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How do I find a Basement Leak behind a Finished Wall – MA, RI, NH & CT

Joseph Coupal - Friday, March 07, 2014

Residents of MA, RI, NH & CT often create more living space in their homes by finishing their basement. With this common practice of finishing basements, the disappointments of foundation leaks can appear from time to time, especially after a snow melt or heavy rain.

With a leaking foundation your first concern is to dry out the basement in order to prevent mold, mildew and dry rot. The next step is to find where the water is coming in from. Put on your investigation hat and grab your x-ray vision glasses to find were the foundation is leaking from. The most common sources where a leaks occur is on outside wall, under a water pipe, sewer pipe, conduit, near or under an electrical panel, near a chimney or near the utility room.

If the water leak started near an outside wall, go outside and look in that area on the exterior of the foundation that is above grade, to see if there are any imperfections or wall cracks. The next step is to run a garden house on the ground for 45 minutes and turn it off for 15 minutes. Have somebody in the basement to check for the water leak while you run the garden hose. You may need to do this process two or three times to allow the water to percolate down. If this creates a foundation leak you have two choices. The first choice is expose the crack or imperfection by digging and area four feet on each side of the crack and four feet behind and in most cases 6 feet deep. The second option is to remove the sheet rock, panel, and/or insulation to expose a foundation crack, leaking tie rod, addition seam, or a leak between floor wall seams. By removing the sheet rock or panel, this is also a good way to check if there is any mold on the opposite side of the sheetrock or paneling. These foundation imperfections and leaks can be repair by a foundation repair professional.

If you notice the leak near your electrical panel, chimney, sewer, or conduit, continue running the garden hose on the exterior of the house for 45 minutes and tuning it of for 15 minutes on the exterior of the affected area. Repeat this process for 2 more times and constantly check to if you have a basement leak. A good way to know where these areas are on the exterior, is to use a window as a point of reference to measure were you should put the hose.

If the water appears to be coming from the utility room area, run the garden hose on the exterior wall. Since most utility rooms are unfinished, look at the wall for foundation cracks or rust marks. These rust marks are most likely from tie rods that are leaking. If after the hose test you still don’t see water, check for plumbing leaks from your furnace, condensate pump or hot water tank.

If the water appears to puddle in the middle of the room, this could be to a concrete floor crack or void between a lally column and the concrete floor. The puddle could be due to leaks someplace else and running under the flooring to this area because foundation floors are not level.

Some leaks are easily detected by simply opening up a finished basement wall. However, some leaks may be more difficult to detect and will take experience and knowledge from a professional to pinpoint were the water is coming into your basement. Contact A-1 Foundation Crack Repair Inc. today and speak to a live basement waterproofing professional.

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