basement waterproofing

What Causes Basement Moisture? Understanding the Main Factors

Basements are damp and dark places and commonly have moisture problems which are usually not understood or properly treated. From toxic mould that is unhealthy to structural damage, moisture can result in major issues for your home. This is where the importance of basement waterproofing comes in.


Bol-Dan Foundation & Masonry Inc has been offering masonry services along with repairs and restoration in the Ottawa area for 25 years. We can provide suitable help to homeowners who have issues with their basements and foundations. Our technicians have the required equipment and knowledge for enhancing the solidity of the structures that we work on. You can count on us when it comes to basement waterproofing.


In this blog post, our technicians discuss the most common causes behind basement moisture such as:


•  An interior water leak
Firstly, check for inside leaks while trying to identify the reason for moisture in your basement. It can come from numerous places such as a sink, shower, washing machine, toilet, dishwasher or bad pipes. If the basement’s moisture is on the walls or ceiling beneath a kitchen or bathroom, an interior water leak is to blame.


• Ineffective grading
Due to poor grading, groundwater or rain often makes its way into basements. The ground around the foundation is supposed to slope away from the house or water can get accumulated against the structure. This mostly occurs when the dirt on the sides of your foundation isn’t properly compacted; as the dirt settles, the slope changes direction and water flows towards your home rather than away from it.


You can fix this by building up dirt around your foundation, creating a slope away from it. Ensure that this is at least six feet.


• Defective downspouts and gutters
The purpose of downspouts and gutters is to direct rainwater away from the house. If they are not functioning properly, rainwater can get accumulated in the soil around it. If that happens, chances are it will make its way inside your basement.


Consider adding extenders on all downspouts that can disperse water at least four feet away from the foundation. Ensure to regularly clean your gutters so that they function properly.


• Cracks in your foundation
If your floor joists are not appropriately attached to the foundation wall, it will make the walls move and lead to the formation of the cracks. Sometimes water can also cause cracks due to poor soil drainage.


Your solutions will vary depending on the cause of the cracks. If the cause is hydrostatic pressure, repairing your exterior drainage will solve the problem although you still have to repair the cracks. If the problem is because of structural causes, connections and proper footing should be ensured to seal the gaps. 


• Missing (or poor) drain tile and sump pit
Many houses lack a proper subsurface drainage system. Homes that do have it, often experience system problems. This can range from a broken connection, broken sump pump or clogged pipe.


It is best to call in the professionals for solving this problem as it requires digging up the flooring and adding a drain system leading to a pump for expelling any moisture. Repairing or building a subsurface drainage system is a complex procedure which needs expertise, knowledge and complex tools.


We are experts in taking care of foundation and basement issues. Our technicians are known for their excellent masonry skills and knowledge in foundation repairs.


For information on foundation repair, read our blog post - Things You Need to Know About Foundation Repair.


Call us to learn more about our basement waterproofing services.

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