Water Leaks: Why Is Your Basement's Flooring Wet?

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Hiring a plumber to make repairs tends to be a common occurrence for most homeowners as the years pass. While it’s virtually impossible to completely avoid the need for a professional plumber’s services, there are some things you can do to minimize wear and tear on your plumbing system so it doesn’t succumb to the need for repairs often. Using low-flow aerators on your sink faucets and shower heads as well as insulating your exposed pipes before winter can make a big difference in your plumbing’s performance. On this website you’ll find many tips and tricks that can be used to keep your plumbing in good shape, and even to save yourself some money on water costs throughout the year.

Water Leaks: Why Is Your Basement's Flooring Wet?

7 September 2016
 Categories: , Articles

If your basement's flooring is wet, but you can't find the exact location of the leak, you may wonder if there's something mysterious going on in your home. The water may be the result of a busted water or sewer line beneath the basement's slab flooring, or it may come from the wet, eroded soil surrounding the basement. While most leaks are easy to see, such as a busted plumbing pipe beneath your kitchen sink, you might have a difficult time finding leaks hidden beneath your basement. These types of leaks can cause numerous problems for your home, including a weakened foundation. Here are possible reasons for your wet basement and what you can do about it.

Where Does the Leaking Water Come From?

A number of things can cause water to leak into your basement, including broken or old water lines. Sometimes, the lines deteriorate and leak from old age or stress. The water from the broken lines can eventually penetrate the foundation of your home and seep through the joints of the basement, including the cove, floor, mortar, and wall joints. Water can also invade your basement through its floor drains and water-pipe conduits. 

Another possible cause of your wet basement's flooring is eroded soil. Water pouring from your gutters or flowing from your garden can erode or wash away the soil around your foundation and weaken it. Standing surface water is another issue from poorly draining soil. If your home doesn't have the proper drainage system or barrier in place, it can trigger soil erosion. The walls in the basement and house may move, shift, and crack in places, or they may collapse from stress.

Tree roots may also travel to the damp soil in search of water and cause additional damage to your home by crushing or breaking the plumbing and sewer pipes traveling beneath it. A damaged sewer line can be dangerous if it releases feces, bacteria, and other contaminants into the house. 

Once water does enter the basement, it can spread throughout the flooring, which might make it hard to find the exact location of the leak. If you don't locate and repair the source of the leak now, you may end up with more expensive repairs than you want in the future, including replacing, bracing, or repairing your foundation.

What Can You Do to Repair the Leak?

To find the location or cause of the leak, you'll need to do a little detective work. One of the things you might do first is check the outside of your home for missing areas of soil. If you have small plants around the house, you may need to move them aside to find the lost soil. Also, check the soil for puddling or standing water. To temporarily keep these problems in check, place extra soil over them. Topsoil from your yard might do the trick.

Next, look inside the basement for issues, such as damp walls and joints. If water comes from these sources, it might appear as a tiny, thin stream. You can follow the stream until you find the source of the leak. If you do find the leaks' origins, you can temporarily seal or plug them with waterproof sealant. However, it's important that you practice caution when you seal the leaks. If the water continues to leak pass the sealed cracks or openings, contact a plumber immediately. There may be more damage in the walls and joints than you might think or see. 

Finally, examine your yard for excessive tree-root growth. If you find roots growing close to the house, have someone trim or prune them back for you. Afterward, have a plumbing professional inspect the pipes traveling beneath the ground for damage. 

The tips above are only temporary measures to protect your basement and home from foundation damage and leaking water. Be sure to schedule an appointment with a plumbing professional such as Clean Plumbers BY Phillip Maurici Plumbing Inc as soon as possible.