Real Estate News and More Frequently Asked Questions

why basements leak

Water has memory. It will flow the same path each time your

basement leaks, thereby creating a larger path. Most home are

built with some sort of waterproofing. Here are some common

reason why basements leak,

False Water Table

A false water table was created when the basement was built. The first step in building your basement was to dig a large hold. The earth surrounding this large hole is soil compacted by millions of years, also referred to as "hard Pan" The earth being removed from this hold will never be as compact when it is put back. This is referred to as "Soft Pan::" When it rains, or when snow melts, the water will follow the path of least resistance. Thus water flows from Hard Pan to Soft Pan and creates a false water table. As water continues to fill the false water table, some of the water will begin to flow (through gravity and pressure) to the real water table. However, water that has accumulated around the false water table will continue to rise when either the water is coming in too fast, or the real water table is full and cannot handle the volume of water any longer. As the water fills all packets and voids it will continue t o rise until it reaches the floor. Then it will fill the voids against the walls. A False Water Table is created around all houses and building even if they are built on high ground or a hill.

Hydrostatic Pressure

Is the pressure caused by water seeking it's own level. Once the false water table fills up and becomes higher than the floor, Hydrostatic Pressure is created. Water pressure is 63.4 pounds per cubic foot in all directions. The reason it sometimes takes a heavy rain for water to actually become visible is because the cavity under the basement floor can hold up to 2500 gallons of water. When Hydrostatic Pressure occurs, water seeks the past of least resistance. This could be cracks in the floor, cracks in the walls, day ways or cove areas (where the floor and the wall join together). Note: Once Hydrostatic Pressure caused seepage, the problem can only be solved by a system designed to relieve pressure and control the water. Excavation and do-it-yourself methods can not and will not solve the problem. Water rises equally on all four sides and will seek the past of least resistance into your basement (most often the cove area.)

Do-It-Yourself Hints

Sometimes the causes of water seepage or dampness are just something that you have overlooked. Such as improper/poor grading, surface water from downspouts, gutters or another source. You can request an inspection to determine whether this is indeed a minor problem or something that would require a professions attention.

If yiou are experiencing Leaks call me and I can give you list of reputable waterproofing companies.

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​Specializing in Grosse Pointe, St. Clair Shores

Harrison and Chesterfield Twp, ​Harper Woods

Waterfront Specialist

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