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leaking water from the foundation

How to Protect Your Foundation from Water Damage

Water in the basement is more than a nuisance as it can damage your foundation and lead to health problems. Here are some tips to keep water out of your home's foundation.

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As a homeowner, the last thing you want is to wake up to a problematic, leaking foundation. Water poses a serious threat to your home’s longevity, creates serious mold problems, and leads to major structural repairs. The presence of water also attracts ants, termites, and other critters that can damage your home and make your life unbearable. Read on to find out about the signs of water problems and the best way to protect your foundation. 

leaking water from the foundation

Do I Have Water Problems? 

Sometimes, discovering that your foundation has water penetration issues isn’t as easy as walking onto your basement floor and standing in water. Foundation water issues can manifest in different ways and identifying the symptoms is key to having the problem solved. Some common signs to look out for include: 

Foggy Windows 

Fog forms when warm, humid air that seeps into your basement through cracks settles on cold surfaces. While a little fog on your windows may seem harmless, it can lead to severe problems like mold and water damage. 


Mold thrives in spaces that are dark and have too much moisture buildup. It is a common side effect of having too much moisture in the basement. 

Musty Smells 

Unpleasant smells in your home are usually a sign of water leaks, high humidity, and possibly mold. If you still have musty smells lingering after cleaning your home, you may have a crack on your hands. 

Pest Infestations 

If you notice pest droppings, wings, nests, or unusual insect activity in your basement or elsewhere in your home, you may be having a high humidity issue. Dark, damp spaces serve as the perfect breeding ground for bugs, cockroaches, mice, rats, and other pests. 

Water Damaged Belongings 

Keep an eye on the items you have stored away in your basement. If fabrics start to rot, or wooden structures warp, this signifies that you are dealing with excess dampness in your basement

Standing Water 

Puddles of water are an obvious sign that you have a leak in your basement. Look out for burst pipes or cracks in the foundation. 

Keeping Water Out of Your Foundation 

To keep water out of your foundation, you first need to determine its source. Based on the source of the problem, there are several steps you can take to keep water out of your home’s foundation. They include: 

Waterproof Your Foundation 

Foundation waterproofing is a multifaceted procedure that involves installing various solutions including interior drains, sump pumps, vapor barriers, and dehumidifiers. For best results, consider stacking these solutions to keep your foundation as dry as possible. 

Clean Your Gutters 

Controlling roof runoff is crucial to keeping water out of your home. Keep the water out of your basement, clean out and repair any clogged or broken gutters and downspouts regularly. 

Extend Downspouts 

Downspouts that discharge water too close to your foundation inject water into your basement. To prevent this, add downspout extensions so that they drain water at least four feet away from your home’s foundation. These extensions also can be placed in the ground

Check Your Yard Grading 

While most homes are originally built on properly-graded land, over time, soil settles. This settlement creates a dip that is lower than the nearby soil. When it rains, the water runs into the depression and percolates in the dirt around your foundation. To avert this, you must regrade your yard to slope at least six inches over a 10-foot span to steer water away from your building. 

Plug Gaps and Repair Cracks 

If water is entering your basement through cracks, gaps, and holes in your foundation walls and floor, you need to have them sealed and repaired. This step is ideal for situations where water oozes through either surface runoff or wet soil. If the water is coming up through the floor or at a joint where the floor and walls meet, the problem is groundwater, which cannot be fixed by plugs. If wall cracking is significant enough, you may also need foundation repair solutions

If you’re concerned about the possibility of water seeping into the foundation and damaging it, contact the experts at Tar Heel Basement Systems. Our basement waterproofing and foundation repair experts in Raleigh, NC will provide you with a free inspection and estimate, as well as solid recommendations to protect this important part of your home.

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