I live on a
hill. Why do I still have a problem?
it or not, the surrounding grade is only one of the
problems that might create water seepage. It could just
as easily be from cracks in the outside wall, a high
water table, malfunctioning or non-existent drain tiles,
an underground spring, or a host of other causes. Don't
get me wrong, living high on a hill is nice; but it
doesn't mean that you won't ever have a water problem in
your basement or crawl space.
what a question. There's a number of possibilities, but
here's a few: malfunctioning footer tiles; no footer
tiles; cracks in the walls or floor; hydrostatic
pressure building up under the floor or upon the walls;
underground springs; high humidity; poor sealant on the
outside walls; no sealant on the outside walls;
improperly installed waterproofing; leaks from sweating
pipes in the basement; leaks through basement windows;
leaks through siding that run down through the wall and
just look like a basement leak.
waterproofer told us that outside work isn't really
necessary. Is that true?
not. Some contractors might tell you that, because all
they do is interior work, and they want you to believe
that sealing cracks on the outside of the wall is
unnecessary. But does that sound reasonable? Look at the
picture to the right. This house has open cores all
around, and no interior system would completely resolve
this problem. You might not see any water, but you would
still have water, dirt, air and bugs coming into the
I have mold
on the walls. Should this concern me?
This could indicate either moisture problems, or water
problems. At the very least, mold is a potential health
hazard that is growing in importance these days, as
scientists find out more and more about its effects on
humans. For more information on these effects, click on
the following links:
I have a
crawlspace. I'm safe from leaks, right?
You may have better odds, because the crawl space isn't
as deep as a basement is. But crawlspaces leak, get
moldy, and have problems just like basements. And since
they hold up the house, just like a basement does, you
need to resolve those problems if they arise.
leaks in one area. Can I just fix that?
you could, and it rare circumstances it might even work.
But think about it this way: water follows the path of
least resistance. If there's water pushing in, and you
fix that one spot, where do you think the water (it's
still there!) will go next? Right, to the next most
convenient place to enter. We've seen homeowners spend
massive amounts of money, repeatedly trying to chase a
small leak around the foundation, and never addressing
the real issue – that it's time for waterproofing
repairs. It's usually more cost efficient to find out
what's wrong, and fix the source of the problem, right
from the get-go.
is it leaking? Is it just a downspout, dropping water
next to the foundation? Or did the original
waterproofing fail for some reason?
leaks after a heavy rain. Can I use a waterproofing
paint to fix it?
Waterproofing paints are designed to seal walls, to
prevent moisture from passing through. Moisture is
totally different than water seepage. Look at it this
way: if you had a leak in your roof, and you used
waterproofing paint on the ceiling to stop the leak,
would the roof be fixed, even if it stopped leaking? The
answer, of course, is no. You'd still have to have the
roof fixed properly, even though the water may be
stopped for a while.
same with waterproofing basements. You might be able to
find a paint that will stop it temporarily, but the
water is still there, pushing on the wall or floor. It
won't go away all by itself. You need to find a way to
remove the water, because its not supposed to be there.
house is 20 years old. Why is it starting to leak
homes age, they need maintenance and repairs. You re-do
your roof after 15 – 20 years, and consider it normal.
You paint, and replace appliances, because they wear out
over time. The same goes for foundations. The original
tiles fail, or become clogged, or the sealant that was
put on the wears out and begins to crack. Or, conditions
in the ground may have changed the way water is flowing
under there, and the original system is not equipped to
deal with that.