Why is Water Coming into my Basement?

Saturday, June 20, 2020 - 2:45pm
Common Reasons Why Water is Coming into Your Basement
water restoration fargo This post was written with the expertise of Big Fish Cleaning & Restoration, a company that provides Water Restoration in Fargo, North Dakota.

Owning a house can be pretty stressful. It is not like the good ole colleges days where you are living in an apartment and you can just call the building supervisor when you have a problem and let them just deal with it. Nope, you have to deal with it yourself when it’s your own home. So, something such as waking up to a flooded basement can be a dreaded experience.

If you are anything like me the first thing I do when I encounter a problem is to figure out what exactly caused it. In the case of water in your basement, I immediately rack my brain to figure out what could be the culprits. I will tell you a few, to save you some time and get that problem identified so you can move onto finding a solution.

The most common causes for water in your basement are:

  1. Moisture Bulid Up
  2. Leaky Pipes
  3. Slow or Sagging Crawlspace
  4. Frost or Freezing
  5. Overflowing Toilet
  6. Flooding from Outside Sources
  7. Poor Design for Exterior Drainage

Moisture BuildUp

It is not a secret that moisture collects in the ground below us and with your basement is located underground which means that it is surrounded by moisture all the time. This makes your basement a possible area to experience water seepage.

Thankfully, if your home was built in the last 50 years or so, chances are that the builder was smart enough to put a significant amount of effort into waterproofing your basement so that your home will remain dry permanently. Sadly, this is not always the case and you may run into some problems.  

Common Causes

According to Aquamasters, these are a few of the most common reasons that you are having a water problem:

  1. Drain Issue: Your drains could be clogged or may have collapsed. If this is the case, then they will need to be either cleaned or repaired. In some very cases, your drains may have been covered by carpet, laminate, or hardwood flooring which will have caused water from the backed drain to seep up from below the flooring.
  2. Leaking Pipes: Water pipes in your house are concealed behind finished walls. If one of those pipes has a leak the water can very easily travel down the wall and pool below a finished basement floor which causes the water to seep up from the flooring.
  3. Ground Water: Rainwater is absorbed into the ground, when there are high levels of rain or when the snow melts and the ground will become saturated with water. This water is under a huge amount of pressure and can easily find its way into your home through the basement floor or walls.
  4. Over Walls: If your home has poor drainage, rainwater and snow water can enter your basement from the top of your foundation walls. Therefore, it’s recommended to opt for professional drainage and excavation services to build a drainage plan that can divert rainwater away from buildings into proper groundwater channels.
  5. Construction Holes: The holes left during the time of construction increases the chances of water entering into the basement. If there are any cracks in your foundation, they can also form channels for water to enter.
  6. Floor Cracks: Pressure from the water beneath your home can cause cracks in the basement floor, which leads to water coming up through the basement. This pressure is due to poor drainage and dirt soil. If you have water in the basement after the rain has stopped, then it may cause floor cracks.
  7. Sewer Lines: Sewer pipes can let water into your basement in several different ways. Whether your sewer line goes through your foundation floor and wall, the seal may weaken over time and allow water in. The joints between your drain pipes and your main sewer line may also wear out, allowing wastewater to seep into your basement.

Most Likely Culprit 

According to DryEffect, the most probable explanation for why the water is coming up from your basement floor is because of groundwater. Water seeps its way through the soil surrounding your house and pushes up against your basement floor and walls where the hydrostatic pressure is greatest.

At times of high water saturation in the ground, the water will find its way into your house through the smallest and easiest access points. This can include cracks in your floor, cracks in the wall, and even though the floor itself. Especially if you have a basement floor that is made up of concrete because concrete is porous and allows water to soak through it.

What to do now?

It isn’t much you can do if your basement is flooded already. This is too big of a problem someone can just handle by themselves. So, I recommend calling a plumber and see from there.

How Much Does it Cost to Waterproof Your Basement?

According to HouseLogic, there are some things you can do to make sure this doesn’t happen and you’re not in for a bigger crisis. This would be to waterproof your basement. Basement waterproofing cost generally between $1,920 to $6,320 or between $3 and $9 per square foot if materials and labor are being used. If the interior basement repair doesn’t require excavation, then it will cost around $500 to $1,500, and if there are large extensive repairs with drainage and foundation issues, then $10,000 or more are required. It will be worth it.


Water coming up through your basement floor or walls is not only annoying, but can also be extremely costly. You can’t typically prevent water damage in your basement, but there are things that you can do to make sure what happened to you doesn’t happen again. Waterproofing is the best thing you should do after the recent flood on your basement floor. So, if you want to avoid this happening in the future, make sure you bite that bullet and spend money on waterproofing. It’s the best investment you’ve ever made for your house!

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