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Prevent Foundation Leaks

A leaking foundation can lead to serious damage to your home. Learn more about what causes leaks to appear in your basement and what to do about it.

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We all know that water can cause a lot of problems if too much gets inside a home. Basements are one part of your home that are at a constant risk of leaks. Without the proper waterproofing defenses, you could deal with cracked walls and flooding brought on by foundation leaks.

What Causes Foundation Leaks?

Foundation leaks are usually caused by a phenomenon known as hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure refers to the increasing amount of pressure that water exerts the deeper it is underground. It’s the same thing that happens when you dive deeper into a pool – the water begins to press down harder on you and pressure seems to build in your ears. 

Hydrostatic pressure occurs when water is absorbed into the soil. As it drains further below the surface, it exerts more and more pressure onto the soil around it. Over time, this can cause the soil surrounding your basement walls to push up against them. Your basement walls will begin to bow inward and crack as they’re pushed to their limit. 

Keep in mind, hydrostatic pressure isn’t just caused by precipitation; this phenomenon can also take place when a home is close to any large body of water which include rivers, lakes, or large ponds. Water exerts a large amount of pressure at the deepest depths of these water sources. Any home built close by may experience side effects of hydrostatic pressure as a result. In fact, Colorado has more than 4,000 lakes throughout the state, so stay aware of how close your home is to these bodies of water.

The Risks of Foundation Leaks

Beyond cracked walls and flooding, foundation leaks can cause other issues in your basement such as mold growth, efflorescence, and musty smells. These symptoms make your home unpleasant for guests and hazardous to your health. 

Mold Growth

When water permeates the walls or carpets in your basement, mold is soon to follow. Since mold spores require moisture and humidity to grow, foundation leaks create the perfect environment for mold to thrive in. Unfortunately, mold is a huge eyesore, and it can cause respiratory issues if left unchecked. If mold is left to its own devices in your basement, the spores can eventually make their way into your home’s air supply and spread throughout your home. Over time, mold may begin to pop up in other areas of your home such as bathrooms, closets, or cabinets.


Efflorescence appears as a white chalky substance on basement walls. It forms when moisture mixes with salt, which becomes crystallized when exposed to leaking water. Thankfully, efflorescence is non-toxic, but it can look unsightly to visitors and the substance indicates that a larger problem is brewing below the surface. Ignoring this problem sign may lead to structural damage in your basement. Plus, efflorescence can’t just be wiped away. While wiping it away may offer a cosmetic fix, it doesn’t change the fact that water is leaking into your basement. Without the proper basement waterproofing solution, efflorescence will return.

Musty Smells

Musty smells also arise due to high moisture levels. Mold might cause some unpleasant smells when it grows in your basement, but musty smells are also a result of water interacting with the chemicals found on your basement walls, carpet, and floors. Plus, if leaks lead to wall cracks in your basement, smells could seep in from the outside. Unpleasant scents will eventually find their way into your home. You might get used to the smell over time, but guests will instantly notice it when they visit. Don’t let leaks cause your home to smell!


Unfortunately, fixing basement leaks by yourself is not advised. Most DIY options are only going to offer a temporary solution to the problem. You can caulk wall cracks all you want, but the true problem is coming from hydrostatic pressure and soil pushing up against basement walls. Thankfully, Peak Structural has professional tools to solve this particular problem.

The most effective way to stop water from entering your basement is by contacting a professional. Only the best tools are going to keep 100% of water out of your basement. These include sump pumps, interior drainage, wall anchors, and dehumidifiers among other solutions.

Interior drainage systems are installed in the floor and along the walls of your basement, which is where most water tends to gather when water leaks into it. An interior drainage system will then redirect this water to a sump pump, which, in turn, will deposit this water out to a nearby storm drain or other drainage trench far away from your home.  

Contact Us for a Free Inspection

At Peak Structural, we’re always ready to help you protect your home with our state-of-the-art basement waterproofing and foundation repair solutions. Peak has been serving homeowners in DenverColorado Springs, and Grand Junction, region for nearly 20 years, and we’re committed to bringing the same dependable service to your home.

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    Colorado Springs Office

    707 County Line Rd.
    Palmer Lake, CO 80133

    Denver Office

    4686 Ivy St
    Denver, CO 80216

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    2575 U.S. 6 & 50, Unit A, Grand Junction, CO 81501