What Causes Water In The Basement?

Heavy rains and improperly-channeled roof water can oversaturate the soil surrounding your home’s foundation. When the external drainage system surrounding the base of your foundation walls is functioning properly, this water will be diverted safely away from the foundation. The problem with external drainage systems is that they not only collect water, but they also capture fine particles of soil called silt. It may take 6 months. It may take 6 years, but external drainage systems have one thing in common—they will eventually clog. When this happens all that water has to go somewhere and thus will often pool up underneath your foundation walls, which is called a false water table. This can create basement leaks or floods. When drainage systems clog during heavy or steady rains, rainwater can also dam up above the external drainage system and start to press in against your foundation walls. This is called hydrostatic pressure, and it can eventually cause your foundation walls to crack or bow, enabling water to penetrate through your wall and into your basement.

What Are Some Signs That I Need To Waterproof My Basement?

Sometimes, knowing you have a leaky basement isn't as intuitive as finding a puddle of water in the middle of the floor. However, the other signs that you need to waterproof your basement can be just as easy to identify if you know what you're looking for. Some common signs of a basement that's in need of waterproofing include: 

  • Condensation on cool surfaces
  • Groundwater leaks
  • Standing water
  • Wall discoloration
  • Efflorescence (white, chalky powder) on walls
  • Wall cracks
  • Mold or mildew
  • High humidity
  • Musty odors
  • Continuously-running dehumidifier
Does Waterproofing Increase the Value of My Home?

Yes, basement waterproofing can increase the value of your home by as much as 10%! For a $200,000 home, that's at least a $20,000 increase in home value. When selling your home, you're required to disclose any water or structural issues—you’ll likely have to seek repairs or risk a 10–15% loss in home value. By addressing water problems before placing your home on the market, you aren't only protecting your home for yourself and future homeowners, but you're also increasing your return on investment.

How Much Does it Cost To Waterproof My Basement?

Costs can vary greatly depending on the linear footage of your basement/basement walls and the specific issue your home is experiencing. At AquaGuard, we provide free, no-obligation basement waterproofing quotes to help you invest wisely when the time comes.

Does AquaGuard Guarantee Their Work?

We offer industry-leading warranties through our national manufacturing networks—Contractor Nation and Groundworks—the nation's largest basement and crawl space waterproofing and structural and concrete repair networks, respectively. We serve as the exclusive, authorized dealer across Metro Atlanta and North Georgia for these networks, and all of our 30+ products and systems are nationally-backed by fully-transferable warranties—in most cases for the life-of-the-structure (your home and our business). Furthermore, we proudly employ a fully-dedicated Service Department that handles any post-installation/warranty issues that may emerge. You can rest assured that with us you're in good hands.

What Materials Does AquaGuard Use to Waterproof Basements?

Our basement waterproofing system utilizes a 20-mil thick, 7-layer polyethylene material reinforced with polyester cord. This 100% waterproof, inorganic vapor barrier resists the growth of mold and mildew. Its mold-resistance is also reinforced by an anti-microbial protection additive called UltraFresh.

How Long Will It Take To Waterproof My Basement?

Typically, basements can be waterproofed with our services within 1–3 days, depending on the size of the area being repaired and the scope of work performed.

Why Should I Waterproof My Basement?

Basement waterproofing is one of the most important investments you can make in the safety and value of your home. From the protection against structural damage to the prevention of mold, waterproofing your basement is beneficial in many ways. Some of the top reasons you should waterproof your basement include: 

  • Peace of mind (tired of dealing with the frustration of pulling the shop vac out every time it rains or being afraid to go on vacation in case it rains)
  • Resale value (can increase the value of your home by up to 10%)
  • Usable space (wet, moist, humid or moldy basements are not healthy, safe or functional)
  • The problem will only worsen (and repairs will only become more expensive) over time!
How Does AquaGuard Know Where The Water Is Coming From?

Our system design specialists do a thorough inspection of the inside and outside of your home to assess the source of your water intrusion issue. We can quickly determine if you're dealing with a plumbing leak or water penetrating from the outside. The specific entry point can always be determined, though the source is sometimes harder to identify. This is because concrete is porous (so the walls can allow water in) and water will inevitably enter your basement through the point of least resistance (cracks, floor/footing joint, etc). Regardless, waterproofing issues are always caused by either oversaturated soil or a high false water table. Because water can always spread and create a new entry point, it's important to address, at a minimum, the entire wall that's allowing water into your basement, rather than a singular entry point.

How To Tell If A Basement Waterproofing Problem is Serious?

Unfortunately, basement waterproofing issues will only worsen over time. If your external drainage system has already clogged, there's no guarantee if or when that issue will become more severe due to heavy or extended rains. Therefore, if you spot any of the common signs or symptoms associated with basement moisture penetration, it's definitely beneficial to schedule a free evaluation sooner than later. Your issue may be minor and therefore be less expensive to repair than major issues. We hope it is. You may have no issue at all, or it may just be a plumbing leak. If that's the case, we'll tell you that, too. No matter what, if you’re experiencing any kind of basement water problem, at least invite a professional out to take a look. Don't wait for your issue to get worse to find out the problem is serious!

Is There Anything I Can Do Myself To Keep Water Out Of My Basement?

As a homeowner, the biggest thing you can do to keep water out of your basement is investing in a high-quality basement waterproofing system. The second is becoming knowledgeable of what causes basement flooding and the signs of basement water problems. This allows you to address issues before they become problematic (like bad gutters or improper yard grading). Every home with a basement is built differently, but the reality is that there are essentially only two types of basements—those that leak… and those that are going to leak.

What Can I Expect During An AquaGuard Waterproofing Inspection?

We offer a free foundation or crawl space inspection for any homeowners experiencing a problem! Our inspections can be done during the week or on the weekend—whichever works best with your schedule. Our thoroughly trained and certified inspectors will visit your home and complete a full inside and outside evaluation of your foundation. Everything we find will be documented in an inspection report that is shared with you once the inspection is complete. We will explain any issues that we find, as well as explain all the options for repair relative to the project at hand. We’ll answer any questions you may have, including the pros and cons of each solution based on your goals. Finally, we’ll choose a solution together, print it out and leave you with a comprehensive written estimate. If you choose to go forward with the repair, aside from a small deposit that holds your installation date, the balance is not due until the work is complete. 

We understand that even if you don’t need our services right now, if we serve you right, you’ll remember us when you do. That’s why we value integrity, timeliness, and professionalism throughout our inspection process.

In response to COVID-19, AquaGuard is now offering virtual appointments. To learn more, visit our Coronavirus Precautions page. 

How Do I Know If My Leak is Caused by A Structural Problem?

Although it is not always indicative of structural failure, the most tell-tale sign of structural damage due to basement water penetration is foundation wall cracks. Wall cracks can occur in multiple ways and often tell a definitive story about why and how they cracked. For instance, stair-step or vertical wall cracks often occur as a result of differential settlement. Differential settlement typically results from rainwater funneling underneath your foundation walls, washing out, and eroding the soil below, leaving voids. Void-laden soil simply cannot support the heavy foundation walls that sit atop it, and thus the walls will start to crack and shift or settle down into the void. Another common cause of foundation wall cracks is hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure can push against your foundation walls, resulting in horizontal or diagonal wall cracks. Over time, these cracks will widen, and your walls may start to buckle, bow or shear. This is a major structural issue, as total wall collapse can occur if your walls are left untreated.

Do I Have to Waterproof My Entire Basement?

Not necessarily, though water will always find the point of least resistance. In most cases, unless it's a simple crack injection, which can be explained by your System Design Specialist during an in-home evaluation, it's important to waterproof an entire wall, at a minimum. Many basements only require one wall to be addressed, but the safest way to ensure your basement is permanently protected against water issues is to install a full perimeter system.

How Will AquaGuard Waterproof My Basement?

At AquaGuard, we use a combination of waterproofing solutions, offering the most complete basement waterproofing system. Basement drains, vapor barriers, dehumidifiers, and sump pumps work together to ensure you home is protected against every cause of basement water problems. Our patented BasementGutter system has waterproofed more linear feet of homeowners' basements than any other residential waterproofing product in the world. For more about our basement waterproofing process, visit our Basement Waterproofing System page.