How to Fix a Leaky Basement Quickly


How to Fix a Leaky Basement Quickly

It’s a three-day holiday weekend – and it’s raining. 

Along about Sunday afternoon you get bored with TV and the internet and decide to wander down into the basement just in case there’s something interesting to do down there.  You flip on the light and head down the stairs…and things get really interesting really quickly.

There’s water in the basement!  A growing puddle is spreading across the floor and soaking into all those boxes you’ve been meaning to move to the garage.  Quickly, you slosh through the puddle, grab the boxes and move them to high ground.

Returning to the basement, you fire up the wet/dry vac and start cleaning up water but it quickly becomes apparent that you’re fighting a losing battle – the water’s seeping in faster than you can clean it up.

Better find help fast, so you make a call to the basement waterproofing contractor and make an appointment for an inspection and estimate but what you do until they can get there?

Waterproofing a Basement Quickly

It is beyond the skill level of all but the most experienced do-it-yourselfer to actually complete basement waterproofing work and even they would find it difficult to source the necessary materials.

There are however, a few things that a homeowner can do to prevent basement seepage or to prevent it from getting worse once it has already occurred.  Most won’t completely correct the problem but they are good things to do while waiting for the pros to come to the rescue.

Clean Gutters – The water that is coming into the basement during a rainstorm is getting there by soaking into the soil around the foundation and anything that adds water to that soil makes the problem worse.  Gutters along the edge of the roof are intended to capture rain water that runs off the roof during a rain and carry it to downspouts.    If the gutters weren’t there, the water (approximately 600 gallons per 1000 square feet of roof in a 1 inch rainfall) would pour off the edge and land on the ground right next to the foundation where it would soak in and end up in the basement.

When gutters are clogged with leaves and debris, they might as well not be there at all because water will run right over the top.  Keeping the gutters clean and running will reduce the likelihood of water in the basement.

Extend Downspouts – Even with completely clean gutters, the chances of getting water in the basement are increased when they lead to downspouts that dump water right next to the house.  Even temporary downspout extensions from the big box store are better than nothing as long as they extend at least 10 feet from the foundation.  The best permanent solution is an underground downspout extension that flows to a bubbler pot or dry well and should be installed by a professional.

Clean Window Wells – Another source for water in the basement is around basement windows caused by flooded window wells.  A properly designed and installed window well should have a drain at the bottom that may lead to interior or exterior drain tile or out to daylight.  If an uncovered window well fills with trash or other debris the drains can become clogged.  Cleaning out window wells to allow drains to run freely can be very helpful in keeping water out of the basement.

If the window wells don’t have drains, talk to the basement waterproofing contractor about installing them and about putting on proper covers to keep the grass clippings, leaves and other matter out of the window wells.

Of course, once the basement waterproofing contractor does arrive, you want to be sure it’s a company that will solve your basement water problem quickly, permanently and at a reasonable cost.  At U.S. Waterproofing, we’ve taken thousands of calls from panicked homeowners and have solved basement water problems for more than 300,000 customers since our founding in 1957.  Why not ask for our help and free advice?


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