Essentially basements are designed for failure. When builders construct homes they focus on spending money on beautiful things for the home rather than protecting the home from damage later on down the road.
Two essential things keep a basement from leaking:
- A coating on the basement walls
- A proper drain surrounding the bottom of the foundation- this is referred to as a "footing drain"
Wall coatings are very inexpensive; usually builders use a black tar coating called "dampproofing."
- Dampproofing does not seal wall cracks.
- It does not stop water completely
- And it does not have a very long life span.
A giant step up from dampproofing is "Waterproof" coatings. These are a little more expensive, but include more protection. They last much longer than dampproofing.
Footing drains are plastic pipes with slits or holes around the outside of the footing or at the bottom of the walls. Crushed stone is installed around these pipes and then the soil around the home is pushed over the drains. Many issues arise with footing drains (usually because they are not installed correctly):
- These drains to not drain anywhere- meaning, water sits inside of them, creating a lovely feeding site for mold
- If they do lead somewhere, usually it is blocked, clogged, or crushed to the point that nothing can exit