Water Leaking Into Basement After Heavy Rain
When a basement floods due to heavy rain, it is usually caused by several different factors.
Gravity propels water to move to the lowest lying areas, and our basements (usually below ground) are perfect repositories. Any small cracks in your home’s foundation act like tiny tunnels into your basement.
In most cases, your downspouts, gutters, and drain systems work to keep rainwater outside where it belongs. But in extreme weather events, or when these downspouts, gutters, and drains are not in proper working order, your basement is at risk of flooding.
When this happens, call a professional water restoration company like HRS Restoration Services. We’re skilled at water extraction and mitigation, water damage restoration, and mold restoration in Denver.
HRS has decades of experience with basement leaks in heavy rain. We can identify areas you may have missed that are letting rainfall in, and we can help seal them to prevent it from happening in the future. Our customers appreciate our 24/7 availability and rapid response. Flooding can be especially destructive, so our teams are ready any time disaster strikes. Call our IICRC certified team at the first signs of a basement leak during heavy rain. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get your basement back to the way it was.
Why Water Leaks Into Basement During Rainfall
Basement floods during storms are relatively common occurrences. Whether it is a combination of pressure, a porous foundation, or an unfortunately sloped yard, there is often more than one reason why your basement floods in heavy rain.
Furthermore, rain can enter a basement because we neglected our gutters and because of the way your basement was built in the first place.
Simply put, the gravitational pressure exerted by a fluid, in our case rainwater, is what’s known as hydrostatic pressure. When outside groundwater levels rise above the level of your basement floor, the basement acts like a boat in a pond. If a boat is sitting in water, water will leak in through any open cracks or holes.
During or after heavy rain, rainwater collects around your foundation, and if there’s enough of it, it starts to exert pressure against your home’s basement or crawlspace.
Lateral Pressure occurs when the soil around your house expands, increasing the pressure against the foundation. This expansion not only causes water to leak in, but it also can damage your foundation. Depending on how compacted your soil is and its absorbency, heavy rain can have a major effect on the lateral pressure around your basement.
Window Well Issue
The window well is the area around your low lying basement windows. If there is heavy rain, water can collect in this area and put pressure on the window seal. If there are any gaps, cracks or loosening of the window seal, water can find a way inside.
Due to water pressure and the type of soil that surrounds your home, your foundation may shift and develop cracks and fissures. Even normal settling of your home over time may result in damage to your foundation that allows groundwater and rainwater to find a pathway inside.
If your gutters are clogged with leaves and other debris, rainwater can’t flow through and will instead spill over the sides and eventually, towards your foundation. The sole purpose of gutters is to collect and carry water away from your home and the only way they can function correctly is if they are regularly cleaned in the spring and in the fall.
One reason many people experience downspout flooding is because their downspout is placed too close to their home’s foundation and the water gravitates towards the basement. Unless your downspout is a good distance, say 10 feet, away from your home’s foundation, there is a high likelihood that rainwater will flow down the spout and towards your basement.
Where your basement floor meets the wall is known as the cove joint. Builders first pour the concrete for the flooring and later pour the concrete for the walls. Since each is done at different times, there is no way to bond the two and there will always be a seam between them. This is where water can get through during a heavy rainstorm.
If your yard doesn’t slope away from your home, or you have a noticeable depression near the foundation, there is a high likelihood that rainwater will find its way into your basement. Adding plants and more soil in these areas to absorb the water is one solution when landscape slope is causing water in your basement.
Pavement Slope & Sealant
Just as the soil around your home can settle, so can your driveway. If your driveway slopes towards your house, rainwater will have no other destination but your low lying basement. In addition, the sealant on your driveway doesn’t last forever and is subject to cracks that can allow water in and around your foundation.
How Water Gets Into Basement
Rainwater and snow runoff follows the laws of gravity. Gravity’s force pulls water downhill and into our basements. If you find that your basement wall leaks when it rains it may be a sign that rainwater is getting in somewhere.
Rainwater can penetrate even the smallest openings and seams that keep your basement sealed off. Rainwater can enter your basement through cracks in walls, floors or ceilings, or in the space between the wall and floor, it can even enter through your basement window seal, especially if any of these areas are not regularly checked and monitored. Rainwater will find a way to wreak havoc on your otherwise dry basement.
Cracks In Walls, Floor & Ceiling
Cracks that are 1/8 inch or less are usually not a cause for concern. However, if the cracks in your walls, floors, or ceiling are larger, they can easily let water in and will need to be sealed. Cracks may be the result of normal shifts in the soil around your home that develop over time. However, if the cracks have happened suddenly, it may indicate that foundation repairs are needed.
Wall/ Floor Joints
The walls and floors of your basement are poured at different phases during construction and there is inevitably a seam or joint where they meet. This is an area where water can get in from the outside.
If you find there is water coming up through the basement floor after heavy rain, you may need to install a drain system rather than try to seal this area. The drain system will work to push any water away from your home before it penetrates the seal between the wall and the floor.
As with any opening into your home, your basement windows are a pathway for rainwater to come inside. If the seals are older, they may have loosened and allow water in. Seals may need to be reinforced or replaced if you notice any condensation or leaks around your basement windows.
Preventing Basement Floods
With persistence and regular maintenance, you can take steps toward preventing basement floods. A few ways to prevent a basement flood include sealing any cracks or fissures in your home’s foundation. You also need to make sure your french drain or lateral drains are working properly, and that your sump pump, if applicable, is functioning.
Other ways to minimize water coming up through basement floors after a heavy rain is to make sure your downspouts are located far away from your foundation and that your gutters are free from debris. A free flowing gutter will ensure excess water doesn’t end up in your basement, while a distanced downspout will carry rainwater away from, and not towards, your basement.
What To Do If Your Basement Floods
If you find water leaking into basements after heavy rain, you’ll need to act fast.
First, disconnect the electricity running to the basement to reduce the risk of electrocution. Next, contact your insurance company to see whether your homeowner’s policy covers your basement flooding repair.
The next step after your basement floods is to search out and plug, or repair where the water is coming in. Next, extract any standing water with a wet dry vac or utility vacuum and ventilate the area.
Once you remove the water, you can begin water damage remediation and restoration. Part of remediation includes mold detection and removal. Finally, to prevent damage from a future basement flood, consider if waterproofing your basement is an option.
When To Call A Professional
While you may be successful in stopping additional rainwater from getting into your basement, unless you are aware of what can cause a basement flood, you risk it happening again. A professional water damage restoration company is in the best position to find the source or sources of the leak, and make repairs to prevent it from happening again. Not only can they extract the water and make necessary repairs, but they can also remove mold and help you seal up your basement to prevent it from being flooded in the future.
Why Choose HRS Restoration Services
If you are wondering “what do I do, my basement leaks when it rains”, the time to call HRS Restoration Services is now! We are trained and experienced to find exactly where water is getting in and how to prevent it from happening again. Our decades of experience in the disaster restoration space and our glowing customer reviews are a reason to call us first when your basement floods.
Contact HRS Restoration Services Today!
IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Formed nearly 40 years ago, it is a non-profit organization that establishes globally recognized standards for the cleaning and restoration industry, as well as providing certifications, journeyman and master designation, and education.
By choosing a firm with IICRC certified team members, you are assured the cleaning professionals have undergone rigorous training and will handle your disaster restoration with the highest standard of care.