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Wet Foundation Walls in Your Home

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

Many homeowners assume that wet foundation walls are normal, expected, and not a problem. Whether your home has a crawlspace or basement, wet foundation walls are not a good sign. Learn more about the impact of wet walls and what to do about it from the waterproofing professionals at Aqua-Guard Waterproofing. 

Are Wet Foundation Walls Bad?

Wet foundation walls are not a good sign. Whether it is a basement or crawlspace, moisture inside can have devastating effects. Even if you believe the water is minimal and should not be a concern, know that if you are seeing visible evidence of water on your foundation walls, there is likely to be much more water that you can’t see. 

Being proactive about even the smallest amount of water now can save you money, time, and stress in the future through the prevention of water damage in your home. 

Effects of Moisture in Your Basement or Crawlspace

  • Mold mildew and fungus affect the air quality you breathe in the living spaces of your home above.

  • Degradation of the floor joists, utility systems, wiring, pipes, and any personal property stored in your basement or crawlspace

  • Higher humidity which means higher utility bills due to poor efficiency of your HVAC systems

  • Overall degradation of your foundation walls themselves

  • A stinky musty unpleasant odor that will rise into your living spaces 

  • Sticking doors and windows and sagging uneven floors

  • Cracks in your walls and/or ceilings

  • Poorer health for those living above due to the humidity, mold, mildew, and allergens from the wet foundation walls

How Does the Water Get Inside the Foundation Walls?

When your home’s foundation was built some waterproofing measures were put in place such as footer drains that run along the exterior walls and an exterior waterproofing coating. In a perfect world, exterior footing drains would function properly for the full life of your home and water would be efficiently diverted away from your foundation. Over time, these waterproofing measures fail as they age, degrade, and your home settles and shifts. This is when water begins to invade your basement or crawlspace walls. 

Wet Foundation Walls can be Caused by: 

  • Water pressure against the structure entering through cracks and weak points in the foundation. These cracks are often caused by the natural expansion and contraction of concrete.

  • Malfunctioning footer drains that cause excess water under the footer that forces water up inside your foundation

  • The natural seam where your footer and basement walls meet during the pouring process of your foundation. 

  • Cracks in the degrading waterproof coating on the exterior of your foundation

Why Don’t You Waterproof the Exterior of My Home?

To install new footer drains or repair current ones around the exterior of an existing home would require removing driveways, sidewalks, HVAC systems, and anything else around the exterior of the home. After the waterproofing work is done, all those things must be put back properly. For most homeowners, this is more stress, damage, and work than it is worth (and it is quite expensive) so waterproofing inside the crawlspace or basement proves to be much more economical. Proper gutters and downspouts, french drains or curtain drains, and proper grading are still very important for proper waterproofing of the exterior of the home. 

What are the Options for Waterproofing my Foundation Walls?

There are several options for properly waterproofing your basement or crawl space. Every home is different so an evaluation by a professional waterproofer is your starting point. Our waterproofing experts offer free estimates and a single point of contact. 

Proper waterproofing usually involves several systems working together to keep your basement or crawlspace dry and remedy your wet foundation walls. Proper exterior grading and proper gutters and downspouts are exterior steps to divert water away from your home. Interior curtain drains may be installed to direct water from inside your home. Sump pumps ensure that standing water does not happen. Vapor barriers help to control humidity and dehumidifiers may be needed to keep the level at the optimal settings. 

Some homeowners choose to do crawlspace encapsulation which seals off the entire crawlspace from outside elements and brings relative humidity down. In a similar manner, our complete basement waterproofing system stops all 5 ways water can enter your basement while allowing the space to still be used.

Aqua-Guard Can Remedy Your Wet Foundation Walls

Wet foundation walls should never be ignored. Contact us for a free consultation and free estimate. We offer competitive pricing, a single point of contact, and the highest quality workmanship. Stop water damage before it starts by being proactive rather than reactive in regard to your home! 

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