Mark Roemer Oakland on How to Deal with a Leaking Basement

According to Mark Roemer Oakland, a leaky basement is detrimental to you in many ways. It poses an immense risk to your home’s value. If you ignore a leaking or wet basement, it won’t just ruin the floors. It would also damage walls, create a giant mold problem, and can even threaten the foundation of your home. Let’s check out how you can deal with it.

The Details

1. Plug the gaps – If you see water entering the basement through gaps or cracks around the plumbing pipes, make sure to plug them immediately. You can do that with PU caulk or hydraulic cement without going over $30. Plugs work when water is coming from a small hole due to wet soil or runoff. They won’t work when you have a groundwater problem where the water is leaking through the joint between walls and floors or directly through the floors. 

2. Add gutter extensions – If you see downspouts channeling water just a few feet away from your home, you need to guide it to the right location with gutter extensions. While gutter extensions aren’t the most ideal long-term solution, they are a quick and inexpensive fix. Later on, you can use underground drainpipes to handle gutter runoff. They are a clean solution and are capable of moving a lot of water within a short time.

3. Restore the crown – If gutter runoff isn’t the issue and the basement is leaky even after plugging the gaps, you may need to check if the water is coming high up from the foundation walls. In that case, surface water isn’t able to drain off quickly. Your house needs to sit on a crown of soil.

The crown should be sloping at least 6 inches for the first 10 feet in every direction. Over time, this slope levels out and needs to be built back with a shovel. Get a water-shedding clay-loam mix to create a layer that’s 3 inches deep and 2 feet wide along the foundation.

4. Repair flood drains – If you see water leaking into the basement through the seams where your floor meets walls, you may have a problem with hydrostatic pressure pushing ground water up. Check for footing drains and underground pipes installed in your home. They should have been built to carry water away from the foundation.

Look for a drain, a manhole, or a cleanout pipe in the basement hole. If those structures seem clogged, you may need to flush the pipes with a garden hose. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need the help of a plumber. If you don’t have footing drains in the basement, you’ll need to get a curtain drain to divert away traveling water from under the house. 


Mark Roemer Oakland suggests that you add gutter extensions, reshape your landscape, repair floor drains, and take all other steps necessary to keep your basement dry. A leaking basement is a hazard to the entire home and can cost you a lot more if left unchecked.