Skip to Main Content
IBA Crew installing Basement Waterproofing

Basement Waterproofing

Water is an essential part of life. But other than coming out of faucets for specific needs, you do not want water in your house. This powerful element and force of nature can wreak havoc on your living environment.

Schedule Your Free Inspection

Causes

None of these signs are pleasant to experience, and there could be several reasons why your basement and the rest of the house has these problems. But something at the heart of many of these issues is the ground on which your home was built.

The soil underneath and around your house, as well as the health of that soil, has a tremendous impact on the structure.

There are many kinds of soil throughout the country and the world, but there are three basic ingredients that make up soil and its texture – silt, clay and sand, as well as a combination of any or all them. NASA Earth Observatory maps show how much of these ingredients can be found across the country. Faster-draining sandy soils can be found in southern states. Clay soils that hold onto water and silt soils that tend to have intermediate drainage properties are found across the country.

The West North Central region that includes Minnesota, North Dakota and eastern Montana has a good mix of all three. You can find out specifically what soil you are dealing with by searching your address through the Web Soil Survey from the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. 

A very large hole had to be dug in the ground to accommodate your home’s foundation and its construction. Once the foundation floor and walls were built, a gap remained between the walls and the rest of the earth. The soil that was dug out was then replaced or “backfilled” to fill that gap.

This backfilled soil is loose, fluffy, and not as dense compared to undisturbed soil on the property. This allows water to collect in the soil immediately surrounding the house and create a “clay bowl,” as well as put pressure on the walls. 

This constant force exerted on the walls by saturated soil is known as hydrostatic pressure. When this force becomes too much for the walls to handle, they will begin to crack and bow inward. Water can easily find its way in through any cracks and openings, and your home’s structural stability also is at risk.

The backfilled soil around your home will settle over time, and it can sink towards your foundation at a sloped angle. Ensure the ground around your home’s foundation has proper grading and slopes away from the home, not toward it. It should be at least one inch per foot for six feet. Draining water in the wrong direction can cause it to accumulate next to your foundation, contribute to hydrostatic pressure, and eventually seep into the basement. This is likely to happen when you don’t compact the fill dirt around the foundation.

Mother Nature can be unpredictable at times, and Minnesota, North Dakota, and eastern Montana all see their fair share of wild weather. Heavy rainstorms can dump a lot of water on the ground with nowhere to go, and wintertime snow melt results in runoff water. All this water can then find its way inside through saturated soil and wall cracks.

A footing drain was installed just outside the foundation walls as your home was constructed to help keep water away. But this drain can easily clog and allow water to collect by the walls. 

Similarly, if you have clogged or above-ground exterior drainage pipes, water can easily puddle next to your home and find its way inside any crack or gap in porous block foundation walls. Above-ground downspout conductor lines also are tripping and safety hazards, so placing these lines in the ground and directing them far away from your home is the best way to keep water from downspout conductor lines out of the house.

The best basement waterproofing method involves interior drainage, and a reliable sump pump is at the heart of this system. Many sump pump systems are installed with metal basins placed in the floor. They typically have lids that rest on top of the basin as well as openings for discharge pipes. Some may not have lids at all, rendering them ineffective troublemakers. The metal basins can easily rust and corrode, and partial or nonexistent lids allow water to evaporate back into or flood the basement. This leads to unpleasant odors and moisture issues that defeat the purpose of the sump pump in the first place. Debris and other items also can easily fall into the system and damage the pump if the sump pit is not completely covered.

Resources

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

IBA new map

We service Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Eastern Montana for basement waterproofing and crawl space repair.

FARGO, ND

1330 41st St. N
Fargo, ND 58102

MINNEAPOLIS, MN

6265 Carmen Ave

Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

RUSH CITY, MN

1325 S Frandsen Ave
Rush City, MN 55069