- Basement Flooding Services
- Basement Crack Repair
- Basement Drainage
- Basement Flooding
- Basement Floor Cracks
- Basement Mold
- Basement Sealing
- Basement Waterproofing
- Concrete Driveways
- Concrete Floor Sealer
- Concrete Repair
- Concrete Resurfacing
- Concrete Waterproofing
- Drainage Solutions
- Egress Windows
- Foundation Repair
- Leaky Basement
- Structural Repair
- Sump Pumps
- Waterproof Foundation
- Wet Basement
A leaky basement can be a frustrating problem.
If you own a home that actually has a leaky basement, you know what we mean. It’s inconvenient when you have to move boxes or other items to keep them from getting wet when the wall starts leaking. Usually a leaky basement also brings with it an unpleasant musty smell, since mold and mildew are a natural result of an environment of moisture that never really gets dry. And all of this is multiplied if your basement is carpeted and used as living space, such as a family room or game room. Water coming up from the floor can ruin carpet and furniture, and it’s just a hassle.
When a leaky basement problem presents itself, some people try to look for the quick, easy (and least expensive) solution. That’s just human nature – to hope that a quick fix solves the problem. For many, the obvious fix is to paint the basement wall or floor with a “waterproofing sealant”.
You’ve probably seen the demonstrations of these products, perhaps on a display in one of the big “do it yourself” home repair superstores. Just look for the big sign that says “Leaky Basement? Here’s the solution!” They will take a concrete block and fill the two empty spaces inside with water. On the outside, half is left natural and the other half is painted with some waterproofing sealant.
The whole point of the demonstration is that the half that is not painted is clearly getting wet because of the water soaking through from the inside. On the half that is painted, no water is getting through so the outside is still dry. The “conclusion” is that if you put this waterproofing solution on your basement walls and floor, no water will be able to get through and your problem is solved!
Well, not so fast.
There is one thing missing from the demonstration. It’s called hydrostatic pressure, and that is the real underlying cause of the leaky basement. You see, the water that is in the cavity of the cement block used in the demonstration is just sitting there; it is exerting virtually no pressure at all on the cement that holds it in. This is very different from the water that is in the soil outside your basement walls. That water continually accumulates and builds up pressure – that’s thousands of gallons of water, continually pushing against the cement cinder blocks or poured concrete walls, as well as the concrete floor slab. The pressure continues around the clock so eventually something has to give. That’s when you discover a leaky basement.
Hire our contractors to fix leaky basements in Maryland: Rockville, Frederick, Silver Spring, Bethesda, Potomac, Chevy Chase, Columbia, Gaithersburg, Ellicott City and Laurel. We also fix leaky basements in Virginia: Fairfax, Vienna, Falls Church, Arlington and Mclean.
How does the water get in? As you may now, it takes the path of least resistance. There’s an old saying: “Water will find a way”. There are several places where water can get from the outside to the inside:
- When cinder blocks are stacked on top of each other to create the wall, they are joined together by mortar joints. Those joints can be the weak link that allows water in first.
- The “cold joint” is where the bottom of the basement wall meets the basement floor – this is another place where water can work its way in.
- The “keyway” is another possibility – this is where the footing meets the concrete wall. If it does not stay 100% impassable, water can get in there.
- Of course, if there are any cracks in the walls or floor slab of your basement, the water that is outside sees that as an open invitation to come in.
These problems never fix themselves, and applying a coat of sealant is not the solution. We can come out and evaluate your situation, and tell you exactly what needs to be done to fix that leaky basement.
We offer our professional services throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, DC.