Cracks in a foundation are the main reason for water problems in a basement. A couple of different things can cause cracking. One of these is settling of a structure. As the structure settles, cracks can occur in the foundation and along weak points in the concrete and block. Another cause of cracks is the expanding and contracting of floors and walls due to change in temperature. Once there are cracks and weak points, water can come into the wall and seep into your basement.
Another cause of water in the basement is improper exterior drainage. Gutters need to be cleaned out, down spouts need to be run at least 10 feet away from the foundation, the grade of the ground around the structure needs to be sloping away, and any areas that seem to hold water need to be directed away from the foundation. If all of this water keeps dumping near the structure, it can travel down the wall and begin to seep into the basement.
A big issue is the build up ground water. Ground water can seep into a basement through cracks in the floor or along the area that the floor and wall meet. To get rid of this, you need to have a place for the built up water to go. If the problem is not remedied, when surface water runs down a wall, it will meet with the ground water causing even more pressure. Pressure causes the water to go into the cracks of the foundation. Over time, more serious problems may occur such as bowing walls and the wearing away of mortar joints in the wall causing the wall to need to be either stabilized or rebuilt.
Water in the basement can cause many problems. One of these is the destruction of personal property which can cause huge replacement bills or worse yet, lost memories. Another problem is the mold and mildew which can occur in dark, damp, humid places.
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