6 fixes for water in the basement | Pro Construction Guide
6 fixes for water in the basement

6 fixes for water in the basement

6 fixes for water in the basement

Over time the soil next to the walls of a house settle so that the area next to the foundation begins to slope towards the house instead of away from it. Photo courtesy of J.A. Coles and Sons.

Wet basements smell bad, pose a health risk and can undermine the foundation and adversely affect the value of your house.  Here are 6 fixes for water in the basement.

Sometimes the structural problem allowing water to get into the basement can be severe and expensive to repair. Most of the time a simple repair like these 6 fixes for water in the basement will solve the problem.

Restore the slope

Over time the soil next to the walls of a house settle so that the area next to the foundation begins to slope towards the house instead of away from it. The house should be higher than the surrounding yard. A slope of 1 inch for every 50 inches away from the house should be sufficient. At 200 inches, the yard should be 4 inches lower than the soil next to the basement.

Fill holes

If there is seepage from cracks or small holes higher on the walls; fill the cracks using joint compound caulk or hydraulic cement. If the water in the basement is where the floor and the wall meet the problem is usually ground water and sealing the crack will not work.

Add gutter extensions

One of the most common causes of water in the basement are gutter downspouts that drain next to the wall. Add a gutter extension that will drain the water at least 6 feet from the foundation sloping away from the wall. The best solution and one of the most popular fixes for water in the basement is to install underground drain pipe which can drain water further away from the wall and does not leave an exposed gutter in the yard.

Repair footing drains

If water is seeping up from the floor or entering the basement on the lower part of the wall, the problem is usually ground water. Check to see if footing drains were installed. Look for a drain hole cover. Open the drain and make sure the drain isn’t clogged. Sometimes roots will have grown into the drain, and you may need to auger the drain.  If the roots can’t be cleared, the drain may have to be replaced.

Install a curtain drain

Adding a curtain drain, also called a recessed or French Drain, requires digging a ditch about 3 feet deep and 2 feet wide on the uphill side of the house. The ditch has to be long enough to drain the water away from the house. Fill the ditch with gravel and perforated pipe to trap the water and direct it away from the house.

6 fixes for water in the basement: install a sump pump

To be effective, the sump pump should be mounted below the floor level and discharge outside the building to a location that will drain away from the basement.

Install a sump pump

If water is seeping in near or through the floor, and the house has no footing drains or uphill side, the least expensive solution is to install a sump pump. To do this, cut a channel around the basement were the floor meets the wall.

Lay perforated pipe in the channel and cover the channel. Slope the channel to the low spot in the basement and install a collection tank fitted with a sump pump. The water in the basement will drain into the tank and be pumped out and away from the house or into the sewer system.


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