Homes, over time, tend to get very wet basements. Sometimes crawlspaces near the basement are also very wet. If your home is experiencing enough moisture in the basement and crawlspace that you need to run dehumidifiers nonstop, it might be time to locate the areas where excess water and moisture is entering these areas of your home. The following helps you locate where the water/moisture is entering your home and then offers suggestions on how to resolve this damaging issue.
Crawlspaces Are Notorious for Allowing Water to Enter
When your crawlspace is literally just off of the basement and just above a slab foundation that sits edge to edge with the top of a basement wall, there is probably a lot of water coming in there. A slab foundation butted up against a basement is bound to create leaks from the outside in toward whatever structure is closest to the shared edge. Run your hand along this particular wall the next time there is heavy rain. If your hand comes away wet and/or you can blot the wall with a cloth and have the cloth come away wet, the crawlspace is definitely collecting water and dumping it over the edge of the slab foundation of the crawlspace into the basement.
Solution: Seal the Crawlspace
Your best action here is to seal the crawlspace. Basement waterproofing contractors can first seal the edge of the wall that has water running down it and then create floor drains and a slanted floor in the crawlspace so that the water flows away from the foundation and into the drains. Additional sealing of the crawlspace may be accomplished by using a concrete sealant and/or clear plastic sheeting installed up against the crawlspace walls.
Dark, Low Corners Collect Water Too
If you have some dark corners in your basement that are hidden by stairs or by shelving, move the shelving and look under the stairs with a flashlight. Do this carefully, as some areas of the country may have venomous spiders lurking in these dark corners. If you notice water pooling in the corners, there is a good chance that the foundation of your home is sinking toward that corner, creating cracks in the basement walls near said corner(s) and causing moisture and water to collect.
Solution: Fill Cracks in Corners and/or Lift and Repair Foundation
First things first: if you do notice spiders of any kind, make sure pest control addresses that problem so that your basement waterproofing contractor is not bitten while he/she works. Then the contractor can do one of two things. He/she can either apply fresh concrete in the affected corners of the basement, wait for it to dry, and then seal the concrete, or he/she can excavate around the foundation's corners, brace them, and lift them to stop the cracking. If the latter option is chosen, then the contractor will seal the corners from the outside in after the foundation has been lifted and the walls braced.
Obvious Wall Cracks Are a Problem Too
Can you walk around the perimeter of your basement and see cracks in the walls? Even if they do not seem like much, they are letting water from the soil around your home to seep through. The wider the cracks, the more water and moisture are coming through into your basement.
Solution: Repair the Walls/Cracks
It seems like such a simple solution, but that really depends on how wide and how long these cracks are. If they go from the top of the basement wall all the way to the floor, you might be looking at some major repair work to your foundation/basement. If they are not that wide or not very long, a simple patch job might be all you need.
Get in touch with a basement waterproofing service to learn more.