Ask a Plumber: What To Do When You Find Water in Your Basement?

Anyone who’s lived in an older home knows that basements have a tendency to leak when it rains. And anyone who’s lived in a really old home knows that basements tend to flood when it pours. Unfortunately, because your new house didn’t come with an instruction manual, many homeowners aren’t sure what to do when they find water leaking into the basement.

Do you have leaking pipes or a problem with your foundation? Is it time to start frantically Googling emergency plumbers near me, or can you just ignore the problem until it stops raining? Water in the basement could be caused by anything from frozen pipes to clogged gutters, and the solution to your wet basement woes will depend on the source of the problem.

So, before you call for emergency plumbing services, here’s some do’s and don’ts for homeowners with a leaky basement.

Water in basement floating furniture

Do: Figure out immediately where your leaks are coming from.

The minute you find water leaking into your home, make sure to determine its source. For instance, if your basement only leaks after it rains, then you probably don’t have a plumbing problem. Otherwise, try to rule out other likely causes like leaking pipes, water heater problems, or burst pipes. If you don’t know where to start, contact a local plumber right away.


Do: Look into the different waterproofing solutions available to you.

There are different waterproofing techniques you can use depending on your home’s structure. Typically, the three most common methods include interior sealants, drainage via sump pumps, and exterior foundation sealing. Speaking to a professional can help determine what is the best option for your situation.


Don’t: Let water stand stagnant in your home.

Unless you’re taking a bubble bath, there should never be standing water in your house, period. It is incredibly important to dry out your home after it has been flooded not only to cut down on potential mold growth, but to prevent any foundation cracks. Remember, mold can grow and thrive even when you cannot see or smell it.


Do: Clean your gutters regularly.

The source of your basement flooding might not have anything to do with your pipes or plumbing services. Many basement leaks actually start on the roof. Make it a habit to clean out your gutters at least once a month. This way dirt and debris won’t cause a clog that can lead to water spilling out and pooling around your foundation.


Don’t: Plant too close to your foundation.

The roots of your plants can cause a buildup of pressure around your foundation, leading to tiny cracks that can be hard to see. Plus, wet soil can lead to stagnant water infiltrating these cracks, causing them to get larger and more of a risk. As a rule of thumb, the soil around your home foundation should slope at least six inches for every 10 horizontal feet away from your foundation.


And if you are looking for quality plumbing services in Old Tappan or throughout Bergen County, contact our professionals today. We will be able to tune up your pipes, fix any cracks and leaks, and keep your home as dry as possible!