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Why Does My Basement Leak?

In order to understand "why basements leak," one must first understand the basic construction of a basement.

When the construction of a new home begins, a foundation is constructed by digging a hole into virgin soil. A footing is installed and acts as the base of a foundation. The footing must be strong and able to endure the weight of a structure. Once the footing is in place, the walls of the foundation are set in place. Foundation walls can be made out of poured concrete, block, or (in the past) stone. After the walls are set, the foundation contractor will back fill outside of the new foundation walls using soil that was dug out. Upon completion of the backfill, a basement floor made from concrete is poured. In some older homes, you'll find dirt floors, and in most crawl spaces the floor is simply dirt.

If your basement is leaking, contact The Basement Doctor immediately to have one of our qualified waterproofing technicians inspect, and fix your basement leak. We provide basement waterproofing products and services in central Ohio.

Leaking Basement


Depending on the quality and design specifications, a builder may install a footing drain. The typical builder installs a perforated pipe that lies in crushed stone next to the footing. The rock is there to prevent dirt from accumulating in the drain pipe. Often times during the backfill process on the exterior walls of a foundation, builders will thuk-grid leftover construction debris in the side wall gap and then cover it quickly with remaining backfill soil that is loose. Since the concrete walls have not fully cured, this process often ends up causing cracks in the foundation as the cement cures. This poorly compacted backfill soil is much more absorbent than the surrounding virgin soil that has never been disturbed. Therefore, water, which always takes the path of least resistance, moves in the direction of the unstable soil during rain storms.

Since most house foundations don't cure for very long, it is common to see cracks in and along the floor. During rain storms, these cracks act as conduits for water seeking its path of least resistance.

Another cause of a wet basement is time. In older homes, it is not uncommon to find settlement cracks in areas where the soil easily expands and contracts depending on the temperature. These cracks leak whenever it rains.

The Basement Doctor™ has a well trained team of basement and foundation inspectors who know how to identify and provide the proper ways to repair your basement seepage. Learn more about us and then give us a call or send an email.

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