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Why Sealing Basement Wall Cracks Doesn't Stop Leaks

Basement waterproofing is often an expensive and time consuming process, a process that can be quite daunting to most homeowners. When a basement starts leaking from cracks in the walls, it is quite common for the homeowner to attempt to avoid dealing with the contractors and construction by giving it a go himself. The most common “at-home” fix is to fill the wall’s cracks with some sort of epoxy or resin. If a crack is leaking and it’s filled up, the water should stop, right? Not exactly. Here is why simple patch jobs are not effective at stopping basement wall leaks.

It is important to first look at the root causes of basement wall leaks, and they are all related to the soil around the foundation. When a basement is built, the dirt that was removed to allow for it is then filled back in. This replaced soil is often loosely compacted: nowhere near as firm as the untouched soil around it. During periods of rainfall, water gradually seeps down and saturates the soil. After a while, the soil becomes so full of water that it begins to expand, creating great amounts of hydrostatic pressure on the basement’s foundation walls. Over time, this pressure creates cracks in the wall, and water begins to pour in whenever more rain arrives.

Why Sealing Basement Wall Cracks Doesn\'t Stop Leaks - Image 1

Patching surface cracks may stop water for a short while, but the pressure from the soil cannot be contained so easily. This pressure will eventually cause water to break through the resin and flood the basement when the homeowner least expects it. Over time, new cracks will also form, and the leaking problems will persist. To make it simple, cracks cannot be permanently patched and leaks cannot be totally stopped. They can, however; be almost completely mitigated by patented a Woods Basement Systems product.


The simplest and most effective way to stop water from plaguing a basement is to install a WaterGuard french drain system. These gutter-like drainage pipes are put in place underneath the floor at the base of the leaking walls. Whenever water drips down those walls, it flows through tiny open slots in the flooring and goes straight into the WaterGuard drains before it can ever make it into the space itself. Because these drains are installed underneath the floor, they take up essentially zero space are more or less invisible to the naked eye, making this the perfect solution for basements everywhere.


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