water in basement after heavy rain

What to Do About Water Leaking into Basement After Heavy Rain?

While experiencing water leaking into basement areas after heavy rain is common, it is certainly not a regular thing. You must address leaky basement issues immediately, as they may indicate severe and permanent foundation damage. If you have ever discovered water in your basement after rainfall, let’s discuss steps you can take to mitigate risk.

Why is there water leaking in your basement after heavy rain?

It is important to determine why you have water in your basement in the first place. The fact that your basement is dug into the ground and surrounded by soil makes it more susceptible to water infiltration. As groundwater levels rise during heavy rainfall, so do the chances that your basement may face water damage. Water can make its way into your basement in a few different ways.

  • Hydro Static and Lateral Pressure
    Issues with hydrostatic and lateral pressure are some of the most common when it comes to leaky basements. With heavy rainfalls, particularly, the soil around your basement becomes saturated with water. This puts a lot of additional pressure on your basement foundation. This pressure must go somewhere, and since concrete is a porous material, it also begins to soak up the excess water, eventually saturating your basement floor and potentially damaging your household furniture and belongings. Additionally, the intense pressure can lead to cracking of your foundation, compromising the structural integrity of your entire house.
  • Window Wells
    Improperly sealed window wells are another common source of water leaking into basements after heavy rainfall. The water rapidly accumulates in the window wells and drains through gaps or cracks around the window frame. You may notice water stains around your window frames and down the walls.
  • Previously Existing Cracks in the Foundation
    You may remember from high school science class that water generally takes the path of least resistance. If you have any cracks or gaps in your basement foundation, the excess water from heavy rainfall will inevitably flow into your basement through them. With each round of precipitation, the cracks get bigger, and the likelihood of flooding increases.

How to fix water leaking into the basement after heavy rain?

One of your first steps after discovering water leaking into your basement should be to clean the water up. However, you can clean until your heart’s content…but if you do nothing to address the source of your leaky basement, you will face the same problem again the next time it rains.

Clean Gutters/Downspouts
Ensuring your gutters and downspouts are free from clogs is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent water from accumulating in your basement. The purpose of gutters and downspouts is to redirect water away from your home during periods of precipitation. If they are not doing their job, that water will pool around the base of your home, seep into the soil, and create the hydrostatic and lateral pressure issues mentioned before.

Seal Window Wells
If your window wells are leaking, the logical action is to repair the compromised window seals to prevent future water from leaking into the basement. There are a variety of products available that can be used to seal window frames. If the damage to your window or window frame is irreparable, you may want to consider a complete window replacement.

Establish Interior Drainage System
If severe basement flooding is a persistent problem your property faces, installing an interior drainage system is a good idea. Sump pump systems are extremely effective at relieving hydrostatic pressure on your foundation by directing water pooled under and around the foundation to the sump pump pit (before it even has a chance to reach your basement floor) and then pumping it out and away from your home. We also recommend you refer to our comprehensive guide on what to do if your basement floods.

Invest In Exterior Basement Waterproofing
Exterior basement waterproofing is the ultimate solution to leaky basement problems. Where interior waterproofing methods protect against damage from water that has already passed through your foundation, exterior waterproofing ensures that the water never makes it inside. The process begins with completely excavating soil around your home’s foundation. A waterproof vapour barrier is installed, and then the soil is replaced. The soil grade is also adjusted to provide optimal water drainage away from the foundation. Exterior basement waterproofing is a significant investment, but the peace of mind that your basement is permanently protected against water damage is worth every penny (especially considering the increase in property value because of high-quality waterproofing).


Water leaking into your basement after heavy rain is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with. Left unaddressed, leaky basements can lead to serious foundational damage that compromises the structural stability of your entire home. By finding the source of water leaking into your basement and taking the appropriate steps to eliminate it, you will have a drier and safer basement for your family to use and enjoy.

If you are suffering from a leaky basement, call the professionals at Waterproofing PD today for a free consultation and estimate for your Toronto home. Our team of basement waterproofing specialists has the skill and experience to deal with any wet, leaky Toronto basement.

Leave a Reply