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Leaky Basements: What Causes Seepage In Homes With Concrete Foundations

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Concrete foundations are durable, but even new homes with concrete can experience leaks and seepage. Understanding the causes can help you determine which fixes are appropriate and when to call a concrete contractor. Here are a few basic things you should know if you have a concrete foundation in your home.

Cracks In Poured Concrete Foundations

Poured concrete foundations are typically resistant to cracks because they have no joints. The concrete is poured continuously throughout the foundation for a single, seamless piece of concrete. These foundations are not, however, crack-proof. Over time, your foundation may experience small stress cracks due to exterior pressure on your foundation or due to your home settling. These cracks can allow water to enter your home through the walls. If you notice small pools of water on the basement floor with a trail leading partially up the wall, you may have a crack in your poured concrete foundation. In some cases, these cracks may be very difficult to see. Your concrete contractor can inspect and diagnose the problem to come up with a permanent foundation crack repair solution.

Mortar Joint Seepage

Some homes are constructed with sections of concrete joined together. These joints, known as mortar joints, can be vulnerable to seepage. They are not cracks, as the joints between the pieces of concrete are intended to be there, but they can be waterproofed with certain types of sealants. You may have mortar joint seepage if you notice leaks in the corners of your basement. If you aren't sure whether you have a poured concrete foundation or mortar joints, your concrete contractor can inspect the area to determine which type of foundation you have.

Foundation Wall Overflow

Some homes have a small gap between where the foundation wall ends and the structure of the home begins. Heavy rainfall or saturated soil can push water over the top of the foundation wall, causing it to enter your basement. This isn't a crack or actual flaw in the construction of your home, but it still requires attention to help keep water from damaging your basement, foundation and home. Your concrete contractor will inspect the area and determine if standing water is seeping over the top of the foundation wall.

Remember that any cracks or leaks in your home will only get worse over time. Even if you see a small hairline fracture in your walls without any signs of water leaks, that crack can grow and create a path for water to enter your home. Be sure to contact an expert at the first sign of trouble to help prevent potentially costly repairs later.