As a homeowner, it is important to maintain your home and repair it when problems arise. Water in your basement from a leaking foundation or backed-up sewer pipes can be due to a large problem, but with the right knowledge and help, you can get them easily resolved. Here are some tips to help you remedy two types of moisture-related basement problems.
Sewage Coming Up Basement Drains
Sewage coming up into your home's basement is usually caused by a blockage in your home's sewer line that extends out to the city sewer connection. Depending on the age of your home and when your sewer line was installed, your sewer line may be made of a material that has deteriorated.
Many types of sewer lines were installed through the 1800s and 1900s that don't last well. For example, Orangeburg pipe was commonly installed beginning in the 1940s until the 1970s as a home sewer pipe, but unfortunately these pipes only last an average of 50 years. Other sewer pipe materials, such as clay and cast iron, are not durable enough to last the 100 years or more they may be put into use.
When the pipe materials break down due to tree root growth, when they become brittle with age, or when they collapse from the weight of the soil upon them, this can cause sewage to back up and flow into your home through a floor drain or other basement drainage area. The first step you should do to remedy this problem is hire a plumbing professional to inspect your sewer line and determine what has caused the back-up, then clean out the line. Your plumber can inspect the interior of your sewer main with their camera to determine what type of sewer line you have, its condition, and what has caused the clog.
Often, if you have large trees growing in your yard over where your sewer line is buried, tree roots will seek out the nutrients and moisture inside your sewer line and enter to begin growing inside the pipe through the tiniest opening. Your plumbing professional can clear out the tree roots, but you will continue to have plumbing clogs as the tree roots regrow inside your sewer pipe. A more permanent repair will include replacing the old sewer pipe with a new, long-lasting PVC sewer pipe. Talk to your plumber to find out options for completing this repair and your expected investment, or go to sites on residential plumbing services to learn more.
Moisture Seeping Through Basement Walls
Water leaking into your basement walls, through its foundation, and through hairline cracks in the wall can often come from an over-saturation in the soil around your home's foundation. Too much water in the soil around your foundation can be caused by several factors, including a high water table; an excess of recent wet weather; a nearby river, stream, or lake; and a roof drainage system that is not working properly. All of these situations can cause a high water pressure around your home's foundation, causing the water to flow into your home's foundation via any small opening available, as it finds the path of least resistance.
There are several ways to remedy this problem, such as waterproofing your basement's interior, installing an internal floor drain with a sump pump, or installing an exterior French drain around your home's foundation. As a more simple remedy and one that may correct the moisture problem, you can check the condition of your home's roof gutter drain system for leaks and have it repaired.
Check your roof's runoff during a rainstorm or run your garden hose on your roof to see how the water drains. Make sure the water draining from your roof during wet weather does not fall directly on the soil around your foundation but rather is diverted away from your home. Watch where water drips from the eaves and gutters. Also look at your downspouts that leak or drop water next to your foundation.
After you find any roof drainage problems, hire a contractor to make the corrections or make them yourself. It is recommended to divert roof runoff with a downspout diverter at least five feet and up to ten feet away from your home's foundation. You can install an extension yourself that you can buy from a local home improvement store. Also, make sure your landscaping soil is graded so it slopes away from your home's foundation with a six inch drop for every ten feet of soil.
Use these tips to help you keep your basement dry from sewer and foundation leaks.