Finding water in your basement is never a pleasant experience. There are actually a number of places water can come from, some of which are easier to fix than others. If you find water in your basement but aren't sure where it came from, check some of these common culprits.
Here are some Ways Water Can Get In
No list of basement ailments would be complete without cracks. Just because they haven't leaked before doesn't mean you should automatically rule them out. A crack is a weak spot! Always check them!
If your grading starts above the foundation, water has easy access to your basement. Make sure you can see at least 6" of your foundation above the soil line and the ground slopes away from your home to keep water away.
Once soil is saturated, water can actually push its way through your foundation. This can happen on the walls (as in the picture) or floor, to stone, block or even concrete.
When window wells leak or hold water they are not doing you any favors. Make sure there is proper drainage around your window wells and that they don't sit below grade.
Basement floors, walls, and the foundation footing are all built separately. It's very common for seasonal expansion or contraction to leave gaps between these parts of your foundation. Gaps and rain equal water in the basement!
NOT the Foundation
Just because there is water in the basement, doesn't mean it's a foundation problem. Water can leak from pipes, water heaters, washing machines or higher floors.