What To Do If You Have A Basement Leak
Call A Water Proofing Contractor like The Basement Waterproofing Guy, the Sooner You Call The Sooner Someone Can Come Out
During a heavy rain most water proofing contractors are swamped with calls. Appointments may start out the same day but as the rain and calls continue, it could be 1, 2 even 3 weeks before someone could be available to see you. If you can’t find an available qualified technician right away, here are some important tips to help you minimize damage to your property.
First, move all your personal belongings and furniture away from the path of water. Beware, in our experience, most Insurance Policies DO NOT cover damage from what is considered seepage from ground water, all the same, call your insurance company, the problem could be sewer back up, sump failure or a broken water line or even the roof. It is important to control and dry up the water as soon as possible.
If this is your first Basement Leak, the problem could be coming from an outside wall area. If this seems to be the case then you need to try and keep the water away from the outside area adjacent to the leak.
Find The Leak Inside Your Home
Start by establishing a point of reference from inside the house such as a window, fireplace or hydro panel. Take measurement from that point to where you see the water inside (you can step it out with your feet if need be). Using that measurement, go outside and measure off from your point of reference. Look carefully at the area between the brick or siding at ground level, you may see a crack in the wall rising out of the ground; this is probably the most common source for the leak.
Minimizing The Leak Outside Your Home
If the ground area around the leak is flat or slopping toward the house, you will need to increase the grade. Use some earth (not gravel, water will flow right through gravel) from another area of the yard and pack it on the ground wall area where the crack is visible. Grade the ground away from the crack (do not raise grade above brick or siding). Grading the earth away from the house is not a permanent solution; it will only minimize the problem until a professional waterproofing guy could fix it permanently.
You could also lean plywood, a tarp and/or plastic against the wall and slope it away to deflect most of the water from the area. If the water is coming from an area below the Hydro Panel, you can follow the same procedure. It is quite common for water to seep through between the Hydro Conduit and the Foundation wall.
If you don’t see a crack or any other possible entry point, look above for Window Sills, Patio Doors, Side Doors and sill. If you don’t see anything then raise the grade and cover area with tarps and plywood etc.
If the water is coming from an area where there is a window below grade with a window well, check for a water line on the window to see if it has filled with water recently. Sometimes window wells do not have adequate drainage. Again, build the earth up around the well and cover the affected area.
If the well is presently filled with water, you’ll want to lower the water level using whatever you have on hand, pails, cups, shop vac etc. you can try poking it with a bar to free up the drain. Then again, cover the area to keep water away until it is repaired.
Remember Insurance companies do not usually cover damage caused by this kind of problem.
Minimizing The Leak Inside Your Home
Next or at the same time as you are trying to divert water from outside, you should control and dry up any water on inside your home. If the water is everywhere and you have extensive water damage, you should call a professional restoration company such as: Service Master, First on Site, Winmar, Strone Restoration, Concord Restoration or Paul Davis Systems. These companies that have been around for some time with a proven track record, but there are others. If the water is confined to a small area, dry it up as soon as possible with towels, sponges or shop vac then use fans to remove the remain moisture.
If You Have Carpet
If you have carpet on the floor and it is not glued down, it is important to roll it back and get air flowing under the carpet, otherwise try drawing the water up with a shop vac. You can rent carpet fans at most rental companies.
To pull the carpet back, use a pair of pliers and grab hold of the carpet at the wall area (starting in a corner is best). Push in and pull up carefully, the carpet is held by a smooth edge (a small wooden strip with small nails slightly sloping back toward the wall). After you pull the carpet back you usually find an under pad. You can cut this out if you wish, take it to a laundry tub and squeeze it like a sponge to try and get the water out. Then hang it to dry somewhere. Or you can put the carpet fan between it and the carpet then blow it.
If you still see water seeping out from below the base board you can keep it at bay with towels (it is important to keep the towel away from the base board) in most cases the water seeps out from below the finished wall without damaging the dry wall or base board. If the water soaks into the carpet or towel and the carpet or towel is touching the baseboard it could cause the water to wick up and wet the baseboard and drywall. Most drywall is raised up at least ½” above the floor. So if water continues to seep under the wall the damage will be minimized.
Remember, because it’s most likely not covered by your insurance company, the more you can do to minimize the damage the better off you’ll be, call The Basement Waterproofing Guy at (905) STAY DRY (782-9379) if you have questions or concerns.