Standing Water in Basement

How to Deal with Standing Water in Your Basement

You head down the stairs to your basement, and instead of feeling the soft, plush carpet under your feet, you step into a soggy, squishy mess. Panic sets in – where do you even start?!

Finding water in your basement is as frustrating as it is alarming, whether you discover a localized pooling area or a complete flood. There is no need to let anxiety take hold, though. Take a deep breath and follow along to learn how to deal with standing water in your basement.

Clean Up

The first step you need to take when discovering standing water in your basement is to clean the mess up. You want to remove the most water-sensitive items from the wet area so they are not irreparably damaged. Things like furniture and appliances should be moved and dried off. You may consider hiring a professional if the water damage is extensive. The carpet should be professionally steam cleaned, dried, removed, and replaced. Getting high-power fans running to get everything dried and reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth is also recommended. Special care must also be taken if mold issues are discovered while cleaning. Safety should be your number one priority when taking on the critical task of cleaning up after standing water has been discovered.

Determine Source

Once you have cleaned up your basement so that it is safe to enter, you need to determine the source of the standing water. All the cleaning in the world will do no good if you cannot figure out where the water came from.

Plumbing Issues

Sometimes, the source of standing water is as simple as a plumbing leak. Pipes and fittings can malfunction and create serious issues. The good news is that plumbing issues are generally straightforward to fix, especially if a professional is consulted.

Hydrostatic Pressure

If your Toronto basement does not have a quality basement waterproofing and drainage system, your foundation is at risk of water damage. Standing water that seems to be coming up from the concrete floor or seeping through the foundation walls signals that you are likely dealing with a hydrostatic water pressure issue due to insufficient basement waterproofing. When there is heavy precipitation, groundwater can accumulate around your home’s foundation. The pressure from the water and the expanded soil around your home put extreme pressure on your foundation. Eventually, the foundation can no longer handle the pressure, and cracks or holes begin forming. The next time it rains, water leaks through those cracks into your home.

Sump Pump Issues

Many Toronto homes have a sump pump and sump pit to deal with excess water in high flood-risk areas. Sump pumps are designed to cycle when flood waters raise the water level in the sump pit enough to lift the float switch. The sump pump then pumps water out and away from your home. If you have a sump pump installed and your basement is still flooded… your sump pump did not do its job!

Take Action

After your basement is cleaned up and dried out and you have successfully identified the source of the standing water, the next logical step is to prevent it from happening again. Standing water, as mentioned before, can cause severe damage to your home, belongings, and even your health if left unaddressed. You must take immediate action to remedy the issue so that you can continue to use and enjoy your basement as intended. There are a variety of practical measures you should implement.

  • Ensure that there is sufficient outside drainage. The soil grade should slope away from the foundation of your home to prevent water from pooling around it.
  • Clean out the rain gutters often and ensure downspouts are directed away from the foundation to avoid excess water draining near your foundation.
  • Repair any cracks in the foundation. Many DIY products are available for this, but it is best to consult a professional to ensure that the job is done properly.
  • Invest in exterior and/or interior waterproofing. This is a job best left to the professionals. Exterior waterproofing, for example, requires completely excavating the soil around your foundation to apply a high-quality vapor barrier.
  • Repair, replace, or install a new sump pump. Watch for signs of possible sump pump failure and ensure regular maintenance of your sump system. 


The friendly and professional staff at Waterproofing PD are experts in dealing with wet, leaky basements. We will help you address the source of the standing water in your Toronto basement and develop an action plan to remedy it.

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