Basement Foundation Waterproofing

Basements are the perfect breeding ground for a mold or mildew problem. That’s why basement waterproofing is very critical. Mold and mildew growth occur when high humidity and organic materials are present. A musty smell in your home is a likely indication of water leaks, high humidity, or mold growth. You might notice mold stains on drywall, carpeting, furniture, or items stored in the basement. Keep an eye out for other signs of water intrusion, such as peeling paint, wall discoloration, or increased allergy symptoms. If your basement smells like cat urine and the problem isn’t caused by a cat living in the home, this could be an indication of a mold problem. Basement mold should be dealt with immediately and preventative measures should be taken to avoid negative affects to indoor air quality.

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Flooded basement
Flooded Basement And Garage

Water can cause cracks in the foundation. Foundation cracks can allow water into the basement. When water accumulates against the foundation due to poor drainage, hydrostatic pressure forces the water through cracks and gaps in the foundation walls. When water seeps through a crack in the foundation, there’s an increased risk of mold and mildew growth. Foundation cracks should be sealed to keep out water and moisture, but it’s more important to divert water away from the foundation with proper drainage. While most basement cracks are nothing to worry about, horizontal wall cracks and bulging walls are typically caused by hydrostatic pressure and require professional foundation repair.

When water evaporates it leaves behind minerals, causing white, chalky stains called efflorescence, on concrete basement walls and floors. Efflorescence can occur wherever there’s excess moisture moving through the basement walls or floor. Common entry points include cracks, along the wall-floor joint, or through the porous concrete. Although there might not be obvious water leaks or puddles of water, the white stains are a common sign of water damage. Efflorescence isn’t harmful and can be easily cleaned, but the source of the water problem should be dealt with to keep the stains from coming back.

The most common cause of flaking or peeling paint on basement walls is excess moisture. Moisture causes the paint to lose adhesion. Rain, snowmelt, and groundwater leaks are the primary sources of moisture in the basement. Gutters and downspouts and landscaping that don’t divert water far enough away from the foundation are common causes of excess moisture in the soil around basement walls. Leaking or sweating pipes can also cause paint to peel.

Moisture and high humidity are common problems in basements due to outside moisture, water intrusion, and interior sources of moisture. When water vapor or condensation form on wood surfaces, including ceiling joists, this can result in wood rot that may spread until it causes significant structural damage to the home. Bouncy or uneven floors over the basement can be a sign of a rotted or damaged floor joist or sill plate (wooden board that the joist sits on).

A sinking or uneven concrete basement floor could be a sign of soil erosion or shrinkage under the foundation. Heavy rains can saturate the soil and cause water to pool under the foundation, which can result in structural problems. Check for signs of a sinking basement floor, including a gap where the basement walls meet the floor (cove joint or wall-floor joint), support beams that are pulling away from the ceiling, or cracks in the concrete floor. If the basement is finished and the concrete is covered by carpeting or finished flooring, it may be necessary to pull back the floor covering to check for cracks in the concrete. A sinking foundation should be inspected by a professional who can determine if foundation repair is needed.

Basement water problems can make drywall and carpet wet. Plumbing leaks, water intrusion from outside, or condensation are all common causes of wet drywall and carpet in the basement. Some of the obvious signs of water damage to basement drywall and carpet are yellowish-brown stains, mold stains, and dampness. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell if there’s water damage below the surface. Check for bowing walls, drywall that’s pulling away from mounting screws, and soft spots in the drywall, which could indicate a basement leak or moisture problem.

Preventing Basement Water Damage

Have you noticed signs of water damage in your basement? Depending on the cause of your damp, musty, moldy, or wet basement, fixing and preventing basement water damage could be a do-it-yourself repair or it could require the help of a basement waterproofing expert. Learn more about how to or schedule your free basement waterproofing estimate with your local Basement Systems contractor.

Basement waterproofing contractors find the source of basement water problems and design customized solutions to keep the basement dry, including installation of sump pumps, interior drainage systems, and replacement windows.

Foundation waterproofing is the process of preventing water intrusion, from subtle water seepage to flooding when the ground is over-saturated. There are several approaches and products for waterproofing a foundation and strong proponents of one method over another. Like many home repair jobs, foundation water problems typically can’t be solved with a single product or treatment.

As experts in waterproofing and moisture control, contractors specialize in designing waterproofing systems to fit the individual needs of a home.

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