Why Basement Walls Leak – Mentor Ohio

Many people are surprised when they see water in their basement for the first time. Most of the time, water in the basement is caused from the wall leaking.   While most basement walls don’t leak everyday,  basement leaks are very common.  In Northeast Ohio, basement water issues are very common in older home.

When water shows up in a basement, it’s probably groundwater that found its way in through a compromised area of your basement wall.

Hydrostatic pressure and basement walls leaking

The water in the soil surrounding your basement applies pressure onto your foundation walls. The more water there is, the more the ground becomes saturated and the more pressure there is on your wall.

This hydrostatic pressure is what pushes the water into your basement.  Sometimes the hydrostatic pressure becomes so great, it can damage your basement walls, causing structural damage.

The most common foundation wall leaks

Any gap, void or crack in a foundation wall, regardless of what material your wall is built of, will allow water in unless there’s some sort of waterproofing system installed.

Places where poured concrete walls leak

The two most common sources of basement leaks in poured concrete foundations are-

  • Cracks
  • Tie rod holes

Both of these can usually be repaired from inside your home.  If hydrostatic pressure is too great, they may require excavating from the outside.

Leaks in concrete block foundation walls

Concrete block basement walls also have two very common sources of basement leaks

  • Cracks in the mortar joints between the concrete blocks
  • Cracks in the blocks

Concrete block foundations are usually harder to repair than poured concrete foundation.  The blocks themselves are hollow allowing water to travel inside the wall.  Water will usually find a weak point to enter on the outside of the wall and come in on a weak point on the inside of the foundation.  A lot of times this is a good distance apart so where you see the water coming in from doesn’t necessarily mean this is where the water is coming in from the outside.  Generally, concrete block wall foundations are much more prone to water issues than poured concrete foundations.


Grade of property or run off causing water in your basement


Many times an improper grade can directly or indirectly cause water in your basement.  The property around your foundation needs to grade away from your home.  If this grade is not proper, you may get water in your basement.

Run off from your gutters or other pipes can also cause basement water issues.  This water needs to be diverted as far away from the foundation as possible.  It’s best to run gutters into dedicated downspout lines that carry the water away.  If this is not possible, try and get gutter water 8 feet away from your foundation with splash blocks or extensions.  It’s best to have a basement waterproofing contractor take a look at things, and see what really is the problem.

Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of basement water issues being aggravated by landscaping.   The only part of your basement block, concrete or brick that should be in the ground should have a dampproofing or waterproofing material applied to it.  I’ve seen a lot of homeowners and landscapers build up their flower beds past this damp proofed or waterproofed area of foundation.  This can be done by continually adding mulch every year or just building the beds up too high in the first place.

Contact us for general information about waterproofing your basement in Mentor, Ohio. 440-946-2029

Basement Waterproofing Mentor Ohio 44060 Contractor

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