Are your walls seeping and leaking water when it rains? Are you worried they might be?
In this guide you will learn:
- Signs that Rain Water is Seeping Through walls,
- Most Common causes why Rainwater can Leak in your house,
- How to Fix the Leaks in Wall,
- How to Prevent Water Coming in your house when it rains
Dealing with an actual or suspected rainwater leak can be a stressful and even dangerous situation.
This guide covers the basics of how to assess, diagnose, and effectively deal with these kinds of leaks.
Signs That Water Is Seeping Through Wall When It Rains
Here are some telltale signs that rainwater might be finding its way into your home through walls:
- Discolored or blotchy stains on walls
- Peeling or bubbling paint or wallpaper
- Musty or mildewy odor
- Visible mold growth
- Warped walls or paneling
- Sagging drywall
- Standing puddles of water after rain
- A dripping sound during or after a rainfall
- Water pooling under house after heavy rain
Dripping Sound In Wall When Raining
Be aware: this is a surefire sign that rainwater is leaking through a wall. Other signs of water leakage might be due to condensation or moisture, but a dripping noise during rainfall means only one thing.
Water Under House After Heavy Rain
Be aware: this is another telltale sign that indicates the presence of a serious rainwater leak.
If you have either of the two issues above, please… give us a call. And don’t hesitate to take steps towards fixing the problem immediately. For more info on what to do and look for: please read on.
Common Causes Of Leaks In Wall When It Rains
This is a very common cause of water damage in houses after rain. Gutters are critical to protecting a house from rain damage. If gutters overflow, water can wind up running down and through siding and flashing in large amounts.
In addition, overflowing gutters can lead to water building up in the ground around the house, where it then winds up seeping through basement walls.
Rainwater leaking through a roof can easily find its way into walls. Water leaks often follow the framing of a house, so it’s critical that your roof (and chimney flashing) is undamaged and functioning properly.
Note: roof repairs can be very dangerous to attempt. In addition, a leaking roof can also cause serious structural damage to a house. In the event of a suspected roof leak, we strongly recommend hiring a professional immediately.
Damaged Siding, Eaves, and/or Flashing
It never hurts to inspect the sides of a house for obvious damage. This is especially true when dealing with older homes. All materials have an age limit, and exterior walls are no exception. Things to look for: cracked or missing sealant/caulk, cracked siding, and damaged eaves and/or flashing.
Aging, Damaged, or Improperly Installed Waterproofing Systems
Every house has some sort of system in place to prevent water from seeping through the walls. Tarpaper and house wrap are two of the most common. These sit underneath siding and help houses shed rainwater.
These systems are usually hard to inspect without removing siding. In the case of older homes, however, it might be worth considering that these systems could be damaged.
Stucco is another possible culprit.Stucco is not actually waterproof. Stucco walls depend on drains called screeds to drain the water that the stucco naturally absorbs when it rains. If the screeds are clogged, or if the waterproofing paper behind the stucco is damaged, this might explain a potential leak.
For Basement Walls
Lack of proper drainage
Fact: concrete and mortar are not waterproof. A basement wall without a proper drainage system is very susceptible to water damage. Clogged gutters can easily lead to water building up on the ground.
This water then flows through cracks or is forced through the walls themselves due to hydrostatic pressure (this is the force that groundwater exerts on basement walls). If your basement walls are constantly damp and wet to the touch, you might have a serious drainage or run-off issue.
Cracks in basement wall or floor
Even a hairline crack in basement walls can easily lead to water damage. In addition, cracks are often found in the joint where the basement floor meets the walls.
Damaged window wells
Flashing and caulking around window wells is often a cause of leakage during heavy rain. Water can build up even in well-drained window wells sometimes. A telltale sign of leakage in this regard often comes in the form of standing puddles or streams of water in the basement.
Damaged, missing, or improperly installed waterproofing systems
Unfortunately, many basement walls simply lack proper waterproofing membranes or systems. This is especially a problem in older homes. Please note: these systems are usually complex and can be very difficult to install and maintain. This type of work is usually better left to a professional.
Gaps around plumbing or electrical lines
These are obvious but commonly overlooked entry points for rainwater. Dryer vents, plumbing, and wiring all enter and exit houses in multiple places. All too often, the gaps or holes surrounding them spring leaks. These are usually easier leaks to diagnose and fix.
Leaking Walls During Rain?
Call 844-994-1288 for a Risk Free estimate from a Licensed Water Damage Restoration Specialist in your area.
We Can Help Dry out the walls, Repair the leaks & Repair any Water Damage caused.
Rain Water Coming Through Wall – What To Do!
Step One: Determine how serious the leak is
Please understand:all water leaks are serious. It can be very difficult to tell how long a leak has been occurring and/or what level of damage has already been caused without the help of professional expertise.
Some rainwater leaks are worse than others though. For example: is water pouring through cracks in your walls? Are there puddles of standing water in or under your house after a rainfall?
Are your walls beginning to warp or sag? If the answer is yes to any of the above: please call a professional immediately.
For smaller leaks, it might be easier to locate and fix the problem. If this is the case: proceed to step two.
Step Two: Locate the source of the leak
Please note: actual rainwater leaks might not be in the same place as the sign or symptom. Water leaks often travel down or across walls for long distances before becoming visible or obvious. In other words: you don’t want to jump into trying to fix a leaking wall until you’ve traced and found the actual leak.
Check for possible water damage as you go. Using this method can save considerable time and effort. Also: check for obvious external damage first. A visual inspection of the outside of a house might lead to an easier fix.
Of course, some rainwater leaks are easy to spot, and some aren’t. If you’re in doubt, there a few other simple ways to check for leaky walls.
- Use a moisture meter. Moisture meters are small devices that measure the moisture content in a wall. These are often available for rent or purchase at hardware stores. To use one, simply point it at various parts of the wall around a suspected leak. Any area where the moisture content is significantly higher probably indicates the presence of a serious leak.
- Cut into your drywall. Drywall saws and repair kits are very affordable and available. First, score the drywall with a utility knife, and then use the saw to cut along the line(s) you’ve scored. Use a flashlight to peer inside the wall and look for leaks or signs of water damage.
- Use an Infrared Camera. Infrared cameras are professional tools, but it might be possible to find one for rent at large hardware store or photography shop. When using one, look for areas of your wall that are significantly cooler than the surrounding area. These might come in the form of large blotchy areas or vertical lines, but this usually indicates the presence of a leak.
Step Three: Determine a course of action
At this point, it’s time to make the decision whether to try and fix the leak yourself, or to call for help. This can be a hard decision, so we’ve put together some questions that might help in this regard.
- Is this a new leak? Or has it possibly been going on for a while?
- Is this leak seriously damaging my house? Do I know how much damage it’s already caused?
- Am I able to confidently locate the source/cause of the leak?
- Do I have the appropriate tools and expertise to fix the leak safely and effectively?
- How quickly does this leak need to be fixed?
How To Fix A Wall Leaking From Rain Water
Fixing a leaking and/or rain-damaged wall is a multi-stage process. Even if the leak itself is a simple fix, the damage assessment and repair/restoration process is always more complex.
We can’t possibly cover all the scenarios here, so we’ll cover two of the most common ones.
Simple gaps and cracks (patching & sealing)
First: determine what materials you’re working with. Homes come in a wide variety of these, so you’ll need to know what the surrounding material is that needs to be patched. For example: repairing a crack in concrete requires different materials than repairing a gap in wood.
Also, consider the external conditions. An area exposed to extreme outdoor weather conditions might require a very different repair material than an indoor one.
Once you know which materials and conditions you’re working with, head to the local hardware store and ask for advice. Leak repair kits come in all manner of types, and chances are you’ll be able to find something that fits your needs.
Take care when performing the repair, make sure to follow the product directions, and ensure the material has enough time to harden or set before the next rainfall. Also, don’t forget to inspect your repair work and check for leaks the next time it rains.
Clogged gutters are no fun, but they really are one of the more common causes of rain damage to walls.
To properly clean your gutters you’ll want to have:
- A sturdy and large enough ladder
- Safety glasses
- A pair of work gloves
- A garden hose
- A trowel or gutter scoop
You’ll want to start by cleaning your gutters before you unclog your downspouts. Set up your ladder appropriately and move around the house scooping the debris and leaves out of the gutters. If you can, work from the ladder instead of your roof, and always practice proper ladder safety techniques.
To unclog above-ground downspouts, first disconnect the bottom ends from any drain system. Then, insert a garden hose into the bottom end, and spray upwards to clear the debris. Other methods to accomplish this include: spraying into the downspout from the top; using a leaf-blower to blow the debris out; and/or tapping the downspout with a trowel as you slowly walk down a ladder.
Given the amount of damage that clogged gutters and rain can cause, it might also be worth investing in modern gutter filters that prevent debris from building up. These are very affordable, and well worth it.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Leak In The Wall?
Repairing a leaking wall can run anywhere from a few dollars to a few thousand. Patching a gap or clearing your gutters might solve the problem entirely. On the other hand, tearing out and replacing plywood, drywall, and rotten framing is another matter entirely. Average costs for homeowners usually run from $300-$2000.
The bottom line: the sooner the leak gets fixed, the less you’re going to spend. Also: the more effective and proper the repair is, the less you’ll wind up spending later on.
When To call A Professional
Occasionally, rainwater leaks can be simple DIY fixes.
Most, however, are not. Leaks can go undetected for long periods of time, and even small leaks can cause massive damage over time. From rotting structural framing, expensive cosmetic repairs, to toxic mold growth and potential electrical fires: the dangers of water damage are very real.
In addition to safety and peace of mind, professional help also gives you the benefit of:
- Thorough damage inspections
- Reputable advice for future issues
- Full home repair and restoration services
- Help navigating insurance issues and building codes
Our rule of thumb? It never hurts to ask a professional for advice. If you’re not confident that you understand the situation or how to deal with it properly.
We have Water Damage Restoration Technicians that can help Find the Source of the Leak & Restore your Walls
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