Ever wondered why your basement leaks after a heavy rain like we have seen recently in the Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi areas? In this post, we will address basement water problems and look at the solutions we offer at Affordable Foundation & Home Repairs. If you find yourself asking or searching for answers to questions such as: Water leaking into basement after heavy rain, how do you waterproof a basement, what causes a leaky basement, leaking basement block walls, what is a basement sump pump? Search no further, we have answers to your questions, as well as, solutions for the basement water problem you are experiencing. “A recent in-depth study of basement water leakage problems by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) revealed that most builders involved in basement construction have encountered basement leakage problems at some point in their work.” Here at Affordable Foundation & Home Repairs aka The Crack Guys we are the licensed and insured experts you can trust to help you navigate your basement water problems. The NAHB report also noted that  “The most frequent reported cause of leakage was improper control of surface water from rain or melting snow.” Given that the weather in Alabama the last two weeks has consisted of several inches of rainwater and some snow, it is no surprise that we are seeing a rise in basement water leaks and problems. The good news is, there is a reason many homeowners in Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi have been seeing rather high amounts of water in basements. “Since storm water seemed to initiate the greatest number of leaks, it appears that tile drains often do not carry the water away as fast as storm water collects, thereby allowing a hydrostatic head to develop.” (NAHB). To understand how water reaches basement levels, it is important to understand soil types and characteristics, as this plays a large role in the construction of homes.

Water in Basement
Basement Waterproofing

How Does Soil Affect a Basement?

It is not un-common for homeowners in Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi to notice that their basements leak. “… presence or absence of clay or fine organic soils which are relatively impervious to water penetration. If this type of soil is present, surface water cannot penetrate readily down-ward and conditions likely result in basement leakage problems are much more likely to prevail.” (NAHB). According to USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Soils – the Alabama region has 7 major soil areas consisting of similar types of soil. Soil areas include; Limestone Valleys and Uplands, Appalachian Plateau, Piedmont Plateau, Coastal Plain, Blackland Prairie, and Major Flood Plains and Terraces are all areas of which we service for Basement Waterproofing. These areas mostly consist of Red, Clayey soil types, as well as various loamy soils. Clay or clayey soils generally retain water, this is due to the small particles of clay type soils thus water molecules can hold tighter to these particles. Loamy soil types generally also retain water as well. Since water can cling to these soil types, and basement walls are surrounded by soil, this explains how water can build up in these areas.

Soil Surrounding Basement

Understanding how a Basement is Constructed 

When a basement is constructed, it generally begins with a footing and block installation. There are two types of basement construction; Footer with slab system and Monolithic slab. A footer with slab has a poured footer with a block wall. The load of the house is carried to the footer. The concrete floor in the basement is non-structural. Alternatively, in a monolithic slab, the entire construction is poured at one time and the load of the home is carried on the slab of the structure. When water sits and pools on the exterior of a basement wall, it causes hydrostatic pressure.

Correct and Most Effective Basement Waterproofing Solutions 

At Affordable Foundation & Home Repairs, we offer two solutions, one for each type of basement construction, to help manage basement water problems. Each of these solutions includes boring holes through the basement blocks, in order to relieve the hydrostatic pressure from exterior water. “The NAHB study indicates that one of the most important factors in preventing leakage is the use of a design to prevent hydrostatic head build up outside the basement walls by providing weep holes through the wall to a point beneath floor slab that affords positive drainage…” (NAHB). Water from the weep holes, travels through the drains into a basin, where the sump pump is located. The water then pumped to an exterior pop up emitter that is located away from the structure. “It is recognized that in some communities local laws prohibit connection of sumps, downspouts, footing drains and under-floor basement drains to sewers. If this is the case, a drain or pump to the surface is suggested.” (NAHB). Furthermore, “…provide a sump with an access opening through the basement floor.” “An automatic float or pressure-actuated sump pump can be installed which goes into operation when the water level in the sump reaches a point several inches (9*) below the bottom of the basement slab.” (NAHB) (9* = 50 millimeters). “The correction of leakage in a completed basement is most frequently achieved by providing a positive means of releasing water from outside the walls to a point beneath the floor slab, along with the provision of a sump with a pump.” (NAHB). Basement waterproofing is a great solution for solving basement water problems.

Basement Water Weep Holes

Call the Basement Waterproofing Experts at Affordable Foundation and Home Repairs

Finally, basements with water problems or leaks in basement walls can get worse over time. Water that continually pools around basement walls, will begin to push and weaken structural basement walls. Water intrusion in a basement can also lead do mold and fungus growth and also ruin finished basements and belongings. Call the experts today at Affordable Foundation and Home Repairs – “The Crack Guys” for a free basement evaluation.
Basement Waterproofing


National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), (n.d.). “NAHB looks into basement water leakage problems”  https://www.concreteconstruction.net/how-to/site-prep/nahb-looks-into-basement-water-leakage-problems_o. Accessed 7 Feb. 2020.