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Should You Sell a House With a Leaky Basement?

Considering selling a house with a leaky basement? AquaGuard Foundation Solutions offers comprehensive solutions for basement leaks to ensure your home is market-ready!

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Navigating the real estate market in Northern Georgia can be challenging, especially when your home has a leaky basement. You’re not alone, many homeowners in our state face this situation and may feel unsure of what steps to take. This easy-to-understand guide is here to ease your concerns.

Let’s cut to the chase—selling a home with a leaky basement is risky. You likely won’t be able to list your home at full price, and buyers are more likely to turn away from your home if the basement has a water problem. Ultimately, it’s up to you; but in our experience, fixing a leaky basement before selling your home ends up being more worth it in the end.

If that sounds like the step you want to take, AquaGuard will walk you through the process. With this guide, you can ensure the area will be safe and appealing to potential buyers. We know the task might seem daunting, but sit back, take a breath, and let’s turn that wet basement from a potential problem into a selling point.

Why Did Your Basement Flood?

We need to start at the beginning. Unfortunately, there isn’t one simple answer as to why your basement leaks in the first place. More than likely, it’s due to a combination of factors. In Northern Georgia, the most common reason has to do with expansive clay soils absorbing water after rain or snow. Northern Georgia is known for its heavy rainfall, especially in the spring.

When moisture drains into clay soils, they expand in size and end up pushing against the basement walls. This leads to wall cracks, and inevitably, water leaking in through them. Still, there are other reasons water might be in your basement. These include:

  1. Poor Drainage: Improper grading of your property or inadequate gutter and downspout systems can cause water to pool around your home’s foundation. Over time, this water can find its way into your basement, leading to leaks or even flooding.
  2. Foundation Cracks: Over time, foundations can develop cracks due to factors like ground settling, freeze-thaw cycles, or even tree roots pushing against the walls. These cracks can provide an easy path for water to infiltrate your basement.
  3. Plumbing Issues: Leaky pipes, water heaters, or washing machines in your basement can all lead to unwanted water accumulation. Plumbing leaks may be particularly problematic because they can occur regardless of weather conditions.
  4. Faulty Window Wells: If your basement has windows, the wells around them collect water if they’re not properly drained. This can lead to leaks through and around the windows.
  5. Hydrostatic Pressure: This is the pressure that groundwater in the soil exerts on your basement walls and floor. In areas with high water tables or after periods of heavy rain, hydrostatic pressure can push water through even the smallest cracks or holes in your basement.

Get to the Root Cause With a Professional Inspection

You might know exactly what’s causing your basement flooding just looking at this list. But if the cause isn’t clear to you (or you don’t know what to look for), consider contacting AquaGuard to inspect your basement. Our professional team locates the root causes behind basement water damage thanks to specialized training and knowledge.

A professional inspection is the first step to restoring your basement and making the space better prepared for selling. Once that’s complete, you can start installing the necessary solutions to stop basement leaking for good.

How to Stop Basement Flooding

Before any major basement waterproofing work can be done to your basement, someone will need to remove water from the space. If there isn’t too much water, you could do this yourself with a mop and bucket. But if there is serious flooding in your basement, you should get help from a professional waterproofing company; they’ll have heavy-duty tools and resources to properly remove large amounts of water.

That’s just the first step though. Once water is removed, you can start installing waterproofing solutions in your basement. For best results and safety, this should be performed by a trained professional. AquaGuard offers a whole-basement solution designed to keep water out—whether it’s humidity, leaking water, or frozen ice. Here are the best ways to repair a leaky basement.

1. Sump Pump

A sump pump is a crucial device for preventing a leaky basement, particularly in areas prone to heavy rain or with high water tables. It works by being installed in the lowest part of your basement or crawl space in a specially constructed sump pit. Water flows into this pit either through drains or natural water migration through the soil.

When the water level in the pit reaches a pre-set limit, the sump pump activates. It then pumps the water out and away from your home to a place where it won’t cause problems, such as a municipal storm drain or a detention pond. By doing so, a sump pump prevents water from accumulating in your basement—stopping leaks and flooding.

2. Perimeter Drain

A perimeter drain is a key component in maintaining a dry and healthy basement. Positioned around the edges of your basement, it acts as a protective barrier against water intrusion. When water tries to leak inside, the perimeter drain captures it quickly and reroutes it away from your home.

This system is designed to work silently yet effectively, minimizing water-related concerns before they become a problem. With a reliable perimeter drain in place, homeowners can have peace of mind knowing their basement is safeguarded against unwanted dampness and potential water damage.

3. Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers capture moist air and circulate drier air back into the basement. AquaGuard’s dehumidifier removes up to 110 pints of water every day. This process effectively reduces humidity levels, contributing to a drier basement and inhibiting the growth of mold and mildew.

The dehumidifier is a silent workhorse, constantly striving to maintain a balanced indoor environment. By incorporating a reliable dehumidifier, homeowners can significantly enhance the comfort, health, and overall value of their home.

4. Vapor Barrier

Installed on the interior of your basement walls, a vapor barrier acts as a shield. It prevents moisture in the surrounding soil from seeping into the basement. Vapor barriers are designed to capture moisture and direct it into your drainage system, rather than allowing it to permeate your walls or flooring.

This not only aids in maintaining a dry basement, but also in preventing potential structural damage and the growth of mold. Incorporating a dependable vapor barrier is a strategic move for homeowners, enhancing the longevity, value, and comfort of their home.

5. Wall Repair

Wall repair and reinforcement are integral to maintaining a safe and structurally sound basement. This often involves the use of wall anchors, carbon fiber reinforcement, I-beams, and pier systems to stabilize and strengthen compromised basement walls.

  • Wall anchors: counteract pressure from expansive soil or water buildup, securely anchoring your walls to stable soil.
  • Carbon fiber reinforcement: adds a high-strength, low-weight solution to bowing or cracked walls. These straps bond to the wall, providing tensile strength and resisting inward pressure.
  • I-beams: provide more robust vertical support to prevent further bowing or buckling of walls.
  • Pier systems: used in cases where foundation settlement is the problem, providing a stable base for your home and transferring the weight from unstable soil to bedrock or load-bearing strata.

These various waterproofing techniques, when employed together, create a basement that stays dry in the long-term. Not to mention, it makes the entire house more structurally sound, because the basement serves as your home’s foundation.

Investing in these solutions before selling your home will make it more appealing to potential buyers. Plus, there’s a good chance you will make your money back when you sell the home. But always remember to speak with a real estate professional throughout the process.

Only they can give you the most accurate idea of how much you can sell your home for (with our without basement waterproofing). AquaGuard can simply make the basement waterproofing process easier for you.

What if I Decide to Sell Without Waterproofing the Basement?

Look, someone may still be willing to buy your home even if you don’t invest in basement waterproofing options. If that’s the case, you might have to compromise on price and the new owner will take care of the repairs. However, many buyers may be wary of buying a home with basement problems—and the longer your home is on the market, those problems will only continue to get worse.

Wet basements are straight-up uncomfortable. But beyond a humid feeling, basement water damage brings about some nasty problem signs. These include, but aren’t limited to:

Often, these issues appear simultaneously. People touring your home won’t like the sight of these problems in your basement. If things get bad enough, you’ll have to end up spending even more money on repairs than if you had installed waterproofing solutions earlier. That’s the main issue with basement water damage, it never gets better by itself. It’s always better to be proactive about the situation rather than reactive.

Prepare Your Basement for Selling With AquaGuard

How to go about selling a home with a leaky basement is your decision at the end of the day. Obviously, many factors come into play when making the final decision. Consulting with a real-estate agent can give you more insight into whether or not it’s a good idea. Still, we always recommend fixing up your basement before selling your home to get the most bang for your buck.

If you’re looking for a basement waterproofing company to accomplish that goal with, consider working with AquaGuard. We’ve helped homeowners do the same in Atlanta, Athens, and other areas of North Georgia since1995. Contact us today to schedule a free inspection where you’ll receive a same day estimate. Get your basement prepared for the best possible sale, and impress potential buyers with a clean, dry, protected basement!

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