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Basement Water Drips

The Home Wizard app calculates your ideal home care program to avoid problems with your Basement, but sometimes trouble can still occur. Here are answers to questions about basement water drips.


Ok I am so frustrated, i have a finished basement with acoustic ceiling tile, over the summer we had several trees cut down and never had thisproblem previous to doing this. Now whenever we get torrential rain, we get water drips within 3 feet of the exterior wall that runs along the subfloor then drips down the joist. We cannot find the sourse, the exterior of the home is brick, there is a window on the main floor in the vicinity of the area but I sealed it up really well over the summer, I'm lost. I also had gutter guards installed by a roofer who said my roof is in good shape, there is a gable vent on either end of the house but that is the only opening. Any ideas, I'm afraid it's going to suin my floors.


Dear Michelle:

I'm sorry, but I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "we get water drips within 3 feet of the exterior wall" whenever you get torrential rain. If you could tell me a bit more of what you mean by this, it would be helpful.

With that said, let me give you a couple of thoughts about what could be getting the water leaking into your house during heavy rains:

1) You said that you had several trees cut down over the summer. It may be possible that if they drove heavy trucks into your yard that they may have crushed a perimeter drain pipe that is there to carry water away from your home's foundation, especially if this drain pipe was fairly shallow in the ground.

2) If you had the stumps pulled out in addition to cutting the trees, and they re-graded your lawn in a way that would cause the ground near your house to pitch towards the house instead of away from your house, then this could be causing water to be coming into your house.

3) You mentioned that you had gutter guards installed, did they check to be sure that your gutter downspouts and splash pans are oriented to carry water away from your house?

But again, if you could explain a little more about what you mean by the water drips within 3 feet of the exterior wall, I may be able to give you some additional suggestions.

Hope this is helpful.


What I mean is approximately 2-4 feet in from the exterior wall we see drops of water, when we move the acoustic ceiling tile we can see the drips running down the joist and follow it across the subfloor to the exterior wall. It does not always drip from the same joist. To date it has been 2 different joists. 1 is the 1st joist from the exterior wall the last night the 2nd from the wall, There were no heavy trucks, no pipes were crushed and we have drainage pipes that carry everything away from the house.


Dear Michelle:

Ah, I see, you mean 2-4 feet INSIDE from the exterior wall. This is where the water drips down and hits the acoustic ceiling tiles, but the water appears to start coming in at the exterior wall, right?

I assume that in addition to inspecting around the window casing on the exterior wall above this area, that you have also thoroughly inspected the entire wall to see if there are any cracks or pathways where water could be getting through your brick?

If rainwater is not getting through the wall (and not one of the drainage issues), then another possible cause of your problem could be wind-driven leaking of your roof. Even if your roof is in good shape (as your gutter service person told you that you did), the high winds which you could be seeing during the torrential rains that you mentioned could be driving rainwater up and under your roofing materials, which then drips down the inside of your exterior wall in between the studs.

If this is your problem, then there a couple things that you can do for this:

1) Put roofing cement under shingles on the edges of roofs that face the wind.

2) If you have metal valleys on your roof, you may want to hem the edges. This means that the hidden edges of the valley actual have a 180 degree bend. This creates a channel that directs wind blown rain back to the bottom of the valley.

3) Rather expensive, but you may need to have tar paper and "ice & water shield" installed under the singles in this area to create a barrier to rainwater getting into your house.

Does this seem like what your problem could be?


Exactly - thank you, so if he uses roofing tar along the edge of that entire side of the house to secure the shingles that could solve it then, makes sooo much sense - thank you



Glad we could help you.

I imagine that the trees that you said you cut down were on the same side of the house as the wall where you were seeing the water leaking in?

If so, I suspect that these trees had been acting to block the heavy winds and rain. And now with the trees gone, when you have hard blowing rainstorms, the rain can be getting under the shingles, etc. unless you seal them down, hem the edges of metal valleys, etc.

Thanks again for your feedback.