Fixing a leaking basement: What you need to know about wet basements

British Columbia isn’t referred to the “Wet Coast” for nothing! Vancouverites know rain, and Vancouver contractors know waterproofing.


A wet basement has many negative effects, ranging from serious health concerns to structural damage. It’s important for homeowners they take water leaks very seriously, as even a small leak can lead to major damage.


A flood in your basement can lead to more or larger cracks in your foundation cement, weaken your foundation, and cause mold to form.


Common causes of wet basements include:

  • Leaking pipes

  • Improper sealing/landscaping around the foundation

  • Crumbling or cracking foundation from hot/cold weather

Can water come up through a concrete basement floor?

Yes. Overtime, improper water drainage can erode soil under your foundation and cause tiny cracks in your concrete that can get bigger over time with summer expansion and winter contraction.


It’s important to inspect your basement and foundation for leaks every few years to ensure your home is safe from unseen water damage!


How do you fix a wet basement?

Unfortunately, a wet basement can affect more than just what’s on the surface. Subfloor, drywall, and insulation are commonly affected by prolonged moisture and leaks. Fortunately, there are solutions and ways to prevent wet basements.

  • Exterior Waterproofing: excavating and exposing the foundation wall to check for leaks and seal with waterproofing and route drainage lines away from your home.

  • Interior Waterproofing: installs a foundation wall vapor barrier membrane and then create a drainage system that directs water to a sump.

  • Polyurethane Crack Injection: inject in an expansive resin that fills cavities and creates a flexible seal.

  • Drain Tile: Pull excess water away from your foundation from the outside.

These options should be done by a professional, to ensure your foundation is properly supported. Learn more about Wallace Underpinning’s services for Wet Basement. For any emergencies or ongoing leaks, make sure you contact a plumber right away.


If you notice leaks, floods, or sewage problems, make sure you contact your municipality (like the City of Vancouver) via their 3-1-1 line. https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/problems-with-leaks-floods-and-sewage.aspx


Is waterproofing a basement worth it?

Absolutely! Many homeowners’ insurance won’t cover damages from water leaks. According to Coverage.com, “one of the biggest reasons why water leak claims get denied is because the damage is found to be gradual.” This can cause homeowners to pay out of pocket for complete basement repairs.

On average, Vancouver gets 2351 mm (or 92.6 inches) of rain each year. Imagine any of that entering your home on a regular basis!


See a recent wet basement waterproofing project that we did to learn more about how easy it can be to repair your leaking basement: https://www.wallaceunderpinning.com/new-westminster-wet-basement

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