Major Causes of Basement Problems

Hydrostatic Pressure

Hydrostatic pressure exerted against the foundation of your home can cause cracks, bowing, and even collapse in severe cases in basement walls. In addition, hydrostatic pressure exerted against your home's foundation can cause basement floors to crack. Initially, water may only rest in the block or the pores of the concrete but, over time, the seeping water causes leaks and dampness.


The settlement around your basement walls can cause your foundation to move and shift. This shifting can cause cracks that allow water to flow into your basement. Hydrostatic pressure occurs by (negative pitch) soil sloping toward your home, and saturated soil presses against the basement walls causing the weight against the wall(s) to exceed their capacity. Bowing wall(s) occur most often due to the force of hydrostatic pressure.

Capillary Attraction (wicking)

An example of wicking (water contact) can be identified when a block may not leak but feel damp. Whenever a porous surface like concrete blocks or basement floor comes in contact with water, it soaks water up like a sponge. The continuous hydrostatic pressure exerted against your home's foundation causes walls and floors to store water like a reservoir.

Poor Grading

The land around your home may have low spots or pitch, so the water flows toward your house.

High Water Table

Rain, melting snow, underground springs can contribute to the water table rising around your home. Water table rising can build pressure against walls and beneath the floor, creating a damp or wet basement.

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