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Why Are My Basement Windows Leaking?

Are your basement windows leaking? Leaky basement windows can be quite an issue, especially if your basement is otherwise finished. Water leaking in can dampen carpet or get on belongings and lead to all kinds of issues. So, Let’s sort out the cause of your basement windows leaking and then find the solution to fix it.

Condensation Vs. Infiltration

The first thing we have to determine about your basement moisture problem is whether it’s caused by condensation or infiltration. You may not realize it, but poorly installed windows, or those that have been installed for many years, can cause enough condensation buildup to appear leaky. This is because old windows lose their insulation over time, allowing the cold, outdoor temperature to draw moisture toward the window from inside.

On the other hand, some windows are working perfectly fine and are just getting overloaded with water. Water pooling against a window is enough to make any window leak. That’s when water infiltration happens, leaving you with a stream of dirty water pooling into your basement. Yuck!

Ground Level

To figure out whether you’re dealing with condensation or infiltration, you should start by knowing where the ground level is. If the ground is above the bottom of your window, there’s a good chance it’s infiltration. However, the easiest way to check is to see if the inside pane of the window is wet. Swipe a hand across the top of the pane. Is it damp? Fogged up? If so, you might just need to lower the moisture levels in your basement, or consider replacing the window to improve insulation.

If the top of your window pane is dry, you’re almost definitely experiencing a leak. Even better signs are visible water pooling at the window or witnessing the leak in action. However, there’s no reason to wait until the next time it rains to take action.

Window Well Waterproofing

If your window is leaking due to water flowing toward it from the ground level, the best solution is window well waterproofing. Fortunately, window well waterproofing is a simple procedure that will stop basement windows leaking and keep your home dry, as intended.

Window well waterproofing is as simple as digging some of the soil out from in front of the window, putting down a drain, attaching your new drain to an outflowing pipe, and then covering the drain in gravel, to keep out debris.

Window Replacement

Some leaky basement windows continue to have moisture problems because they also have condensation issues. If your window is frequently collecting moisture, this is an easy way to develop mold. Old windows that don’t insulate enough to keep away condensation should be replaced when possible.

Dehumidifiers

If you’re not keen on replacing the windows in your basement, you can also invest in a small dehumidifier. This will suck the moisture out of the basement air, making condensation harder to accumulate, even if the insulation of the window is poor.

If you’ve got questions about window well waterproofing or other basement waterproofing procedures, give us a call at POM Waterproofing. We look forward to hearing from you!

How Summer Rain Can Damage Your Foundation

Did you know summer rain can significantly damage your foundation? We want to break down the hows and whys for you so that you can use that knowledge to protect your home from an early retirement. Keep your home in good shape by staying knowledgeable about summer rain and its effect on your foundation.

Erosion

The first way summer rain can hurt the integrity of your foundation is by erosion. This is an issue in any season with rain, but can’t be discounted in summer. When rain water seeps into the ground around your home, it will run toward your house and collect around the perimeter of your foundation. 

However, what many people don’t realize is that ground water doesn’t just sit still. It will continue to flow, taking the slowest route further down into the ground. What this means is that it will continue to flow against the side of your foundation, eroding away the cement or stone supporting your home. Never underestimate erosion. Canyons and valleys are created by a continuous flow of water eroding the ground away, and it can wreak just as much havoc on your foundation.

Crack Widening

While ground water is eroding your foundation, it isn’t just settling for the outside of it. Water also seeps into the cracks in your foundation. You would be shocked if you knew how much water can fit inside of cracks that are barely visible to the naked eye. As water flows through these cracks, they erode away more of the stone, widening the cracks and making them even easier to fill with water. That means, each year, summer rain can exponentially wear away at your foundation.

Expansion and Contraction

Water getting into the cracks of your foundation doesn’t just lead to erosion; it also leads to expansion and contraction. Summer days are often extremely hot – after all, that’s what it’s known for. However, when the rain comes down, it cools everything off. That means, throughout the season, your foundation will go through a series of temperature changes – sometimes sudden – which leads to expansion and contraction of the cement or stone its made of.

The foundation itself isn’t the only thing expanding and contracting; the water in the foundation cracks is too. It’s because of this that erosion is the least of your worries. When water repeatedly expands and contracts within the cracks of a foundation, it creates new cracks, and can even split the foundation. Moreover, when enough cracks form in a foundation, even something as simple as rain expansion within the cracks of the foundation can cause it to split.

When a foundation splits, the different parts are able to move separately from each other. This can lead to one part of the house sinking below another. Even a few millimeters of this can cause structural damage and put stress on the house’s supports. If you notice doors shutting differently at different times of the year, or small hairline cracks in your walls or window frames, your foundation may already be struggling.

Exterior Basement Waterproofing is the only surefire solution to prevent rain damage to your foundation. Call us at POM Waterproofing if you’re interested in learning more about the process or scheduling an appointment today.