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Water in Your Basement During Winter? Here are 5 Areas it Might be Coming From

Written by Hanna Plumbing & Heating / January 30, 2018

water in your basement during winter

When we think of plumbing & heating issues we expect in winter, a couple of things automatically come to mind: frozen pipes and a broken furnace. One thing that might not be top of mind is water in your basement during winter – but it can definitely happen.

Walking down to your basement on a chilly winter morning to find standing water can be quite a surprise and may indicate a bigger problem. Discover the top 5 areas water might be coming from.

Melted Snow

One of the most common causes of water accumulating in your basement during winter is melted snow. There are two reasons that snow may melt and end up as water in your basement.

1. Heat radiates from the basement, causing the frozen ground and snow around the basement walls to melt. This water becomes trapped beneath the frozen snow and, with nowhere else to go, ends up in your basement.

2. Varying temperatures cause snow to melt. When you have a winter (like the one we are currently experiencing) where the temperatures vary from less than -10 to 50+ degrees, you may end up with water in your basement as the ground freezes and melts.

Gutters and Downspouts

If gutters or downspouts are not properly installed or cleaned, it can cause water to accumulate near your foundation and eventually into your basement. This can be avoided by regularly cleaning your gutters and making sure you have your downspouts properly angled away from the house.

Cracks in the Foundation

Cracks occur in your foundation for a number of reasons and are the number one access point for water to enter the basement. Melted snow and moisture from the ground will seep into those cracks until the pressure from the frozen snow above is relieved.

Water Heater Leak

Water in your basement can also come from an internal source. Water Heaters end up leaking during winter due to changes in pressure. Depending on the type of leak, this can be an easy fix or cause to buy a new water heater.

If your leak is coming from the drain valve, it will be a relatively easy and affordable fix. However, if the tank itself is leaking, you’ll be facing a much larger issue. Water leaking from the tank is generally a sign that the tank’s inner lining is corroded and the entire water heater will have to be replaced. Shut off the water valve going to the water heater and call Hanna Plumbing & Heating right away if you have a leaking water heater.

Broken Washing Machine

If you do laundry in your basement, another source of water may be your washing machine. There are many reasons why a washer might be leaking. The most common, and easiest to fix, is a leaking hose. Make sure both the drain and fill hoses are properly attached and there are no cracks in the hoses.

If the leak does not appear to be coming from an external hose, you will have to take a closer look at a possible internal issue.

If you find water in your basement, but can’t find the cause, call Hanna Plumbing & Heating! We’ll send a plumbing expert your way so you can get on with your day.

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