All basements are prone to flooding and leaking. Especially when you think about what a basement is and how it is usually built. First, a hole is dug in the ground which totally disturbs the naturally compacted soil. Then, a structure is erected in the bottom of that hole and backfilled with loose dirt. What you essentially have now is a house built inside a bowl, which collects and holds water.
So, what is going on around your basement walls which lead to flooding? Simply put, the soil your foundation was built on isn’t stable and was poorly compacted during construction. This allows the top layer of water and soil to build incredible hydro-static pressure against your foundation walls. We call this top layer of soil the “active zone”. Depending on the amount of clay, sand, and organic matter in your soil, it’s unique geologic composition can present a variety of problematic reactions to an extended period of wet, dry, hot or cold conditions. When soil stays too dry, it shrinks and creates voids where a foundation will settle. When soil stays too wet, it gets soft and cannot bear the heavy loads and a foundation will sink. When soil freezes, it will expand and heave the foundation upwards. All of these soil conditions put pressure on a basement which eventually causes it to leak water inside.