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Cracking and Leaking Basement Walls: Causes and Solutions

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When a home is built, a large hole is dug in order to build basement walls and its floor. Backfill soil is dirt builders use to fill the remaining space of the hole once the basement walls of a home are built, and backfill soil contributes to the cause of cracked and leaking basement walls because it will eventually settle from not being as densely compacted as virgin soil.

Additional Causes of Cracking and Leaking Basement Walls

1. Clogged Footing Drains

Footing drains are pipes with holes that are installed outside of a home’s foundation. The holes allow water to drip into the pipe; however, they become clogged with backfill soil and this will cause hydrostatic pressure.

2. Hydrostatic Pressure

Once a footing drain is clogged, water, which is designed to enter the drain, will gather around the foundation and begin to push against the home’s basement walls. This pressure will create bowing or tilting basement walls, causing cracks to form and water to leak through.

3. Wall Cracks

When basement walls begin to bow or tilt, cracks will happen. When these cracks form, water will begin to leak through causing a wet basement and sometimes flooding. This a result of hydrostatic pressure against basement walls.

4. Soil Settlement

As backfill soil settles, water will flow down to the foundation of the home where it will gather and push against the walls of a basement. This pressure from settling backfill soil contributes to the hydrostatic pressure, along with gutters facing towards the home, which allow water to be flow to the foundation instead of away.

5. Nor’easters

Nor’easter storms bring heavy rainfall, flooding, and snow which are all contributors to hydrostatic pressure, and basement wall cracking. These storms tend to happen during colder weather; however, have the possibility of happening at any time of the year.

6. Hurricanes

Hurricanes produce a large amount of rainfall followed by potential flooding contributing to hydrostatic pressure. Before hurricane seasons arrives,  take time to prepare and protect your home.

Solutions for Basement Wall Problems

1. Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier will help control basement’s humidity levels. Humidity in a basement will cause mold growth, wood rot, fungus, and dust mites. Having a dehumidifier installed will help keep basements dry and healthy.

2.  A Full Perimeter Drainage System

BasementGutter, Mount Valley’s full perimeter drainage system is a waterproofing solution for basements, which unlike traditional French drains, is designed to separate the dirt from basement floors. The separation of dirt from the basement floor prevents clogging, helping prevent hydrostatic pressure against basement walls.

3. Sump Pumps

Another product which helps keep basements dry and prevent basement wall cracks is a sump pump. Mount Valley Foundation Services offers a few types of sump pumps such as the SafeDri TripleSafe Pump, SafeDri SuperSump Pump, and the SafeDri SmartSump Pump systems. Each system is designed to help keep basements dry by keeping water out of a basement and are designed to alert homeowners when basement water levels rise.

4. Wall Anchors

Bowing basement walls will create cracks, which can be combatted with the installation of Foundation Wall Anchors. An economical solution to bowing walls, Mount Valley’s wall anchors work together to counteract hydrostatic pressure which is exerted against basement walls.

5. Carbon Fiber Wall Repair

The Carbon Fiber Wall Repair System is designed to be installed flat against the walls of a basement. This allows the system to mold to the walls and provide stabilization, providing a long-lasting, strong solution with a Lifetime warranty. These carbon fibers are made with virgin epoxy making the bond unbreakable between the fiber and the surface of the basement walls.

If any of these basement walls and foundation problems are present in your basement walls, call 803-220-3550 or contact us to schedule your free inspection for your basement.

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