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Identifying and Locating Basement Water Leaks, Part 1

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

With the Utah winter entering full swing, home and business owners everywhere are working to ensure their spaces are protected from snow, ice and other elements. This includes ensuring there are no significant water leak sources present, particularly the type that risk puddling and water damage in the basement and other parts of the home’s foundation, threatening its structural integrity.

At Summit Coatings, we’re here to help protect you from several possible such sources. Our garage floor and basement floor waterproofing services keep unwanted moisture from seeping into porous areas, causing everything from minor cracks to major damage that impacts your entire structure. In this two-part blog, we’ll go over some of the telltale signs you should be keeping an eye out for when it comes to such leaks, plus how to locate their source and properly respond if they’re present.

identifying locating basement water leaks

General Signs of Water Leaks

Generally speaking, the basic signs of water leaks in your home will show up on the lower levels – where gravity naturally pulls water. The most common such sign is also the most obvious: Pooling water somewhere in the basement or lower home level.

However, leaks aren’t always so immediately visible. They often show up in concealed areas you can’t see easily. In these cases, common signs include a dank smell, or the presence of mold or mildew. If you notice these and cannot connect them to another source, it’s possible there’s a leak you have to attempt to located.

Our upcoming sections will dig into some indicators of a leak’s source.

Cracked Concrete

If you have begun to notice cracks in your basement wall, this is generally a strong sign that groundwater from outside has found a weak spot in either your foundation or your garage floor. Concrete that is not sealed properly is porous, meaning it will absorb water and eventually show cracks, often when the water re-freezes in winter temperatures and expands.

Over time, this issue can lead to basement walls wearing down. It’s vital to call our team about waterproofing if you notice this issue.

Water Stains

In other situations, you might notice rusty red stains on your basement walls. This generally points specifically to water coming in from outside – the red coloration is iron ochre, a mineral found underground on many properties. This clearly signals a need for foundation repairs or waterproof sealing.

Groundwater Foundation

If you’re checking your foundation and notice cracks or other water damage, this can be a major concern. This will allow water into the basement’s porous concrete, often dipping the foundation and forming a moat of sorts, one that leaks continuous water into the foundation walls. This is why you often hear about the benefits of sloping the ground around a building’s foundation – it helps prevent this sort of thing along with proper waterproofing.

For more on causes and sources of basement water leaks, or to learn about how our waterproofing or epoxy coating services can help, speak to the staff at Summit Coatings today.

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