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Basement Foundation Leaks: Causes And Repair

Your basement is an essential part of your home's foundation, so when leaks allow water into your basement it's a sign of a serious problem. Water in the basement is definitely something that no homeowner can afford to ignore. This article takes a look at some of the causes of basement foundation leaks and some ways to make repairs.


A primary cause of basement leaks is hydrostatic pressure. This term refers to the level of water in the soil around your foundation. When the amount of water in your soil, or the water table, reaches a certain level, this increases the pressure on your foundation. For example, if your area undergoes several days of heavy rains, this may raise the water table in the soil around your home to a dangerously high level. The resulting pressure against your basement floor can cause cracks that allow water to leak into your home.

Another common cause of basement leaks is lateral pressure. This occurs when the soil around your basement walls presses inward against the walls and causes them to crack and leak. The lateral pressure might be the result of excess water in the soil, as is the case with hydrostatic pressure, or it might be due to the soil shifting for some undetermined reason.

If your basement has a window well, it can also be the culprit of any leaks. When a window well does not drain properly, it can easily allow water into your basement.


You have several options for making repairs to basement foundations that are letting water into you home.

If you are a confirmed do-it-yourselfer, then it's possible to attempt the repairs on your own if the issue is relatively minor. For example, to seal cracks in your basement walls, you can use a specially formulated cement, known as hydraulic cement, to seal the openings. After the sealing the cracks, you can cover the walls with a waterproof coating. A similar process is possible for fixing cracks in your basement floors.

One key point to keep in mind is to never attempt this type of repair with water in the basement. Pump out any water before starting the project. Also, keep in mind that these repairs may not last longer than a few years before they begin to fail.

Although fixing cracks with sealant and applying a waterproof coating may temporarily resolve minor issues, you will definitely need a professional to help you solve your basement problems permanently. Contact a basement foundation repair company in your town for more information.