Building An Addition: A Homeowner's Guide

Check These Potential Water Sources Before Assuming Your Basement Isn't Waterproof

by Toni Richards

If you've just gone downstairs to find water in your basement anyway, don't assume the worst yet. There are many possible causes of water in your basement that you should look for. If you find these, you can stop the water flow, but if these causes turn out not to be the problem, then it's time to have the waterproofing checked by a company like State Wide Waterproofing.

Plumbing and Sewage Pipes

If there are any plumbing or sewage pipes that run down past the basement, check them for leaks. Look for streaks and drips; check for additional water damage right by the pipes. Note that while a sewage leak should smell, it might not necessarily smell if it's very gradual and you don't have a sensitive nose.

Also check the walls for specific wet patches and see if there's a pipe in the wall right behind the patch. If you don't have the plans to your house, you may have to call a plumber, or you could try calling a waterproofing service that can investigate what is in that section of the wall.


If there are windows in your basement, look at the tracks and weepholes in the frames. Rain can get in through the weepholes and splash over the frame into the main room. Technically, any water that gets into the track should drain out through the weephole, but in strong wind and rain, water can be blown inside instead. If you notice that happening, you can get plugs for the weepholes at home improvement stores, or use some steel wool to block the main flow of water and wind. Be sure to mop up any water stuck in the window frame tracks.

Water Tables

If your basement is in an area with a relatively high water table, the rain you get can make the level rise. If the sump pump in your basement isn't working -- or worse, you never installed one, there's your problem right there. Get the sump pump fixed or installed and see if the problem stops quickly. If it doesn't, then you should have a waterproofing service come and inspect the basement.

Once you've figured out the cause and fixed it, you should still call the waterproofing company back just to inspect the walls one more time. It's best to have that closure that shows you the waterproofing really is doing fine.