Water seepage and leaks can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars damage to homes, apartments and commercial properties each year. The key to preventing damage from getting out of hand is to notice the signs and find out what is causing the problem as soon as possible. Troubleshooting the problem as soon as it is noticed is the important.
Signs of Water Seepage
Signs of water seepage can be subtle or extreme depending on the type of problem and where it is located. While moisture can build up over time and cause mild damage to occur, seepage can wreak havoc on a home in a relatively short amount of time. Possible signs of water seepage include:
- Dampness on floors, walls or ceilings that starts small and continues to spread
- Small trickle of water that appears to flow from a small crack or crevice in the wall
- Dripping from fixtures or ceiling
- Small spray of water from areas where water pipes are known to be
In the beginning, signs may be relatively small. Catching them before they begin to spread will help you lessen the degree and severity of any damage.
What Causes Water Seepage
Water seepage can be caused by a variety of issues. A few include:
Water being forced into the basement because the ground is saturated from heavy rains.
Poor drainage caused by improper downspout evacuation.
Clogged window wells that have no way of draining.
Poor drainage away from the home caused by little to no downward slope or grading.
Higher than normal water table rising upwards due to heavy rains or run off from melting snow.
Deteriorating seals around bath tubs, showers and sinks.
When looking at a property it is important to know if water issues may occur due to lack of drainage or poor construction. If you know where problem areas may be located, it is easier to troubleshoot them if problems eventually arise.
Causes of water seepage can be due to the deterioration of existing materials or poorly constructed features made with poor quality materials. If you are dealing with issues in a new building, it is important to rule out construction in the first few steps. Making sure all pipes are secured and properly tightened will help to prevent any water leakage.
Troubleshooting the Problem
Troubleshooting any type of water problem means finding the source of the water, correcting the problem and then making sure it doesn’t happen again. Finding the source of the water is fairly simple. In most cases, it involves tracing the path of the damage back to its origin and looking for various problems along the way. Solving the problem can be a little more difficult.
When drainage away from the home is a problem, creating small channels or attaching downspouts that extend away from the basement walls may help.
In areas where humidity is a problem, using a waterproof, oil-based paint will prevent dampness.
If drainage problems are severe, you may have to install a pressure relief system that is capable of pumping excess water out of the basement to an irrigation system that will help it drain away from the basement walls.
When the source of the seepage is a leak or break in the building’s interior plumbing, it is important to repair the leak by replacing any parts that have worn away or are broken, making sure all joints are sealed tightly and the plumbing is correctly placed to avoid bending or crimping.
Just as with plumbing, gutters and downspouts should be thoroughly checked for weak areas or defective materials, replacing each when they begin to show signs of rust or breakage.