Perhaps one of the most versatile parts of your house, if not the most, is your basement. It is an area typically wide enough to serve different purposes, from functioning as a storage and laundry room, a recreational area, a family room, or even an extra bedroom for when your adult kid refuses to move out.
If you’re someone who enjoys periodic DIY construction projects, the idea of transforming your basement might be a great pastime activity. However, you must also keep in mind that cellars are one of the most vulnerable areas for flooding and other moisture-related issues.
It is essential that you become knowledgeable of the upkeep of your house’s very foundation, or you will be facing costly damages to your home and your belongings. When you have enough know-how with your basement, you can tell when it is trying to tell you something. You can promptly notice warning signs early and seek professional help from a basement waterproofing contractor before the problem worsens. As such, we have listed the telltale signs that your basement desperately needs waterproofing.
The earliest signs of water damage in your basement are the appearance of water stains. They typically appear on the walls and ceilings, indicating that water has already been in your home interior.
When not addressed in time, the water can seep through the foundations and your walls, leaving behind discolored patches that are more than just aesthetically displeasing but a clear sign that deterioration of your structure is imminent.
Cracks that suddenly appear on the walls or the floor are caused by several factors. They may be a result of the hydrostatic pressure from the surrounding soil or some structural issues. Whatever the cause is, it is worth looking into each one and determining what causes them.
Most times, when water pressure builds up from the pipes within your basement walls, it can lead to cracks and ultimately weaken the structural integrity of your house. These cracks can also provide an easy access point for water to flow into your walls, leading to further damage.
Another clear evidence of water infiltration is a musty, damp smell covering the airspace of your basement area. These musty odors are often caused by mold or mildew growth, which thrive in moist and humid environments.
These not only cause unpleasant smells but also pose serious health risks to your family, as exposure can cause mild to severe allergic reactions and other respiratory infections or problems. A musty odor is a sure sign of excess moisture somewhere in your basement and must be immediately addressed.
Puddles or Standing Water
If puddles or standing water starts budding on your floors from unknown sources, you know you’re in for the worst-case scenario. Water is pooling around the foundations of your house without a clear direction of where it is coming from. This means it is only a matter of time before your foundation deteriorates, causing severe damage to the overall structure and, worst of all, may result to the whole building collapsing.
Consistent Damp and Humid Conditions
Another warning sign of water infiltration along your basement walls is a consistently damp or humid cellar. A damp environment is an invitation for mold and various insects to thrive. They don’t just destroy or build a colony in dark corners of your house, slowly destroying any books, furniture, or even electronics they come in contact with; they also slowly eat away the pillars that hold your home together.
If you read this article for a comprehensive guide on how mold affects people, you will appreciate the seriousness of having a mold situation in any area of your house.
Peeling Paint or Efflorescence
If chalky substances start surfacing or paint starts peeling off your walls, you need to be worried. Efflorescence indicates water trickling down the concretes of your walls, with the minerals it contains dissolving and attaching to the surface.
Don’t wipe it off right away because it ruins the appearance of your wall. Find the access point of the water and see how you can cover up the hole.
Metal Rusts and Rotting Woods
With constant exposure to water, your house’s support beams or other structural elements will start accumulating rust or decaying.
This is extremely dangerous because when your wood or metal structures start corroding, their durability is already compromised, leaving you in danger of your house crumbling under you even with the smallest shaking.
When your house starts to be overrun with insects, such as ants, termites, and other pests, you need to investigate what’s causing the infestation immediately. Usually, insects are attracted to a consistently damp or moist area, so check all corners for any signs of leak and address them right away.
Here’s a great resource to help you understand more about the colony that has made a home in your favorite furniture, or even in the gaps in your wall: https://www.foxweather.com/learn/termite-protect-season-home
All these signs tell you that your cellar is about to be damaged by pipe leaks or flooding during the rainy season. After addressing the root of the issue with proper experts, you will need to call on another set of professionals to waterproof your whole basement.
There are many reasons why spending on basement waterproofing makes sense. One of the most crucial is for you to protect your investment. Buying or building a house already costs a lot of money. The value of this particular asset goes up or down depending on how you take care of it. Waterproofing your foundation is just a basic step in protecting the resale value of your investment and improving your home’s longevity.
Damp and dark basements also breed a lot of health risks with the development of molds, mildew, and insect infestations. Waterproofing is also a way to protect you and your loved ones from respiratory conditions like asthma. And because your house is protected from any signs of water damage, your belongings will also be safe from untimely decays.
With a water-free basement comes a more stable temperature, allowing you to save on your energy bills because you won’t need to turn up your heaters more than you have to. Clean and pristine air provides for a more energy-efficient use of appliances. A properly maintained basement can also be transformed into a usable space, allowing you to use the area as you like.