Why Do Basements Get Wet?

Why do basements get wet in New Jersey?

Every time snow melts orĀ  rain falls, we get asked the question; why do basements get wet? Much of this moisture is pulled deeper into the frost line by gravity. The frost line is the depth in the ground in which the water NEVER freezes. Because this seepage is constantly moving beneath the frost line, you should expect water related problems year round. Times of extreme seepage occur usually in early spring and late fall.

As gravity pulls the ground water deeper into the soil, it moves sideways following the slope of the surrounding areas. Top soil will absorb some of the water but as rain continues to fall the absorbent layers become even more saturated and the water begins to follow the underground ‘paths of least resistance’ called Capillary Veins.

Think of these Capillary Veins as underground streams of seeping water. As this water approaches your home it collects in the loosely packed soil that is pressing against your foundation. In the meantime, the undisturbed soil about 2 to 5 feet from your home is much more solid and is unable to percolate the ground water away fast enough causing it to rise around the foundation of your home.

As the water level continues to rise the weight of the water causes pressure to build (Hydrostatic Pressure). This pressure forces water into settlement cracks in your home’s foundation and sooner or later, into your basement.

Why do basements get wet? Stages of Water Penetration

Stage 1: Damp smell, damp spots appear, mold and mildew begins to form, white powdery crystals appear, discoloration of foundation and blistering paint.

Stage 2: Walls wet to the touch, small amounts of water and a combination of signs from stage 1.

Stage 3: Water on your basement floor and a combination of signs from stages 1 and 2.

Stage 4: Heavy water in your basement and a combination of stages 1, 2 and 3.

Is a wet basement a sign of a poorly built home?

Not necessarily! A recent study found that over 90% of homes with both hollow block foundations and poured concrete foundations that are over 25 years old have had moisture issues.

The occasional dampness in a home is sometimes a minor problem that you, the homeowner, can solve yourself. However, foundation leakage can be very serious. Of course, the key is to know the difference.

Knowledge is power and at A-1 Basement Solutions we have that knowledge. We have over 15 years experience in Basement Waterproofing, Foundation Crack Repair and Concrete Sealing . Please feel free to read our testimonials to see how we have helped other people just like you with the same problems.

Do you have mold in your basement? Not sure? Read about our Mold Testing and E-Z Breathe to see how A-1 Basement Solutions can address these health concerns or Contact A-1 Basement Solutions for a free in-home mold and air quality inspection.

Do you have horizontal and vertical cracks in your foundation? Has the water slowly seeping into your basement caused your footings and walls to crack? Have your window casings began to snap? Are your mortatr joints opening? Not sure? Read more about how A-1 Basement Solutions Foundation Crack Repair and Concrete Sealing can help or Contact A-1 Basement Solutions for more information.