snow, or a sprinkler system, water in a poorly graded yard is more likely to drain toward the home.

This allows water to collect near the base of your home, right next to the basement. Over time, the water drains below the surface and starts to press against the basement. Water will leak in through wall cracks, defective basement windows, and really any kind of gap it can find. Poor yard grading only makes it easier for water to get into your basement!

3. Cracks in the Basement Walls

If you see a big gash in one or more of your basement walls, it’s more than likely the reason water is getting into your basement. Basement wall cracks arise for a number of reasons:

  • Water drains below the ground and puts pressure on the basement walls causing them to crack.
  • The soil around your basement erodes or expands, leading to poor structural support and causing the walls to crack.
  • Nearby tree roots extend toward the basement and push against the walls causing structural damage.
  • Poor construction techniques (like poorly cured concrete) might arise after your home is built and cause wall cracks.

No matter how or why cracks form in your basement walls, they provide water a quick and easy way to get into your basement. It’s best to repair the walls with professional help to close the gaps and keep water out.

4. High Water Table

In some areas, groundwater is naturally closer to the surface. Usually, this occurs in places closer to the coast. When the water table is high, some groundwater ends up being close to your basement where it may exert pressure on the walls. This causes water to seep in through the walls or floor. If your basement is near or below the water table, this is likely the reason you’re seeing water in your basement.

5. Ineffective Drainage

Most basements have some type of drainage system accompanying it. This might be a sump pump or an outdoor perimeter drain. If the drainage system used in your basement is ineffective for any reason (such as age, wear and tear, or poor materials) it allows water to build up quickly.

It’s a common misconception that outdoor drainage is the best option for keeping a basement protected from water. Unfortunately, our experience helping homeowners throughout North Carolina has shown us otherwise: outdoor drains become clogged more often than not, and it’s one of the biggest reasons we see basements become flooded.

If you want to learn more about the different types of basement drains read our guide here!

6. Sewer or Plumbing Leaks

Sometimes, water in your basement might not come from the outside at all. Most basements have plumbing lines running through them. You might see the pipes running along the “ceiling” of the basement or parallel to the walls. Just like anywhere else in your home, these pipes can spring a leak and start spewing water everywhere.

Sometimes this can happen because the pipes are old and rusty. In North Carolina, pipes might also burst because of freezing temperatures. If your home’s pipes become frozen, any water inside will become frozen and expand inside the pipes. The water might expand so much that the pipes simply burst. No matter the cause, it leads to water in your basement.

How to Prevent Water in Your Basement

Even though there are many different ways for water to get into your basement, the issue can be prevented. Keep in mind, it’s always best to work with professionals if you want to repair damaged walls, regrade your yard, or replace your gutters and drainage systems. Don’t attempt DIY repairs, as they could lead to even more damage.

If you’re looking for basement waterproofing solutions that will solve the problem effectively, consider working with Tar Heel Basement Systems. We have industry leading solutions that provide complete protection from basement water and humidity. We install the following solutions:

All of these solutions are designed to protect your basement from water intrusion. Combined together, water is quickly captured and moved away from the basement. Plus, the basement walls are provided with extra support and strength. You can keep your basemen protected well into the future when you work with a professional team like Tar Heel.

Schedule a Free Inspection With Tar Heel Basement Systems Today

Basement water isn’t something to take lightly. Now that you understand why water gets into your basement in the first place, you can take steps toward a safer basement overall. Tar Heel Basement Systems has been helping homeowners in North Carolina do just that since 2003, and we don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

If you’ve noticed water in your basement, consider working with our team. We’ll provide you with a free inspection where we’ll identify the main causes behind the water in your basement and come up with a plan designed to address your home’s individual needs. Leave the hard work to us and contact us today!

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Fayetteville, NC 28311

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