Most basement water leaks occur when it rains a lot and the ground saturates. So, why would a basement wall crack still be leaking when it’s dry outside? The Crack Daddy, Adam Tracy, explains.
Narrator: It’s time once again for the “Crack Man Podcast” hosted by A1 Foundation Crack Repair. I’m Darren Kincaid here with the Crack Daddy himself, Adam Tracy. Adam and The Crack Man Rich have over 30 years’ experience in the construction industry. Rich as over 25 years as the president and founder of A1 Foundation Crack Repair. This podcasts provides expert basement waterproofing, concrete repair, and preventative maintenance tips for homeowners and businesses. A1 Foundation’s valuable insight will help avert a disastrous flood within the basement, health problems associated with water infiltration, and protect your biggest investment….your home. The topic of today’s podcast: It hasn’t rained in several weeks, so why is my basement foundation still leaking?
Narrator: The topic of today’s podcast: I have a hairline crack in my foundation wall, how big of an issue is it? So, Adam, most of your basement water leaks occur when it rains a lot and the ground saturates. So why would a basement wall crack still be leaking when it’s dry outside?
Adam: Yeah, we had this exact situation come up in Belmont, Massachusetts here, just the other day. We’ve been in a particularly big dry spell here through the month. And as we roll into spring, people are starting to get their lives back in order for outside activities. And we had a customer who was moving a lot of stuff out of his basement, for the outside patios and whatnot. And he said, Jeez, there’s a wall crack here, which he had known about for a while, but kind of ignored like people do.
And there was water coming through there, but it was a bright sunny day and it was no rain for the previous five days and really nowhere in sight coming after that. So, he gave us a call and said my crack is leaking and I need to find out why this is happening. So, of course, we had some major questions for him because it’s been extremely dry and we said well, where do you see? And so he described the crack just as we would normally expect in a poured concrete foundation. It was something that ran vertical from the top to the bottom. It was about a quarter inch wide. Consistent with the settling or shrinkage cracks that we repair, thousands of times a year.
But the question is, why was it leaking when there was no rain before, and no rain after, and no rain during, of course. So we asked them a few questions, well, where was it leaking from? Sometimes during dry spells, particularly in the spring months and then going into the fall months. If cracks are just leaking at the very bottom, it can be associated with a higher water table. So even though we haven’t had a lot of rain, as the ground begins to thaw out a little bit, and we do have the residual snowmelt from upstream sources. Sometimes the water table rises a bit and you can see water coming in through the crack towards the bottom. But this wasn’t the case for this person. So he said, well it appears to be leaking from the top down so I asked him, was it coming over the top of the concrete but it wasn’t. It was actually coming from probably around where ground level was and down to the ground.
So immediately, my red flags went up and said, well, this is a strange situation. So I began to inquire again of what else he is seeing around the lawn and is the lawn extremely saturated and it really wasn’t too bad. He said it was a little more wet in the area where the crack is coming in. So, I asked him, do you have any hoses going on in that area or any leaks from any sort of outdoor water spigot. And he said, no, everything’s turned off still from the winter. I don’t have any water coming out from the sources of the spigot. So on a hunch. I asked him. Did you have your irrigation system dewinterized and turned on? He said, well, you know what, I just had my irrigation system cleared out and brought back into service two days ago. And so, when did you start to see the issues? Well, about right after that. So I said, you know what? I’ll call your irrigation company to find out if there’s any leaks or cracks in the irrigation system that’s causing this and sure enough, they got the irrigation system company to come in. They looked at the water meter and they looked at that there was water flowing through the system, even though all the heads were not falling water and they were able to hunt down a connection that had come loose or broken through the winter time and it was leaking water right next to the foundation.
So even though it hadn’t rained in weeks before and it wasn’t currently raining when it happened, water was coming in and we were able to figure out that it was actually the irrigation system as a source of leak. We’re able to fix that crack. No problem for them. And now even if the irrigation system does leak again, not going to come into his basement.
Narrator: Great information, Adam. Thanks for solving this fascinating mystery.
Narrator: If you have a basement water problem and think you need a professional, or, if you’d like more information on foundation crack repair and basement waterproofing topics, please visit A1FoundationCrackRepair.com or call Rich at (866) 929-3171. Or you can email Rich at email@example.com. Thanks for listening and keep that basement dry.