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My Basement/Crawl Space Only Gets Wet When it Rains

water seeping into basement corner

Yes, dear reader, the title seems like something straight out of the Captain Obvious Logbook.  But it’s something we hear customers say regularly.  And it’s more helpful than you might think.

Founded in 1996 by Andy Beery, Acculevel is a family-owned and operated company that specializes in waterproofing.  Based out of central Indiana, we are well-versed in the landscapes and weather fluctuations common to the Midwest, and the impact these have on homes.  We’ve waterproofed thousands of basements and crawl spaces, providing homeowners with peace of mind and greater home value.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the significance of a wet foundation, what you can do to resolve it yourself, and when you need a professional.


When Your Home Only Floods During Rain

As I said, this seems like a banal statement, but it does help us eliminate other causes.  There are a number of potential issues that can cause flooding: plumbing issues, sewer line clogs, even natural springs on the property.  None of these are problems that a waterproofing company can solve for you.  You need a plumber for the first two, and the third could require an engineer- depending upon the severity of the problem. 

Rain-related flooding is easier to address, and there are a range of solutions available. Some of them are projects you may be able to do yourself, if you’re so inclined.  Others should be left to the professionals.  We’ll review both for you, so you can decide what the ideal method is for you and your home. 

water seeping into basement cornerThis photo was taken by an Acculevel project manager during a routine free estimate.  


If You Are a DIY Person

There are four things you can evaluate and repair yourself.  Many times, water in a basement or crawl space can be traced back to one of the following design flaws.  

  1. Landscaping.  Evaluate the flowerbeds and borders around your home; make sure they’re set up in a way that allows for water flow.  Some border materials are non-porous or dense enough to trap water and create puddles that seep down to the foundation wall.
  2. Grading.  This part goes hand-in-hand with a landscaping evaluation.  Walk out into your yard, then look at your home: the ground should slope gradually down and away from your foundation.  Is the grading still intact?  Or has it eroded?  Make sure rainwater is being directed away from your foundation.  
  3. Guttering.  You should check your guttering at least twice a year, to clear out any dirt, leaf litter, or similar debris.  A clogged gutter can cause water to overflow and pour water into your landscape.  
  4. Downspouts.  Your gutters should direct and drain water into the yard, away from the foundation of your home.  Acculevel recommends downspouts to empty rainwater at least 10 feet out into your yard.  Do you need downspout extensions? We’ve written an article that explains why we believe extensions are necessary for every home, and it includes a DIY tutorial.  


When You Need a Professional 

We don’t recommend that customers attempt to install their own water drainage system.  There are a number of ways this can go wrong, the equipment used is not something most homeowners are familiar with, and if something goes awry, your waterproofing is not under any warranty.

At Acculevel, we warranty our waterproofing installations for the life of your structure.  We have three major water drainage systems that we offer, depending on the type of floor you have.  If you have a basement with a poured concrete floor, water tunnel or fast track drainage systems are the best options.

If you have a crawl space, the best choice is geochannel.  This is because geochannel includes a filtering layer that keeps dirt and sand from clogging the drainage system.  

sump pump installed in basementThis photo was taken by an Acculevel team member after waterproofing a basement. 

All three of these water drainage systems are installed around the inside perimeter of your basement or crawl space, and they drain into a sump pump system.  We install Wayne brand sump pumps with a battery backup system; these come with a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty.

We strongly encourage you to invest in a battery backup for any sump pump, especially if you live in the Midwest.  The most common cause for a power outage in this region is bad weather, which usually includes rain or snow.  If your power goes out and the basement floods, you are most likely going to be responsible for the costs of the repairs.  Sump pump failure is not covered by flood insurance– only by an additional endorsement for sewer & drain.  


The Next Step

If you are the DIY type, please check out our Home Inspection Checklist.  This will guide you through your home and property, helping you successfully identify potential issues and resolving them before they become costly repairs.  

If you have more questions about waterproofing a crawl space, this article breaks down the costs and components involved.

Not a DIYer?  Or maybe you need a contractor for professional services?  We have put together a downloadable list of questions you should ask a contractor.  This checklist is the product of multiple brainstorming sessions with our own project managers: a group of experts who have years of experience in home-repair related fields like appraisals and home inspections- some of whom are contractors in their own right.  

Want more information about basement waterproofing?.  This guide can be read in its entirety, you can select the chapter relevant to you, or bookmark it as a reference when you meet with contractors.  

link to our waterproofing guide

Before you meet with a contractor of any kind, we urge you to verify that the company is reputable, insured, and accredited by the Better Business Bureau.  

If you live in Indiana or the surrounding states, contact Acculevel. We are a family-owned and operated company, and we provide free written estimates.  One of our experienced project managers will evaluate the basement and foundation, then recommend the best course of action for you.  We believe everyone deserves a healthy and secure home, and we want to help you protect yours.



Kelly Kater

Over her thirty-year career, Kelly has worked in a wide variety of fields: secondary education, nursing, biology, elder care, the postal service, multicultural development, and academia. She has developed a skill for translating industry-specific jargon into everyday language. Her goal is to share the knowledge and experience of the Acculevel team with homeowners, in a way that is both engaging and informative.

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