How to Fix Basement Wall Crumbling

How to Fix Basement Wall Crumbling

If your basement wall seems to be crumbling, it’s a sign that you need to take immediate action. Basement wall crumbling may seem minor at first – just some small bits of sediment found at the base of the wall. However, if left unmanaged, you may soon find larger pieces of stone or cement that have fallen away from the wall. What causes this? How do you fix basement wall crumbling? Let’s take a look.

Water Erosion

The short answer is that basement wall crumbling is caused by water erosion. Where is the water coming from? The answer is: probably outside. You may not ever see the water with your eyes, but it’s there. Even in homes without basement moisture problems, water can leak through the wall, eroding the cement or stone, and then evaporate when it reaches the interior. When that happens, it does damage to the wall without you ever seeing it.

Exterior Moisture and Water

Exterior moisture and water do two different things. If you’re noticing basement wall crumbling, but not any leaks, you probably just have damp earth around your basement walls. The moisture in the soil erodes away the cement or stone walls. However, if you’re noticing leaks in the basement, or a layer of damp on your basement walls, you likely have water pooling against the walls. 

Soil that’s more wet than damp means higher likelihood of basement leaks. This water sits against the basement wall, searching for a way in. When it finds one, pretty immediately, it will push its way through, damaging the walls very slowly and then invading your home in the form of a leak.

Exterior Basement Damp Proofing Vs. Exterior Basement Waterproofing

When the soil around your home is damp or wet, you’re presented with two options: exterior basement damp proofing and exterior basement waterproofing. The trick is knowing the difference.

Exterior basement damp proofing is meant to prevent moisture from slowly eroding your basement walls from the outside. Exterior basement waterproofing is a bit more extensive and is meant to handle higher volumes of water. This is great for houses in particularly wet areas or located at the base of a hill.

Avoid Repair from the Inside

Many people may be tempted to repair their stone or brick basement walls from the inside. After all, that’s where the walls are accessible. However, you shouldn’t try to fix basement wall crumbling by patching holes and cracks from the inside. It can actually make the problem worse.

This is because water is coming in from outside. If you patch the walls from the inside, water will still continue to get into the walls. However, with no place to escape, once it’s in the walls, it will stay there and damage them from expanding and contracting. Have you ever left an empty flower pot or bucket out in the rain? If you didn’t empty it and bring it in by winter, the water may have frozen and broken it entirely. When water freezes into ice, it expands. If this happens to the water in your walls, you can imagine how much damage will be done to your walls.

Call POM Waterproofing

If you need to discuss the possibility of future damp proofing or waterproofing for your basement walls, call us. We can talk you through the process and give you a price estimate to help you with budgeting.