Wet Basements

The first step to properly correct a wet basement is to identify the source of the water. In most cases the water in the basement was previously on the roof or on the surface adjacent to the house. In very few cases the source is from a high water table or an underground spring.


Wet Basement Before Grading
Wet Basement Before Grading

Custom Drainage Systems conducts a thorough examination of the problem area which includes inspecting the roof runoff, inspecting the condition, size and flow design of the gutters and down spouts, and most important inspecting the grade around the house and type of soil. A history of the problem and any other known factors will help us provide a lasting solution. With this information and our knowledge of techniques and products available we are able to design and implement the most practical solution to solve your wet basement problem.


The most common cause of a wet basement in Northern Virginia is due to poor grading around the house. The backfilled soil adjacent to the foundation has settled. This area is rarely tamped during the final grade and left porous. Because the undisturbed soil surrounding this area and the soil under the footer is not porous, hydrostatic pressure builds up and forces water through the walls and up through the floor.


Custom Drainage Systems provides all forms of waterproofing: Sealing foundation walls, Sump pump systems, crack injections, etc. In some cases these may be the best solution for the customer. In most cases we find grading to be the most practical and cost effective solution. It does not make sense to let water into your basement and then pump it out when you can keep it out in the first place. The fact is most of our customers already have a sump pump system but the water still comes through the walls, up through the floor or floods the window wells. When the power goes out sump pumps are useless. The battery backup systems only provide a couple hours of pump time and may not last through the storm. The fact that your reading this means you already know some of this.


Corrective Grading includes:

  • Removing the loose porous soil next to the foundation.
  • Transplanting or removing the plants in the area.
  • Installing and tamping in layers a non porous compactable soil until it slopes away from the house.
  • Mulching and/or seed and straw disturbed areas and cleanup.


Corrective grading may also include:

  • Adding or raising window wells and raising A/C units.
  • Changing the slope or replacing patios and walks.
  • Burying pipes from spouts and installing catch basins.
  • Installing new shrubs to enhance the landscaping.


Experience is everything. At Custom Drainage Systems we know what it takes to do a quality grading job that will protect your foundation for years to come. We take special care to protect the surrounding landscape, we are experts at transplanting trees and shrubs, we don't use heavy equipment near the foundation, we don't drive trucks on your lawn and we clean up when were done. We have the tools, knowledge and manpower to do the job right . So give us a call and let us design a drainage solution for your wet basement.