Basement Water: How’d It Get There?

Water in Iowa and Nebraska Basements

At one time or another, just about every homeowner in Nebraska and Iowa has had to deal with water in their basement. It’s been reported that 98% of all homes with basements have had some type of water problem.

wet basement

Although a wet basement is a nuisance, it rarely causes any structural damage. Many times, the only problems that occur with water in your basement is to any items stored down there or, if your basement is furnished, there may be water damage to furniture, flooring, or drywall. Musty odors are a sign of mold and mildew growth, which can be a health hazard aside from just being unpleasant.

As stated earlier, wet basements are one of the most common problems homeowners report, but the good news is that it also one of the most preventable. If you have water in your basement, the first step you need to take is to determine the source of the moisture.

An external source of wetness can come from surface water. This is from rain or snow and is in the top four feet of soil. Another origin outside your home is groundwater. This includes underground springs and high water tables. These usually are found from the ground surface to below the basement floor. Inside your home, you may have condensation from high humidity or a leaking pipe.

How To Prevent Water in Your Basement in IA and NE

Now that you know where the source of wetness is, you can move on to figuring out when it occurs: is it only after heavy rain or snowmelt? Is it only in one area of the basement? As you start putting the puzzle pieces together, you can begin to figure out the cause. Is it near a driveway or a clogged gutter? Or are there pipes or drains in that area?

It may be easy to find the source of your leak, or you may have to do some detective work both inside your home and around the foundation. Water is going to take the path of least resistance. The cause may be a downspout on the corner of the house that isn’t draining correctly. The water isn’t entering the home until farther down the wall through a low spot or crack. If you cannot determine the exact source of your water, you need to call Jerry’s Waterproofing.

Standing Water in Your Basement

Standing water in your basement is a very clear sign that the foundation is leaking, but there are other signs to look for that may be a bit more subtle. As mentioned earlier, musty odors and signs of mold or mildew are a sign that there is too much moisture in the area.

You may notice dampness in carpeting, or even water stains if the fabric is light in color. If the floor is not carpeted, you may notice dampness around any cracks that may exist. If you have furniture in your basement, you may notice rust on the feet of your couch or table. Rusty nails or electrical boxes are flags that you need to dry out your basement. Lastly, many different types of insects are drawn to moisture. If you find any water bugs in your home, you have a problem. Nebraska and Iowa have several different kinds of bugs like these.

So now that you’ve determined that you have a water problem, what do you do? At this point, you may need to hire a professional to come to inspect your home and determine the best solution. This is especially true if it deals with your foundation or plumbing. If the problem is improper grading or a damaged foundation, you will need an expert like Jerry’s Waterproofing to bring your property back to its original dry condition.

Condensation problems can be solved with a dehumidifier or wrapping pipes to reduce humidity in the air. Cracks and damaged foundations need to be repaired by a professional. They can install the correct interior or exterior drainage system that is appropriate for your situation.