Often during this time of year when the ground is starting to thaw out, St Paul Pipeworks will get calls from customers who are seeing water in their basement. The first thing that people think of is that they have a plumbing leak. So, why do you have water in the basement?

More than half of the time it is not a plumbing leak but is the result of water coming in from the outside of the house. That water has worked its way down along the foundation walls of the basement and found the path of least resistance onto the basement floor.

When the ground outside is thawing the water table sometimes raises above the normal level. If it is not a plumbing leak the homeowner may need to fix their downspouts or their gutters, or they may have to change the grading around the outside perimeter of the house. In the worst-case scenario, a specialty company may have to come in and install drain tile either inside of the house or in the yard around the house because the water table has risen too high and there is water coming up into the house from below.

If you see water puddling on the basement floor, the first thing to do is to check for leaking plumbing fixtures nearby, and next you can assess if the water appears to be coming from the outside. If nearby fixtures are not leaking, determine what room is above that section of the basement where you are seeing water on the floor to see if the pipes above are dripping.

Usually, if a water pipe has been leaking, it leaves a water trail. Look up at the basement wood joists and also look at the subfloor under it to see whether there has been leaking in the past. There will likely be water staining left from the past that you can see. If it is an active leak that is coming from above, then it will be wet up near the ceiling. Sometimes you may be able to follow the water trail to the leak, even if there are no pipes nearby. By being observant, you usually can isolate the plumbing leak. Imagine if you were the plumbing fixture draining out, how would you get out and where would you travel to get to this spot in the basement where there is puddling now.

When customers call, St Paul Pipeworks plumbers first try to explain the possibilities and talk them through that process over the phone before sending a plumber out. They try to do some isolation and ask specific questions to see if it truly is a plumbing problem. The hardest thing to detect is when there is a plumbing leak that is concealed inside of a floor or inside of a wall in the house. That can be a much harder leak to figure out without doing some damage to the home. But St Paul Pipeworks plumbers are experienced in locating leaks in a lot of those cases. If we cannot isolate the leak, we do have a specialty company that we recommend that can find hidden leaks located inside of floors and walls.

If you are having trouble with pooling water in your basement or are just looking for a quality plumber in the St. Paul and Minneapolis metro area, give St Paul Pipeworks a call today.


Yours Truly,

Matthew Dettwiler

Social Media Manager

Why Is There Water In The Basement This Spring? Ask A Plumber