Skip to Main Content
Basement pipes leaking with wet wood joist.

Causes of Basement Water Damage

Dealing with water in your basement is never ideal for any homeowner, but it is a serious problem that should be addressed immediately. Learn more about the causes of basement water damage and how to prevent it.


If you’ve ever walked down to your basement only to find pooling water or in the worst-case scenario, a flood, chances are you don’t know what to do next. Homeowners in Raleigh and Wilmington are no strangers to the heavy amounts of rain in the spring which can bring upon wet or leaky basements if not properly protected.

Common Causes of Basement Problems

Your wet basement and other basement damage can stem from a variety of sources. Here are some of the most common causes of basement water intrusion and damage, as well as how you can prevent it from happening again in the future.  

house diagram with the clay bowl effect

The Clay Bowl Effect 

After your foundation, basement, walls, and floor were in place, builders backfilled the gap around your newly constructed home with the excavated soil. If the soil placed around your foundation wasn’t properly compacted beforehand, you may experience the clay bowl effect. This can wreak havoc on your home when water saturates the soil and presses on your foundation walls. Heavy rain can wash soil away and your foundation is at risk of cracking or shifting. This can lead to water having easy access to your basement.  

Closeup of bowing wall with gap

Hydrostatic Pressure

One of the main culprits of basement water damage that can also play a role in the clay bowl effect is hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is caused by soil becoming oversaturated with water, which then results in immense amounts of pressure being put on your home. This can lead to bowing basement walls, that can crack and let water seep into your basement. The cracks can grow wider over time and allow vast amounts of water to pour in. Hydrostatic pressure can also compromise the structural integrity of your home if not handled properly. 

leaking pipes inside a basement

Interior Leaks  

Chances are most of your plumbing pipes lay within your basement. Old pipes, frozen pipes, unintentional movement, or even rain and flooding can all lead to water in your basement. In areas such as Boone where the temperatures will sometimes drop below freezing in the winter, any older pipes that freeze can end up bursting and cause thousands of dollars in damage. It’s important to regularly check on any older plumbing appliances in your home and make repairs if necessary. This can also be one of the more costly things to deal with as plumbing failure mixed with basement damage is no easy task to fix. 

Don’t Let Basement Water Damage Compromise Your Home. Call Tar Heel Today! 

If you’re tired of constantly dealing with water seeping into your basement and causing trouble for the rest of your home, it’s time to call the experts at Tar Heel Basement Systems. Our team specializes in basement waterproofing and our proven solutions can ensure your home is protected and prepared for what’s to come.  

By installing our high-quality vapor barriers, signature sump pumps, interior drains, and a dehumidifier, you can rest assured knowing that water is a thing of the past. By calling today and setting up a free inspection, a certified expert from our team will come out to your home, diagnose the problem, and provide you with a written estimate of our repairs.  

There is no obligation to book with us, as we want to provide you with knowledge of what’s happening in your home regardless. We proudly serve homeowners in Wilmington, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill, and surrounding areas. Don’t wait to get the water out of your basement. Call or email us today!

    Contact Us

    For Your Free Inspection

    * All fields are required.

    TarHeel Basement Systems Service Map

    Our Locations

    Fayetteville Location

    3400 Walsh Pky, Suite 220
    Fayetteville, NC 28311

    Greensboro Location

    611 Summit Ave, Suite 5
    Greensboro, NC 27405

    North Raleigh

    208 Millbrook Rd. Suite C
    Raleigh, NC 27609

    Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill Location

    3333 Air Park Road
    Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526

    Wilmington Location

    2155 Enterprise Dr. NE
    Leland, NC 28451

    Winston-salem / High Point Location

    2910 Griffith Rd
    Winston-Salem, NC 27103