If you're noticing signs of water intrusion in your basement, including things like persistent musty smells and dampness, it's important that you find the source. While waterproofing will help keep the water out, you need to first stop the water introduction so that the area can dry. Otherwise, your waterproofing efforts just seal moisture in. Here are a few common sources of water trouble that you can check as you try to narrow things down.
This is often the easiest source to eliminate, so it should be the first one you look for. If you're only seeing water introduction on one side of your home, make sure that the water you're dealing with isn't runoff from your neighbor's yard on that side of the property. Walk the property boundary on that side and inspect it for any signs of water saturation. If your property's grading is lower than that of the neighbor, it may be encouraging runoff to flow to your yard. You can combat this easily by installing a french drain on the property to direct that runoff.
The Soil Around The Foundation
If the water isn't coming from a neighboring property, it might be running into the basement because of soil erosion around the foundation. As the soil erodes, it can cause a grade that allows water to run toward the basement instead of away from it. If this is the case on your property, the easiest way to fix it is to have the soil around the foundation backfilled and built back up to restore the grade.
To spot problems like this, walk around the perimeter of the house. Examine the soil along the foundation as you go. All of that soil should be sloping away from the house. Any areas where that's not the case will need attention to prevent water accumulation.
The Roof Downspouts
Any time you have a downspout that isn't properly pointed, you'll have water runoff from the roof going to the wrong place. For example, if the downspout isn't angled completely away from the house, you might end up with water pooling around the basement in the area of that downspout. Make sure that all of them are properly angled so that the water flows away from the structure. You can even have drainage channels dug if you're concerned.
There are many places where water can originate before it reaches your basement. If you're dealing with water intrusion, it's important that you address it right away. Otherwise, you may struggle with structural damage and mold that can be difficult to eliminate. For assistance, talk to a professional like Atlantic Heating and Cooling.