wet basement walls and floors

What Causes Wet Basements and How Do I Prevent It?

Wet basements are indeed a disaster for homeowners. Statistics show more than 60% of homes have moisture issues with their basements. Such problems, like mold and water cracks, can devalue a home by 25%. It is, therefore, important that there are measures in place to prevent the occurrence of wet basements. Here are some causes of wet basements and how to waterproof your basement.

Common Causes of Wet Basements

A wet basement can be a problematic and annoying scenario to experience. To prevent and tackle this dreaded issue, you must be aware of what could lead to such happening in the first instance. Here are five common causes of wet basements:

1. Inadequate Foundation Drainage: The foundation is the house’s fundamental and, perhaps, most important component. If a foundation does not possess the right drainage network, water could permeate into the basement. A wet basement can occur in clogged drains or the absence of popper waterproofing measures.

2. Cracks in Foundation Walls: Several reasons could lead to cracks in the foundation walls. These include shifting soil, settlement, or structural problems. Such damages allow water to invade the basement when the water level rises.

3. Faulty Gutters: Every house needs a well-functioning gutter to direct water away from places like the basement. A faulty or blocked drain could cause overflow and guide water into the foundation. Thus, there could be a water buildup around the basement walls which could find its way inside.

4. Inadequate Grading: Improper soil sloping from the foundation could cause water to collect close to the basement walls. In the occurrence of such an event, there could be hydrostatic pressure that forces the water into the basement.

5. Damaged Plumbing: Leaking plumbing lines or pipes in the basement could cause the dreaded scenario. Leaks can happen in drains, sewage pipes, or water supply lines.

Steps to Avoid Wet Basements

Now that we have discussed the common factors of wet basements, the next thing to learn is how to keep your home dry and safe. Here are some steps to prevent wet basements.

1. Preserve Adequate Grading: As a homeowner, you should ensure that the soil around your house slopes away from the foundation. A proper slope guides rainwater and melting snow away from your basement and eliminates the possibility of water permeating it. Watch out for spots that amass water close to the foundation.

2. Install and Manage Gutters: Take care of your gutters at intervals to prevent blockages that could lead to water overflow. You could also install gutter guards to decrease debris buildup. Your home’s downspouts should extend at least 6 feet from the foundation and guide water away from the basement.

3. Install a Foundation Drainage Network: Several drains, such as a French drain or a perimeter drain, would help you accumulate and redirect water away from the foundation. They also help relieve hydrostatic pressure and ward off water from invading the basement.

4. Take Care of Foundation Cracks Immediately: Inspect the walls of your foundation regularly for cracks of any kind. Once they are spotted, seal such cracks with hydraulic cement or a suitable waterproofing sealant. Doing so can prevent a wet basement during heavy rainfall or increasing water levels.

5. Adequately Maintain Your Plumbing Network: Constantly check your plumbing system for leaks and repair them immediately. Ensure there are proper drainage systems for the sinks, washing machines, etc. Consider putting a backwater valve in place to prevent sewage backups from entering the basement.

As a good homeowner, you should inspect your basement frequently for any dampness, musty odors, or water stains. If you notice any signs of moisture, tackle them promptly to prevent a worsened scenario and potential mold growth.


Every home is unique and may require different measures to prevent a wet basement. That is why you should employ the services of B-Dry Boston. At B-Dry, we offer our customers the best waterproofing services in the industry. Give us a call today or fill out our online contact form for a consultation!

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