Where Is Your Cellar Leaking From?

Friday, June 1st, 2012 by Cynthia Freeney

Cellar Waterproofing British ColumbiaWhen you discover a leak in your cellar, the most important thing to do is identify exactly where it’s coming from so you can rectify the problem as quickly as possible. Next call a local experienced cellar waterproofer, that is equiped to solution all cellar leak and crack problems. Here’s a run-down of the most common ways that water makes its way in to your cellar - but remember that it might be entering from multiple places:

Wall-floor joints

Even in supposedly waterproof concrete structures, leaks can occur at construction joints. They’re the weakest point for hydrostatic pressure (when moisture-logged soil expands and the weight of the water presses on foundations). These joints are often the cause of more severe cellar floods.

Wall cracks

There are four key ways in which water can make its way through cellar walls:

  1. Via cracks in concrete walls
  2. Around badly-sealed pipe penetrations
  3. Through gaps in the grout within stone walls
  4. Seepage through concrete walls

Plumbing leaks

The humble washing machine pipe can cause havoc unless treated with respect. They’re designed to be turned off when your machine isn’t being used. If you’ve got old-fashioned rubber hoses and you don’t turn them off you're putting your home at risk of a sizeable flood. Be warned - if a hose bursts, up to 650 gallons of water can escape. Such floods shouldn’t be underestimated; it’s not unknown for water to rise up as far as your windows.


Homeowners frequently report that water is entering their home from the outside via their cellar door. It can also get in through a walk-in cellar door or garage door entrance.

Floor cracks

When your cellar was built, hard-packed soils were excavated that had been there for many years. Post-construction, some of that soil is poured back in to fill the gap below the floor and around the foundation walls. This soil is lighter and more porous than the undisturbed soil around it. Since water absorbs more effectively in these ‘fluffy’ soils, a "clay bowl effect" is created whereby water pools around your home. It will try to enter your cellar wherever it can, so if your floors have cracks, you’re welcoming it in with open arms.  


Cellar windows are prone to flooding since they can corrode and water then pools outside. If your cellar window wells are clogged up with snow, ice, or water, this will significantly worsen the problem.

Island Basement Systems specializes in cellar waterproofing in Nanaimo and other surrounding areas. Visit them online for a free basement waterproofing estimate in Nanaimo, Saanich, Victoria, and the surrounding British Columbia area.

About the author

Cynthia Freeney Find me on LinkedIn

Cynthia has been working with Social Media, Video Marketing and SEO for the past 10 years, right here at the Treehouse. She currently manages all of our corporate YouTube channels and provides support to all of our dealers. In the Treehouse, she is the go-to person for all things YouTube. She loves history, period movies, Golden Age comics and enjoys spending time with her husband and youngest son, drawing, painting and making clay figurines.

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