If you're like most people, when you notice a leak in your basement you automatically think that you need to waterproof your basement. However, that's not always the case. Basement leaks can be caused by numerous things. So, before you contact a local contractor to waterproof your basement, take a few minutes to inspect these three things to determine where the leak originated.

Inspect Your Gutters and Downspouts

Your roof is probably the last place you'd think to examine when you find a leak in your basement. However, if there is a problem with your home's drainage system, it could cause puddles of water to form along your foundation, which could seep into your basement through a tiny crack in the masonry. To inspect your gutters and downspouts:

  • Remove leaves and debris from the gutters and downspouts.
  • Use a hose to run water down the downspout to make sure they aren't clogged.
  • Fix any damaged parts of your downspouts and gutters.
  • Install a guard on top of your gutter to keep the twigs, leaves, and other debris from clogging your drainage system.
  • Check your downspouts to ensure that they sit away from your house's outside foundation. If they don't, purchase a downspout extender or put a concrete splash block under the downspouts to direct rainwater away from the house.

Check All of Your Basement Windows

Your basement windows need to be protected. If they aren't, rainwater can get into your basement through the window seal and below the window. In order to keep rainwater from entering your house through your basement windows, purchase and install basement window covers. The covers get installed on the outside of your house. Normally, the window covers are plastic and they curve downwards to control the direction the rainwater flows.

Trim Back Any Dense Shrubbery

A lot of people plant bushes and shrubs around the outside of their homes because they are relatively low maintenance. However, if the shrubs are too dense, the soil surrounding your home's foundation stays wet for a long time after it rains. The water from the soil could enter your basement through small cracks in your foundation. Also, over time, the soil beneath your bushes can shift. If the soil is sloping towards your house, rainwater is running directly into your foundation. So, take some time to trim back any dense shrubbery so that sunlight can dry the soil quickly after it rains and level out any soil that has shifted.

The fact is, finding a leak in your basement is annoying. It's just one more thing that you have to get fixed. Checking your windows, drainage system, and flower beds could resolve your problem quickly. However, keep in mind, there is still a chance that you'll need to call a foundation repair company like Safe-Guard Waterproofing to repair any cracks in your foundation and waterproof your basement if needed.