Cracks Between the Basement Walls and Floor – Why and What to do

There are a few reasons why you could have a crack or space between your basement walls and floor. The below guide refers to the two most common causes and what you should do to fix them.

Hydrostatic pressure

Hydrostatic pressure is when water is being forced downwards. The further down the water goes, the more pressure that it builds. If it is pushing up against your home, it can cause significant damage.

What it looks like:

If you think you have a foundation problem and you see signs such as small cracks in the walls or bowed walls, you may have a hydrostatic pressure problem. Some of the major warning signs include:

  • Water is entering your basement
  • Water is pooling in your lawn
  • If you dig a hole in your yard, you see a lot of water
  • Other homes in your neighborhood are having the same water problem as you
  • You ruled out other water problems such as cracked walls and foundation problems
  • What to do:

    Depending upon where the water is coming from, you may have options. The easiest and cheapest waterproofing method is to apply a sealant to your walls. However, this is often just a Band-Aid and will not fix the root problem.

    If you live at the base of a hill and have water pooling by your home, the best way to fix the problem may be to install a French drain. If water is pooling around your home after a rainstorm, you may need to install new gutters to divert runoff. However, waterproofing experts can help you find the source and make a plan.

    For more information on hydrostatic pressure, read our other blog HERE.

    Cove Joint

    Some homes have a cove joint because of the way that the foundation of the house was poured. When a foundation is laid, the walls and floor are poured separately, creating a small space between the two.

    What it looks like:

    A cove joint may look like a visible gap between the walls and floor, or it could be so small that you only see the water entering through the split.

    What to do:

    First off, do not immediately try to seal off the cove joint. Doing so would only be a short-term fix. In most cases, hydrostatic pressure is pushing water through the crease. Therefore, if you cover the cove joint from the inside of the home, the pressure will push it out of the way to continue to enter your basement.

    The more efficient way to waterproof your cove joint is to install a drain tile system underneath the basement floor. Most of the time, a drain tile system is installed from the inside of the home. This requires the floor to be broken up, removed, and then repoured after a sump pump is installed. However, there are options to do it from the outside of the home too.

    Call the Professionals

    Diagnosing basement water problems isn’t always easy. Many factors need to be considered, such as location, time of year, damage, and the issue’s source.

    Ark Basement Services is your Erie and Pittsburgh, PA experts here to solve your basement water problem. Contact us today for a free estimate.