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What you should do if you notice a water infiltration in your basement

Last modified: 2021-10-26 | Approximate reading time 3 mins

Water infiltrations into your basement can be caused by a wide variety of things. These can include heavy rainfall on the building's envelope, poorly sealed windows, doors and exterior walls as well as storm sewers backing up.

Regardless of the cause, it is important to deal with water as soon as you spot it, as standing water can lead to countless surface as well as structural issues.

But, what should you do if you come across standing water in your home? It is difficult to know the proper steps to take to deal with water infiltrations in the quickest and most effective way. Luckily, is here to put you at ease by answering any questions you might have about this serious issue.

Leaky basement

Where is the water leak coming from, causing a wet basement?

water infiltration_water leaking from

Since water travels, it is not always easy to tell where a leak in your home is coming from. Unless the leak is obvious, it may take some subtle detective work to figure out the source of the problem. This is the first thing to figure out when dealing with a water infiltration in your basement. Here are some possible reasons why water may be settling in your basement.

Poor foundational drainage

Unfortunately, even if you take the time to waterproof your basement correctly, if the water around your home’s foundation cannot effectively drain, you will have leaks or signs of water excess. Standing water will travel to weak spots in your foundation and seep into your basement.

In order for you to know if this is happening in your home, take a walk around the outside of your house, and look for signs of standing water around the foundation. It would be best to do this after rainfall or following a good watering of any plants or shrubs on your property. If you notice excessive water buildup, then the grade around the foundation of your home isn’t sufficiently sloped for water to drain.

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If you do not have gutters or downspouts around your home, then there is no place for water to carry itself after a rainfall. This issue cannot be fixed by waterproofing alone, and the issue must be addressed directly.

Another reason water may collect in your basement is due to the drain tile around the perimeter of your foundation. Exterior drain tile maintenance is necessary every few years and can be overlooked as part of a home maintenance regime. Your exterior drain tile can fill with sediment, rocks and other debris, and this can cause the drainage system to fail.  

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are one method of basement waterproofing, as they work to keep water out of low lying areas of your basement. However, if this pump isn’t properly maintained this can be the source of water leaking or pooling in your basement.

Water will create a back up if dirt, sand or debris finds its way into the pump, so make sure to check it out and see if it requires assistance. Regular maintenance can prevent against serious problems that may occur due to dirt or grime buildup while keeping your basement dry. 


Don’t get us wrong, rainwater is good for the greenery of your property as well as your home’s foundation. However, it must be the right amount to elicit a positive effect. Otherwise, an excessive amount of rainwater can lead to water finding its way into your basement and settling there. If too much water flows into the basement of your home, the overload can lead to an influx of problems including causing the sewer to back up and find its way in your house.

There are several methods you can take to prevent these problems, and this can include properly waterproofing your basement as well as making sure your property is properly slopped for water to run away from the house. Solving this problem will greatly depend on your personal situation, so do a mini inspection of your basement to see which areas require improved waterproofing. 

Water pipe corrosion

water infiltration_corroding

A pipe corroding could be a definite cause of standing water in your basement. This could happen in many ways, including two incompatible metals touching, shrinking of materials, the pipe connections or pin holes. If you notice blue or green patching on your pipes, this could be a definite sign of corrosion.

Also, it is important to regularly check your pipe connections to your water heater, as these are often the first to become damaged. If you find pieces of damaged pipe, they will need to be replaced. To prevent future corrosion, make sure that pipes and fastening materials are compatible, as not all metals work together. Do a little bit of research and then take a trip down to your local hardware store.

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