Causes and Cures of Water Seeping into Your Basement

Flooded house 3D concept

No matter how much effort and expense you put into maintaining order in your home, some things seem inevitable. Like water in the basement. Basements have the perfect conditions for moisture because they are underground. Although there is soil beyond the walls, water can often find a way to sneak in regardless. When this water seeps into your basement, all your hard work you put in to keep your house neat goes to waste. But don’t lose heart, because there are always solutions.

The first thought that comes to mind is basement waterproofing, but that term can be pretty vague. There is a difference between basement waterproofing by the pros at City Residential Foundation Repair, or just buying a crack injection kit at Home Depot and calling it a day. If it is not done correctly, your hard-earned money goes down the drain (unlike the water).

Leaky Basement Causes

First things first, why does water leak into basements all across Ottawa?

  • If the water is more noticeable after it has rained, then the culprit is likely rainwater seeping in through the walls or basement floor.
  • The older drainage systems in Ottawa had storm water run-offs connected in them. Notice an overflowing toilet too? Then this is probably the cause. Dial the plumber because you need to upgrade.
  • If the season is dry and the basement is not, it could be the pipes in your walls that are the problem. A plumber will better understand and do the job.

Basement Floor, Walls, and Ceiling

Before you look for solutions, you need to identify where exactly the problem is; the floor or the walls. For this there is a simple trick. Take a plastic sheet and cover the entire basement floor with it. Make sure you seal everything perfectly. Let it sit for two weeks and if the floor is damp, that indicates the floor is the problem. If not, then you know you need to get the walls checked. Easy and straight to the point.

Now again, you have two problems. The water could be seeping in through the walls or the ceiling of the basement. If it is the walls, the solution is simple. You could go for an interior weeping tile system. But if it the roof, then there is a larger issue at hand.

First you need to notice a few things to determine why there is leakage. The slopes outside the house on your property could be slanting towards your house, directing the water to the foundation of your house and encouraging water to seep in. Or there could be an issue with the plumbing in your house causing a leak.

Leaky Basement Cures

You can do either of the two things once you have the problem figured out. If it is indeed the seeping in from outside, then install an exterior weeping tile system. Otherwise, you can install a French drain. They are both elaborate processes that require the trained hand of a team of basement waterproofing experts. Don’t waste your time and money on a quick fix – get it done once and get it done right.



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I would have no hesitation in recommending City Foundation. They fixed up my foundation last summer and although the old house produced a few surprises, the professionals at City Foundation got around the problems cheerfully and completed the work. From the start, Chuck kept me informed of all of my options. If I asked for something not already in the plan, he would try to accommodate me if at all possible Chuck and his colleague Don were friendly, and respectful. They showed up every day, put in a solid day's work and always left the property clean, neat and safe for us to move around. And, the price was fair with no surprises. Great guys, good job!

- Jennifer A 5/30/2015

Excellent service, friendly

We had Chuck and his team repair a crack in our cold storage room - they were punctual, neat, and friendly. The job was completed very quickly with great results. Would definitely hire them again and recommend them to friends.

- Janet M. 5/26/2015

Good job!

Chuck did a very good job. He promised to be finished by a certain date and he was good to his word. He kept me informed of his progress through pictures sent to my email account while I was at work. My backyard is nicely landscaped and there was no damage or debris left in my yard - just a new window well and no basement leaks.

- Kathryn T. 4/14/2015

Can't say enough about the workmanship of Chuck and his crew. They assessed the problem(leak in the foundation) quoted me a price, booked appointment, showed up on time and did a very professional job.The work site was cleaned up to the point it was hard to tell there had been any serious digging at the site. If I have similar problems with my foundation they will be the first people I will call!! I would not hesitate to recommend Chuck and his crew if you have foundation problems that need repair. Duncan Hardie

- Duncan H. 4/12/2015

Professsional and Polite

My experience with City Residential was very positive. I had a crack on my foundation and knew we needed it fixed. They came in and addressed the situation and did the work cleanly and professionaly. Our property was kept nice and tidy during the repairs and they worked safely during the work. Its been a few years now since the work and no issues whatsoever. I will be using them again once we decided to fix a few areas around the garage that they pointed out would need fixing someday. Very happy and positive experience.

- Chris L. 4/6/2015

Foundation Crack (back) and Drainage (front)

The foundation crack at the back was difficult to get to and difficult to dig out. The work was done well and on time. the drainage trench at the front was also done very well and on time. I hope I don't need Chuck again but if I have foundation, drainage issues, he will be my 1st call. bc

- Barry C. 3/30/2015

This is a highly professional company with reliable, honest service. Chuck, the owner, came exactly when promised, took the time to listen to my concerns, explained the problem in an easy to understand language, described in great detail how it could be fixed, and what was - and what was not - necessary. Chuck and his team's attitude and service were at all times very honest, courteous and highly professional. Although I needed to be out of town, there were no surprises or additional costs, and everything was left tidy and clean. Chuck even followed up a couple of days later to check if everything was all right and done to my satisfaction. All in all, I was very impressed with the quality of work and the services received and would highly recommend the company.

- Beate A. 3/30/2015

City Residential Foundation Repair

Chuck Naish and his team from City Residential Foundation Repair were excellent to deal with in every aspect. Their level of integrity throughout the entire process was outstanding. They were honest, respectful and their ability to explain the process and the solution options were extremely helpful to us. The scope of the project was big, however Chuck walked us through every step of the way; assessment, testing, options and repairs which resulted in a very successful outcome. In addition, Chuck and his team were able to complete the necessary repairs with minimal impact to our newly completed landscaping which included a lot of hard scape, tiered armour stone, gardens and a pool. They kept the work site impeccable over the duration of the project. We have and will continue to highly recommend Chuck Naish for his very professional and skilled foundation repair work.

- Annette and Rick B. 3/8/2015

My experience with City Residential was great. Chuck was very friendly and very easy to deal with. I especially appreciated that he was able to come by and do the estimate in the evening when I was off work. They did the work exactly as they said they would, no surprises (which in my mind is the most you can ask for). I was really surprised by how clean they left everything in the evenings and when the job was complete. They will definitley be the first people I call if I ever need more foundation work.

- Charlie A 3/2/2015

Weeping Tile system replaced

We are very please with the work that was done. It was always a pleasure to speak with the owner and explain to him what was going on. Although we found the job to be pricey, it is impossible for us to determine if it was adequate or not at it's hard to compare to others. He ran into several problems at my house while doing the job and he took it upon himself to call the City at two different occasion so they could do some testing before he could go on. Safety was very important for them so they took all the necessary precaution so that no one could get hurt or fall into the hole that were done all around the house.

- Gisele P. 1/29/2015
10 Reviews
90% Would Recommend