Depending on the reason that your basement is wet, a sump pump may be the answer but this won’t be known for sure until the cause of the dampness is investigated. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation estimates that over fifty percent of Canadian homes have some degree of basement dampness. Left uncorrected, moisture can lead to dangerous mold and mildew and even cause structural problems over time.
Causes of Wet Basements
In wet weather, water may enter a basement through cracks in the foundation walls or through window wells. If eaves, troughs and downspouts deposit water too close to the foundation, this may also allo
w water into the basement.
Another common cause of wet basements is a high water table. The height of the water table will vary with the season. If the dampness in your basement is caused by a high water table, having a sump pump and proper foundation drains will help to divert the water before it becomes an issue.
Moisture problems may also be the result of a damaged or blocked foundation drain. If the drainage tile or pipe has been plugged or crushed, it should be repaired or replaced.
Perhaps the most unpleasant cause of basement wetness is a sewer backup. A backed up sewer can not only damage personal belongings which you may have stored in your basement, but it can pose a health risk as well as the water carries bacteria and other pathogens. Backwater valves should be installed in order to prevent sewage from coming through fixtures into your basement.
Sump Pumps and Floor Drains
As discussed earlier, sump pumps are fixtures for diverting water resulting from a high water table away from the home. The device is a small pump which is usually installed in a sump pit or on a pedestal at the lowest part of the basement or crawlspace.
Before reaching the sump pit, water will make its way through dirt and coarse gravel and into weeping tiles. The weeping tiles then allow the water to drain into the sump pit to then be pumped away from the house.
Basement floor drains divert standing water to insure that basements do not flood. Because basements are underground they frequently experience large amounts of standing water. Floor drains can help minimize potential damage to a home’s structure due to this excess moisture.
This alternative underground drainage system consists of a trench dug along the side of the foundation of your home, around 2 to 4 inches deep. A drainage pipe is installed and covered over with gravel and top soil. As basement water collects it is channeled through the pipes and out of the house.
If you have a wet basement you could consider both a sump pump and a floor drain to waterproof your house. The perk of a floor drain is that it channels water directly to the sump pit which then pumps the water out and away from your home. This is a quicker process than a floor drain alone.