Got WATER in your BASEMENT??
Friday, January 22, 2021

Got WATER in your BASEMENT??

If you have a WET Basement?? There are several things to look at with this situation and a few possible solutions...
  1.  Start with your gutters. Make sure they aren't clogged, and not overflowing. Are they large enough for the volume of water or the velocity of water entering them? Some builders installed 5" gutters when 6" inch gutters would have been more appropriate. Do you have a gutter guard system? Some cause more problems than they resolve. Are your gutters packed full of leaves? It's time to empty them out.
  2. Look at your downspouts... Are your quantity and size of downspout sufficient for the amount of water you are handling? Do you have black landscape pipe or downspout extensions or an underground drain system moving water at least 6 feet from your home? In some cases, you need 10 or 15 or 30 feet of pipe to move the water far enough away, depending on grade.
  3. What does your grading look like around your home? Look at the yard, your neighbor's yard, the street, driveway, and other large areas of water that could be funneling water towards your foundation. Can we put in a swale or a berm to protect your foundation? Look at the grading against your home. Pest Control experts tell us you want 12" to 18" of exposed cement foundation between the dirt, and any wood features on your home to help discourage bugs from making their way in. Secondly, you need PITCH. You want the dirt against your home, at least 6 to 12 inches higher than the ground 10 to 12 feet from your foundation. If you don't have a good pitch, perhaps we need to cut in a swale and change the grading.
  4. Do you have any large mulch beds or landscape features and plants that are "trapping" moisture near your foundation by preventing sunlight and wind from helping with the evaporation process? Perhaps you need to consider removing these beds, or these plants, in favor of something that more is more breathable... COPE Construction and Renovation recommends that customers start OUTSIDE the home first because these are the cheapest solutions... relatively speaking... and many of them can be adventurous DIY projects if you have the time and inclination.
  5. As a more invasive measure, you can excavate the entire foundation and spray on or apply a waterproof membrane to keep water out. You may also need some piping and stone at the bottom to carry water away, perhaps with a pit and a pump. And then filter fabric and backfill. Here's a video where Mike Holmes did just that. If you are willing to allow water into your home, then you can consider the following. We don't like these solutions, and consider them to be the last resort, as we want to keep your basement dry... rather than merely contain the water that comes in... but some cases leave homeowners with few other options.
  6. You can move everything away from your walls, scrub your basement walls with Muriatic Acid (gloves, goggles, mask, protective gear, forced ventilation), rinse with water, and then apply DryLock paint, and repeat this process every 2 to 3 years.
  7. You can hire a company to cut in a drain around the edges of your basement wall, and install a rain screen on the walls, to direct any water that leaks in, down into the drain, and over to the pump pit with a primary pump and a battery backup.
This is not an exhaustive list of all options, but it covers the 7 main approaches that we typically look at when trying to solve a basement water infiltration problem. You may also want to check with your neighbors. If everyone has this problem, it could be one of the following:
  • Poor home design
  • High water table in your area
  • Soil with heavy clay content.
Check out our July 2018 photo album to view photos of a drainage project we worked on for a customer. Clicking through the photos and reading the descriptions we wrote up, will give you a good understanding of how we addressed her challenge.
In April 2019, we installed larger gutters and put in an underground drain system to move water away from a wet basement... You'll find some photos in the middle and the rest at the end of this album.
If you'd like to check out other projects, look at our April 2015 and our June 2013 albums for other drainage projects.
If we can assist you with your Basement Water Problems, our office staff can be reached 24-7 on FB Messenger or M-F 9 am to 2 pm at 484-748-0008,
option 2 for Cope Home Repairs,
ext 2 for New Projects.
We return all calls and messages within 1 business day.
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We are a registered and Insured PA Home Improvement Contractor with Registration number PA88078, verifiable here. - Certificate of Insurance available upon request, typically within 2 business days.
--Drew & Tracey Cope--
COPE Construction and Renovatio