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Does Home Warranty Cover Basement Leaks?

August 18, 2023

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does home warranty cover basement leaks

Oh no! You walk downstairs and find water seeping in through the basement walls or floor. Your socks are soaked, and you're wondering what to do. 

Does home warranty cover basement leaks? Home warranties generally do not cover repairs for basement leaks caused by foundation cracks, failed waterproofing, or drainage issues. Home warranties may cover repairs to interior plumbing and sump pumps that could contribute to basement flooding, but not the root external causes leading to water intrusion.

Curious to learn a bit more about basement leaks and home warranties? Keep reading, friend.

What Causes Basement Leaks?

There are a few common causes for basement leaks:

  • Cracked Basement Walls or Floors: Concrete can crack over time due to soil pressure, freezing/thawing cycles, inadequate curing, etc. These cracks allow water to seep in.
  • Failed Waterproofing: Basements are supposed to have waterproof coatings or membranes to prevent water intrusion. If these fail or were never properly installed, moisture can enter through foundation cracks.
  • Poor Drainage: Gutters and drainage pipes help divert rainwater away from the home's foundation. If they get clogged or damaged, water can pool and penetrate the basement walls or seep in through cracks.
  • High Water Table: A high groundwater level puts hydrostatic pressure on the basement. Even tiny cracks in the concrete can let water droplets seep in over time.
  • Leaky Plumbing: Cracks or loose fittings in supply lines or drain pipes inside the basement allow water to escape and drip or gush into your basement.

So, in summary - concrete cracks, faulty waterproofing, bad drainage, high groundwater, and leaky pipes are usually the culprits for those annoying basement leaks.

does home warranty cover basement leaks

What Does Home Warranty Cover?

Now that we know why basements leak, does your home warranty provide any protection? Let's take a look at what key systems a warranty may or may not cover:

  • Foundation: Home warranties generally do NOT cover foundation issues or repairs. Cracks allowing water to trickle in would not be addressed.
  • Waterproofing: Existing waterproofing coatings are usually excluded from coverage. Failure of these protective barriers falls in the cracks (literally!).
  • Drainage: Poor drainage leading to basement flooding is not covered according to most home warranty fine print. They consider it improper maintenance.
  • Plumbing: Leaky supply lines or drain pipes INSIDE the home may be covered for repairs. But external drainage problems are excluded.
  • Sump Pump: Repair or replacement of a broken sump pump would likely be covered, as this is considered a home system component. But the warranty company may not cover conditions causing the sump pump to fail, like high groundwater.
  • Flooding: Water damage from flooding is also excluded from most basic home warranty plans. You'd need add-on flood insurance as extra protection.

So, in summary - home warranties only cover repairs to certain home systems, like interior plumbing lines and sump pumps. They do NOT address foundation failures, waterproofing, or drainage that cause basement flooding and leaks.

water damage restoration

How to Handle Basement Leaks

Since your home warranty probably won't swoop in for the rescue, what should you do about a leaky basement? Here are some tips:

  • Mitigate Damage: Remove furniture, rugs, boxes, etc., from the flooded area to prevent further damage—place buckets to catch dripping water. Turn off the electricity if needed.
  • Determine Source: Try to pinpoint where exactly the water is coming in - the wall, floor, corner, etc. This will aid in repairs. Watch the leak path after heavy rain.
  • Consult a Pro: Have a foundation repair company inspect the basement and diagnose the cause of the leak. They can advise on best fixes, costs, etc.
  • Make Repairs: You'll likely need some combination of concrete crack repairs, trenching, new drainage pipes, waterproof coatings, sump pump upgrades, etc. Pros can handle this.
  • Improve Drainage: Make sure downspouts direct rainwater away from the home's foundation. Fill low spots near the house that collect standing water.
  • Get Insurance: Look into special water leakage insurance tailored for basements. This can financially protect you in the future.

While a basement leak can dampen your spirits, taking the right steps to diagnose, repair, and protect your basement can dry things up. And who knows - maybe you'll luck out and find a lucky penny or two during cleanup!

should I waterproof my basement from the inside or outside

In Conclusion

As we've discussed here, home warranties provide limited coverage when it comes to basement leaks and flooding. They mainly cover interior systems repairs only. For issues with your foundation, waterproofing, drainage, and actual water damage, you'll need to take additional measures to fix and protect your home. But hey, look on the bright side - at least you'll get your sump pump repaired! With some quick action, you can keep your basement dry and get back to enjoying this extra living space. Here's to staying high and dry!

About Basement Waterproofing of Rhode Island

For decades Basement Waterproofing of Rhode Island has provided top-tier assistance for all basement systems in the local area. From leaks to crumbling foundations, there's no project too challenging for our team of professional contractors. Please call (401) 496-9426 to schedule a FREE estimate.

FAQs

Is coverage different for a basement foundation vs. a slab foundation?

Home warranties typically exclude coverage for both basement and slab foundations, as they are considered part of the home's structure rather than systems. While warranties may cover interior plumbing repairs regardless of foundation type, they do not address external water infiltration issues for either basements or slabs.

What damage is covered under warranty?

Most home warranties only cover repairs due to normal wear and tear of home systems, like appliances, plumbing, and electrical. Home warranties typically exclude coverage for water or flood damage to the home's structure and belongings, even if the flooding originated from a covered system failure.

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