Why Basements Leak Water During the Winter Months…

January 4, 2013

Wet basement in the winterBasements can leak water throughout the year whether moisture present is from rain or snow. But many homeowner’s wonder, why does my basement leak during the winter when their is only snow outside and not puddles from a rainstorm?

During the winter months, basements radiate heat out into the surrounding soil, usually about 8 inches away from the foundation. This heat melts the frozen soil around the basement creating a pocket of moisture. The water becomes trapped between the frozen soil and the basement walls during the winter time. The downward pull of gravity, known as hydrostatic pressure,┬áis what forces the water into the basement creating a leak. This is why basements leak water during the winter months, even if there isn’t a heavy rainstorm or running water outside the foundation.

Most often the leaking water enters the basement where the floor and walls meet or a crack in the wall or mortar joints. This type of water leak is best fixed by relieving the hydrostatic pressure, installing an above floor baseboard channel basement system and sealing the wall cracks from the top to 3 inches above the basement floor. By leaving the bottom 3 inches of the wall crack open, you will allow the water to be collected by the baseboard channel.

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