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How to Stop Water Seepage in Your Basement Floor: Step-by-Step Guide

August 8, 2023

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Never overlook water seepage in your property’s basement. Contractors will often tell you that water is concrete’s number one enemy! It risks long-term damage to basement walls and floors and other damage around the property as well. In turn, you might wonder how to stop this issue as quickly and effectively as possible.

To address water seepage in the basement:

  • Identify the source
  • Improve your property’s grading
  • Check the gutters and downspouts
  • Make needed foundation repairs
  • Add interior and exterior sealants and waterproofing
  • Install French drains and a sump pump
  • Use a dehumidifier

These are just a few steps you can take to avoid water seepage in your property’s basement. To find out how to utilize them in your home, keep reading! Also, call a foundation repair contractor near you when needed. Their professional expertise ensures a clean, dry basement and stable foundation for your property.

water seepage

How to Stop Water Seepage in Your Basement Floor

Property owners should never ignore water seepage issues, as said. To address and prevent water seepage in your property, consider the following steps. Also, remember that you might need more than one solution for your home or commercial structure! This ensures maximum protection against damage.

Identify the Source

Determine where the water is entering your basement. Common sources include foundation cracks, poor drainage, leaking windows, and improper grading around the house. Also, plumbing leaks can mean water collecting on a basement floor.

Without identifying the source of water, you can waste time and money trying to fix it! For instance, exterior waterproofing won’t correct a plumbing leak inside the home. Installing dehumidifiers also won’t remove water coming through basement window cracks. In turn, it’s vital that you find where and how the water is entering the basement.

Improve Grading

Grading refers to a property’s slope or incline. Builders grade soil to direct moisture in soil in a particular direction. In turn, it’s vital that you ensure the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation. This directs rainwater away from the house rather than allowing it to pool around the basement walls.

If you’re unsure about your property’s grading, call a landscaping engineer or foundation repair contractor. Both are typically skilled in measuring a property’s grading. They can also offer inexpensive solutions for improving that grading when needed.

Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters direct rainwater, melting snow, morning dew, and other moisture off roofs and to nearby downspouts. Those downspouts then direct that water away from the property’s foundation. Consequently, it’s important that you make sure your property’s gutters are clean and clog-free.

Also, you can install downspout extensions to direct rainwater at least 6 feet away from the foundation. Rock beds also keep that moisture from sinking into the soil. Again, a foundation repair contractor can note needed improvements for your property.

Foundation Repair

Address any cracks, gaps, or openings in the foundation walls. These allow moisture from outside the property to seep into the basement where it then settles and collects. Depending on the severity, you may need to seal cracks with commercial-grade waterproofing materials.

In some cases, you might also need to schedule foundation lifting. This process lifts and levels sunken areas of the foundation, closing cracks in the process. Your foundation repair contractor can advise if this is a good choice for your structure.

Interior Sealants and Exterior Waterproofing

Apply waterproofing sealants or coatings to interior basement walls. While these products can help manage moisture, they are more effective for preventing minor seepage. Don’t assume they’ll work effectively for major water issues.

Also, consider applying an external waterproofing membrane or coating to the foundation walls. This prevents water from penetrating the foundation and causing seepage. Your repair contractor can also note if the property needs weeping tiles, which capture and redirect moisture in the soil.

French Drains and Sump Pumps

French drains consist of PVC pipes buried just underground, to capture excess soil moisture. These pipes then direct that moisture away from a foundation. To address water seepage, install a French drain system along the interior or exterior perimeter of the basement. Ensure it’s tilted or angled properly for maximum effectiveness.

Also, you might need to install a sump pump in the basement floor. This collects and removes excess water that accumulates in a sump pit, helping to keep the basement dry. Sump pumps are especially vital in areas prone to flooding.

water seepage

Other Solutions for Water Seepage

If you have basement windows, install covers over them. Window well covers prevent water from pooling around those windows and potentially leaking into the basement. Also, check if those windows need new grout around the frame. Operable windows should also close securely, to keep out rainwater.

Additionally, you might use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels in the basement. While this won't prevent water seepage, it can help control humidity and discourage mold growth. Dehumidifiers are also excellent for areas with high humidity levels, such as the tropics. They also remove moisture trapped due to poor ventilation in the structure.

Is Water Seepage in a Basement Bad?

Yes, water seepage in a basement is generally considered bad for several reasons. Note a few of those here and ensure you call a foundation repair or waterproofing contractor when needed:

  • Water seepage risks damage to the foundation, walls, and floors of your basement. Over time, the moisture can weaken the structural integrity of the building. This often leads to cracks, shifting, and other issues.
  • Moisture in the basement creates a conducive environment for mold and mildew to thrive. Mold not only damages materials but risks respiratory issues, allergies, and other health problems.
  • A damp basement often means musty odors that might permeate your entire property. You might even notice certain items picking up these odors.
  • Water seepage can damage anything stored in the basement. This includes furniture, electronics, documents, and personal items. Your appliances, such as a washer and dryer, might also suffer rust and corrosion when in a dirty basement.
  • Chronic water seepage decreases property values. Prospective buyers are often wary of homes with basement water issues. In turn, your property’s values go down and you might lose equity over the years.
  • Trapped moisture can damage home insulation, making your house less energy efficient. This can lead to higher heating and cooling costs. You might even notice a hot, stuffy environment in summertime and a clammy environment in winter.
  • Damp basements attract insects and rodents. These can damage your property, often chewing through wiring and insulation, and pose health risks.
  • Water and moisture create electrical hazards! If water comes into contact with wiring, outlets, and appliances in the basement, this can mean an electrical shock or even fire.

water seepage

Why Is Water Seeping In My Basement Between the Wall and the Floor?

Water seeping in between the wall and the floor of your basement often means moisture infiltration through the foundation. There are several potential reasons for this:

  • Cracks in the foundation walls or floors allow water to enter the basement. These result from the natural settling of the building, changes in soil conditions, or external pressure on the foundation.
  • If the soil around your home is not properly graded, rainwater accumulates near the walls. It then eventually seeps through any available openings. These include cracks in the basement walls or floors.
  • Groundwater levels can rise during heavy rainfall or due to high water tables. The pressure from this groundwater can force water through small cracks or gaps in the foundation.
  • If your home's foundation was not properly waterproofed during construction, water can find its way into the basement. Also, waterproof coatings degrade over time. In turn, they need replacing or water might seep into the basement.
  • Basement windows without proper covers allow rainwater to accumulate around the windows and seep into the basement. This water can run down to the floor, making it appear as if it’s coming in through that joint.
  • A malfunctioning sump pump can result in water not being effectively pumped out, leading to seepage. This seepage can occur in just about any corner of the basement.
  • In colder climates, water that seeps into foundation cracks can freeze and expand during winter. This widens cracks, making water seepage worse.
  • If your area experiences heavy rainfall or flooding, water pressure can force its way into the basement. It can seep through any openings or vulnerabilities in the foundation.

To address water seepage between basement walls and its floor, you'll likely need a multi-pronged approach. This can mean waterproof coatings as well as French drains, or better grading and a sump pump. A foundation repair contractor can note the best choices for your property!

A Word From Our Foundation Repair Crew

Total Foundation Repair Austin is happy to offer suggestions on how to address water seepage in your basement floor. Hopefully we’ve offered some great tips to consider for your property! Also, don’t hesitate to call our Austin foundation repair contractors if needed. We offer FREE foundation inspections and price quotes, and expert foundation repair and waterproofing services. Above all, we guarantee our work to last! For more information, reach out to our team today.


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