Is Your Basement Springing Leaks This Season?

The first day of spring heralds many good things: warmer temperatures, flowers, shrubs and trees in bloom and the return of many outdoor sports like baseball and soccer.  But spring also brings frequent showers and some big problems for Maryland homeowners with basements or crawl spaces.  It’s no coincidence that our services for basement waterproofing in Maryland are in high demand this time of year.

There are many reasons why homeowners discover problems in their basements during the spring.  It may take a single heavy downfall or several days of steady rain – the kind of ground soakers that we often get in April and May – before poor grading around the foundation and around window wells becomes apparent (and lets in the water).

Sometimes we find that clogged, broken or even missing gutters and drain spouts are the culprits behind a wet basement. That’s not really surprising – how many times do you get up on the roof or even walk around your home in January or February to check on your gutters and downspouts? It’s not a top priority when wintry winds are blowing and it’s dark and cold when you get back from work.

Baltimore is known for its unstable weather, and this past winter we’ve had a few occasions when the temperature has dropped 20 degrees or so in the course of a single day. But it’s also not unusual for our area to remain well above freezing for several days then remain below 32 degrees every day for the week after that. This causes a constant freezing and thawing of the ground, which can lead to shifting of the soil and settlement of the backfill around your home. That settlement, in turn, can cause cracks in your foundation or voids under slabs. Foundation drains may also become blocked with debris. Those changes can cause water problems in basements that had been dry for many years.

If we have a rainy spring (and Maryland can expect an average total of about 10.5 inches of rain during April, May and June) the water table rises and so does hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is the force that water in the ground exerts against your foundation walls, finding cracks. This force can push water through the concrete walls into your basement. The water is always looking for a crack, a chink, a cavity to sneak through.

With so many reasons why basements can spring a leak, it can be difficult to know just how to fix the problem(s). That’s why our service technicians at Guardian Basement Waterproofing never diagnose a problem or tell you how we’re going to fix your wet basement over the phone. It takes the expert eye of a waterproofing professional to inspect your home carefully to identify the sources and causes of the leaks. We’ll then explain to you exactly what is at the root of your basement’s water problems and how we can fix them.

Our solutions may include:

  • Installation of drain tile systems, which direct the flow of water around your home and into a piping system that carries it away
  • Excavation of your foundation so that we can repair and reinforce its walls and repair any cracks
  • Installation of a sump pump to keep the area under your basement (and thus your basement floor and/or crawl space) dry

Don’t let a wet basement (and the growth of mold and mildew that follows) spoil your enjoyment of the spring. At the first sign of trouble, call us for more information about our Maryland basement waterproofing services.