This is known as cove joint seepage, and it can occur in basements that have insufficient drainage systems.
The cove joint is the place where the basement floor meets the wall. Sometimes water can seep through and cause issues in basements that are not set up properly to handle water coming up from underneath the basement’s floor.
If your basement leaks where the wall meets the floor, this is known as cove joint seepage.
The soil surrounding your foundation has moisture levels that can go up and down. When those levels fill the soil, the water rises up and enters into your basement.
Heavy rainfall – Large amounts of precipitation can cause water to build up around and underneath your basement floor. When the water becomes too much for the ground to handle, it seeps upward through the cove joint in your basement because it has nowhere else to go.
Hydrostatic pressure – Water can build up and rise underneath your basement floor which allows water to seep through the cove joint. This is commonly known as hydrostatic pressure. Water will find the path of least resistance, and oftentimes that is through the crack between your basement floor and wall.
If you are reading this, there is a good chance you have already noticed water leaking into your basement through a crack between your floor and wall. If you are facing an issue now, there is a good chance the issue will persist in the future if action is not taken.
Basement flooding – It may seem obvious, but standing water can occur if there is large amounts of water coming through the cove joint. A heavy rainfall can happen, leaving the ground and soil surrounding your home filled with water. When that water has nowhere else to go, it will find its way into your home and possibly cause flooding.
Mold – Mold can accumulate in your basement in areas with excessive moisture. It can be found on the floor, walls, and most any other materials in your basement. The more water that seeps through your cove joint, the better chance mold has to set up shop and grow rapidly in your basement.
Damage to home property – Continuous cove joint seepage could also leave your basement damp and could cause damage to any furniture or items you have sitting around in your basement. It may be difficult to detect if there is not any standing water, but items in your basement can still take a beating from the dampness caused by the leakage. If your basement is finished, it is especially important to fix the issue before damage occurs to your finished floor or walls.
Stains on floor or walls – With continuous water coming through your cove joint, stains can occur and leave nasty marks on your floor coverings.
Rots wooden structures – Wooden materials like floor joists, support beams that support your home are at risk of rotting if moisture gets into them. This leaves your home’s integrity at risk and also allows for unwanted pests to get in through the holes.
Each case of cove joint leakage is different and can call for a unique solution. However, the fix generally has to do with your basement’s waterproofing system. Your basement needs to be able to take the water that is built up and drain it away from your house. That could be a drain tile system, a baseboard system, a foundation piering system if there are foundation issues, or another solution.
Baseboard system – The baseboard waterproofing system is a method that channels water from the walls or holes that are drilled through cement blocks to a sump pump. This solution can be great because it is not as intrusive as other drainage methods. It is also very versatile in that it can be installed in most any basement, regardless of how it was constructed. It also has a clean look to it.
Drain tile system – The drain tile system is a powerful waterproofing method that channels water away from your home and prevents water from building up and exiting through your cove joint. There are different drain tile systems for different circumstances, so it’s best to consult with a professional before installing one in your home.
Sump pump – The sump is a valuable part of the drainage system, as it takes any water in your basement and pumps it out away from your home. Sump pumps can fail due to installation, machine and lifespan errors, so it’s a smart idea to have your sump pump properly installed by a professional to make sure it’s done right.
Sealing the cove joint in your basement may be a short term fix, but it will not always work in the long term and could cause even further damage to your basement in the future. Once you seal the cove joint, the water will find another way to enter into your home, either through cracks in the basement floor or it will work its way through the sealant. This depends on the amount of hydrostatic pressure that is pushing the water up.
Basement Water Controlled is a family-owned business and team that consists of highly experienced and trained professionals. If you have a cove joint seepage issue, the BWC team has most likely seen it and fixed it before. The team has over 50 combined years of experience and is only one call away from coming in to give you and your basement an estimate.