Causes & Solutions

Causes of Waterproofing, and How We Can Help

A prospective customer was recently asked, “What do you think is causing the problem?”  After pausing a moment, he replied, “Water!”

He then asked, “What’s the solution?” and I replied, “Move to a high-rise!”

It is unfortunate that every home in Texas will, at some point, have a wet basement. It may take 2 years, 20 years, or maybe even 100 years, but regardless of when it happens, understanding the causes will allow you to understand the solutions.

“Basements are not designed to be waterproof…”

– Iowa State University, “Building Basements in Wet Locations” March 1994.

DISCLAIMER: This quote from an engineer does not apply to homes that are custom built by a great contractor who understands foundation engineering and waterproofing science, and then spends the money to install a system that will keep the basement dry for 100 years. We are such a company!  We have the necessary know-how and experience to waterproof foundations and basements!

Ways in Which Water Enters Your Basement

Below is a diagram of a basement with common moisture problems, illustrating the various ways that water can enter your basement.  The wall depicted on the left is a concrete block wall made of block, brick, or stone, bonded together with mortar joints or seams. The wall illustrated on the right is a poured (cast-in-place) or pre-cast solid concrete wall.

Basement waterproofing information | northern virginia

Water That Enters Through the Wall

Water can pass through a number of spots in a foundation wall, such as:

  • foundation wall crack – simple or structural
  • tie rod
  • mortar joint
  • concrete block (concrete blocks are not only hollow, they are porous and water accumulates inside the cores)
  • tie rod (the metal pieces which originally held the forms together when the wall was poured or cast in place)
  • window wells
  • porous concrete
  • pipe penetration – around and through pipes, which enter your basement through the wall (gas, sewage, water, cable, etc.)
  • doorways, stairwells

foundation water causes

Water That Enters Through the Floor:

Water can enter through a floor via a:

  • cove, the joining or joint of the wall and the floor
  • floor crack
  • sump pit or well, which occurs when the sump pump fails
  • floor drain, which can occur when the storm drain system backs up, or the floor drain has failed due to clogging
  • pipe penetration – around and through pipes which enter your basement through the floor