Small or large, cracks in a foundation and improper drainage around the home leads to water entering the basement of the home.
In order to understand how water can enter your home through your foundation, it is important to know how a foundation is designed.
The picture on the left shows a typical foundation. In it you will see that the foundation is built on a stone base. Around the outside of the home below the level of the foundation is weeping tile. Weeping tiles are perforated pipes that collect excess water. Generally these pipes are connected to your sump pump which pumps excess water buildup up and out of the home or to a stone pit away from the house.
On the outside concrete of the foundation is a waterproof membrane. In older homes the waterproof membrane was tar, in newer homes plastic solutions such as pluton or blue skin are used to waterproof the outside of foundations. Pluton is a bumpy plastic coating. You may have seen it on home improvement shows. It’s black and is attached to the foundation wall using rivits or screws. Blue Skin is a solid piece of rubber that adheres to the side of the foundation using a glue.
Some home builders place the weeping tile below the footing of the foundation, while others place the weeping tile on top of the concrete footing for the foundation wall.