Many people are concerned about water damaging their basement and that fear keeps them from doing their basement project. While water can be a big problem, the cause of water is usually relatively simple to fix and most often not a reason to keep you from remodeling your basement.
Water usually leaks into your basement from one of these things:
Leaky Gutters. It's hard to believe how often gutters are left to hang off the side of a house, leaving a gap for water to flow directly into the house foundation and then into the basement. Always keep your gutters cleaned and attached firmly to your house, and if you have some water coming into your basement, the first place you should look is the gutter outside.
Gutter Drainage. If water is running properly down gutters, there will be significant amounts to deal with. Make sure the water is being diverted far away and downhill from your house. There's little point to gutters if all the water is channeled right to the foundation of our house and into your basement.
Neighbors Gutters/Roof. In some cases water is running from a neighbor's house straight into another foundation. If your gutters are good, check your neighbor's.
Sloping Lot. Houses on slopes cause the biggest basement water problems. Water runs downhill and if your house is on that hill, water will want to run into your foundation. This is usually when people have french drains installed, which is basically a channel of gravel along your foundation that moves water away and past your house. This gets a bit more expensive, but usually not enough so to deter people from making a safe investment in their basement remodel.
And always remember, if your basement has water problems, they always need to fixed from the outside. Even if you do your project and later have water, the majority of the work will come on the outside of the house.