If there is water pooling in the corner of your basement, begin by cleaning your gutters and extending your gutter downspouts. This will help water drain further from your foundation, which will prevent water from coming in through the basement walls. If water continues to seep in, add a drainage trench around your house. Then, repair any visible cracks or missing mortar in your basement walls. Follow up by painting your basement walls and floor with waterproof sealant. Finally, place a water sensor in your basement to monitor for future water infiltration.
Is a Little Water in Your Basement OK?
Even a small amount of water leaking into a corner of your basement is a cause for concern. Moisture infiltrating your basement can cause black mold, which has the ability to spread into the rest of your house. Mold can cause health concerns for your family, as well as expensive damage to your home. So, any water leaking into your basement means it’s time to fix the problem.
- Any amount of water in your basement can cause serious damage.
- Leaky basements often lead to mold infestations in the entire home.
- Immediately check for signs of water damage in your basement.
- Follow a plan to eliminate water infiltration right away.
If you’re not sure how often your basement leaks or how bad the damage could be, check out our guide to detecting water damage in basements. By looking for further evidence of water damage, you may be able to determine how frequently the basement lets water in. You could also find out if your basement is at risk of flooding entirely.
5 Things to Do to Eliminate Water in the Corner of Your Basement
If you have found water leaking into your basement, it’s essential to act quickly. However, you want to solve the problem the simplest way, as well as save money along the way. Here’s how to waterproof your basement effectively:
Repair Gutters and Downspouts
Water collecting near the home’s foundation is a major cause of basement leaks. Often, this is caused by overflowing gutters or short downspouts. Both of these result in water gathering in the soil near the foundation, which then leaks into the basement. Luckily, this problem can be solved quickly and cheaply. Begin by cleaning your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris. Inspect your gutters and downspouts for damage. If they are loose, secure your downspouts against the wind.
- Water draining close to the house from gutters and downspouts can leak into your basement.
- Clean your gutters to prevent overflow from soaking the soil near your foundation.
- Repair and secure any damaged gutters and downspouts.
- Install these downspout extensions so water drains at least 3 feet (1 meter) from your home.
Once you have cleaned your gutters, inspect your downspouts. The downspouts should empty water onto the ground at least 3 feet (1 meter) from the foundation. If your downspouts empty right by your foundation, this could be the cause of basement leaks. Add downspout extensions so rainwater will drain further from your home. This step alone can stop basement leaks in some cases.
Consider a French Drain
If water continues to pool around your home after rain even after you have extended the downspouts, your home may need increased drainage. The best thing to do is to dig a french drain around your home to collect and divert water. To do this:
- Review our step-by-step guide to digging a drainage trench.
- Dig a drain all the way around your house.
- The drain circling the house should be 3 feet (1 meter) from the foundation.
- Add a leg of the drain that runs downhill, to carry captured water away from your foundation.
- Terminate the downhill leg of the drain in a dry well or a pond.
If you don’t feel up to the task of digging a drain around your home, contact a local drainage contractor for a quote. A french drain circling your home is an excellent way to capture water and divert it away from your foundation. Once your drain is complete, the soil near your home will lock in less moisture. This results in fewer basement leaks.
Inspect and Repair Basement Walls
Damaged basement walls can create a leak or make an existing leak worse. Inspect the walls and floor in the leaky corner of the basement. Search for cracks in walls and floors. Inspect closely for chunks of missing mortar between the blocks of your basement walls. If you spot any problem areas, repair them with these steps:
- Use this hydraulic cement to make watertight basement repairs.
- In a bucket, mix the powdered cement with water until it reaches the consistency of putty.
- Scoop out a portion of the mixed cement with this trowel.
- Pack the cement into the crack or mortarless joint.
- Use the edge of the trowel to smooth the cement so it is flush with the surrounding surface.
- Allow 5 minutes for the concrete to set.
When using hydraulic cement, clean your tools immediately after you’re done making repairs. This will prevent the cement from drying and bonding with the tools. Always wear gloves when working with cement and follow all manufacturer guidelines for its use and storage.
Seal Your Basement
Waterproofing your basement is essential to prevent water from leaking again. Before you begin, it’s essential to repair your exterior drainage and patch your walls. If water is still saturating the ground near your foundation, it may still allow condensation to form on sealed basement walls. So, take the time to repair your gutters and downspouts. It is also essential to fully repair the walls within the basement with hydraulic cement. Waterproof sealant can’t fill cracks that let in water. Once you’re ready to seal your basement walls, follow these steps:
- Purchase a waterproof basement sealant, like this high-quality option.
- Paint the sealant onto the walls using a paint roller with 1-inch nap.
- Use a wide brush to paint the sealant evenly on rough areas of concrete.
- Allow 24 hours for the sealant to dry.
- Paint the floor with the sealant—you can use the same tools.
When painting basement floors, begin at the furthest point from the exit, then work toward the exit. This way, you can leave the basement without stepping on wet sealant. Wait 24 hours for the sealant to dry before walking on it. Painting the floors and walls with sealant ensures that all moisture is locked out.
Install a Water Sensor
Once you’ve taken steps to keep water out of your basement, use a water sensor to make sure your work is effective. This water sensor from Vivint is excellent. It detects standing water, as well as high moisture levels that indicate a leak. The best part is, you don’t have to remember to check it. You’ll get a notification to your phone if the sensor detects a problem.
- Place an automated water sensor on the ground in the corner with the water leak.
- Use a smart water sensor that links to a home security system.
- Best-in-class water sensors automatically notify you of standing water.
- The Vivint water sensor also notifies you of high moisture levels that could cause mold growth.
You can install a water sensor at any point during this process. This way, you can go one step at a time with your basement repairs and stop once the leak is solved. Contact Vivint today for a smart home quote that includes water sensors. That way, you can rest easy knowing your basement is leak free. Plus, in the event water does leak in again, you’ll be notified before there is any damage.
- Preventing flooding with water leak detection.
- Identify leaks and standing water before major flooding occurs.
- Instantly notifies you if water is detected in an area it shouldn't be.
- Built-in temperature control to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
How Do You Fix a Wet Corner in a Basement?
To stop water from leaking into a corner of your basement:
- Clean your gutters and extend your gutter downspouts.
- Dig a french drain around your home.
- Use hydraulic cement to repair cracked basement walls and missing mortar.
- Paint the floor and walls of your basement with waterproof sealant.
- Place an automated water sensor in your basement, to detect future leaks.
These simple fixes will waterproof your basement, prevent mold from invading your home, and make your basement a more usable space.