Why is my basement wall or Crawl space leaking?

Do you ever walk down into your basement to find that there is water that has leaked in from a previous rain? Many people are burdened by leaky basement walls, while this may not be a structural issue it can cause great damage to your home over time.

The three most common reasons for water penetration at a foundation wall are identified by the location of the leak.

  • If you find a leak at the corner of your basement wall you likely have a leaking gutter downspout at that corner from your roof, repairing the gutter system or cleaning or dislodging the pathway will likely remedy the situation.

  • If your basement has signs of leaking along the length of the wall nearest the floor, it is likely that the footer drain tile surrounding that wall has become damaged and is leaking from the tile and is therefore wicking through the block. This is the least preferred leak since it can require extensive repair measures, such as having the soil near the perimeter of the home dug and replace the drain system.

  • If the middle or at some point other than the above mentioned parts of the walls have moisture penetration the cause is likely caused by poor grading of soil around that wall. Having this earth properly graded by a professional landscaper will likely prevent water penetration at this area.

Most water leaks in basements can be mixed at little or sometimes no cost, but when repairs are necessary be sure to remember the value in hiring a qualified professional contractor and ensure that they are licensed if necessary.

What is the white stain on the blocks?

Have you recently moved to a new home or just moved that old treadmill that’s in your basement that you keep saying you will start using tomorrow? If you did you might have been surprised by a white or yellow colored residue on the foundation block walls, well this is called efflorescence.


Efflorescence is caused by water traveling through the foundation walls and dragging salt out with it and deposits them once it reaches the “inside” of the wall leaving this stain. Since the salt is made visible once the moisture has evaporated, if efflorescence is found it typically is a sign that the moisture is no longer present or it is a slow flow of moisture.

If ever there is a moisture intrusion to your home it is critical that the proper repair be made to protect your home from future failures.  As always remember to always hire smart, don’t hire cheap, would you trust an inexperienced monkey to babysit your children? Why would you trust one to repair the home that protects your children each day?