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3 Signs Your Basement May Have A Moisture Problem


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wet damp basement

From using your basement as a handy storage space to turning it into an extra finished living space, the extra space that your basement can provide opens the doors to many possibilities for enhancing your home living. But a basement can also become a gateway for unwanted moisture and water, which in turn can rob you of the use of your basement and even cause damage to the structural integrity of your home.


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While water in the basement can sometimes be because of leaky plumbing or some other internal reason, there are a lot of ways that water from the outside can get in. Usually this is caused by cracks in the foundation, water pushing through the spaces where your foundation wall meets the floor, and even through your basement’s concrete walls in the form of moisture vapor. Fortunately, there are methods out there to help protect your basement from outside water—but you’ll need to first know the signs that your basement may have a moisture problem!

Let’s have a closer look at what to look out for…



 

Foundation Cracks

Whenever it rains, water will seep into the soil and build up around your home foundation. From the weight of all that soil and water, it can place a lot of pressure on your foundation walls, potentially leading to cracks in the concrete. Whether on your basement wall or basement floor, foundation cracks can be a sign that your basement may have or will soon have a moisture problem, especially if they were caused by the pressure of outside water weighing on the foundation walls. While external moisture can find its way into a basement as moisture vapor or as water through the seams between the basement wall and floor, foundation cracks provide a much easier way for water to invade, which can increase the likelihood of a wet or flooded basement.

 

Mold

You might not think it, but mold spores are virtually everywhere. But normally, there’s nothing to worry about them—unless your basement is having a moisture problem. Just because mold spores may be present in your home doesn’t mean that mold growth will occur. Mold requires a certain level of moisture for the spores to activate. That’s why if you should spot mold growth on your basement wall or floor, there’s a good chance that your basement is having a problem with excessive moisture. Here are just some of the molds that may appear in your home…

  • Black mold, also known as “toxic mold” or Stachybotrys chartarum. As the name suggests, it often looks black in color. It is known to produce mycotoxins.
  • These kinds of mold look fuzzy in appearance and tend to have a bluish-green color, but they can have other colors as well. You’ve likely seen them growing on stale bread or other foods. These can also produce toxins.
  • These kinds of mold have been known to cause a variety of diseases collectively known as Aspergillosis. Most people won’t get sick from simply breathing in the spores, but this can be a problem for those with respiratory illnesses or weakened immune systems.

It’s important to address any mold situation in your basement. As mold grows, it will begin to release more spores into the air. This can potentially lead to allergic reactions in some individuals, and some types of molds even produce dangerous mycotoxins.

 

Pests

Having moisture problems in your basement can lead to a tempting situation for many pests that are searching for shelter. Some pests that you may encounter include ants, termites, dust mites, and rodents. For these kinds of pests, a damp basement means water, shelter from predators, and a potential place to breed. From structural damage to your home to health problems, allowing these pests to flourish in your basement can only spell trouble. Here’s a small glimpse into what some of these pests can do…

  • From chewing their way through your drywall and wooden supports to finding their way into your kitchen, you won’t want these industrious insects to move into your damp basement. Ant colonies are quick to grow and can be troublesome to get rid of.
  • You likely know them by their reputation for eating the wood in homes. But having them actually in your home can lead to very costly repairs. Termites consume wood and dead plant matter, but they also require a certain degree of humidity and moisture to survive. Certain types of termites will even build mud tunnels as they explore and forage in order to maintain that moist environment that they so need. So long as your basement is damp, a termite colony can grow and cause more damage to your home’s wooden supports.
  • Dust mites. Dust is everywhere, and where there is dust in the home, there’s likely to be dust mites. These tiny, microscopic creatures can trigger allergic reactions when their fecal particles or their body parts are inhaled. Due to how small they are, it’s easy for them to get swept up and carried along in your home’s air.
  • Rats, mice, both kinds of rodents are always in search of a place that offers moisture, food, and a shelter where they can breed. Unfortunately, a human home with a damp basement can fulfill all those needs. Along with the possibility of bringing fleas and diseases along with them, rats and mice can also contaminate the surfaces of your home with their feces and urine.

All of these pests can make for a massive headache if they are not promptly addressed. They all share one thing in common: they need moisture to survive. Fortunately, you can take control of the moisture in your basement so that you can keep these various pests out of your home.

 

Basement Waterproofing: Keep That Moisture Out!

The main reason that water is pushed into the basement from the outside is because of that pressure that’s created when a lot of water sits against the foundation wall. But you can protect your basement from that intrusive moisture by taking control of how that water interacts with your foundation—that’s where basement wall waterproofing comes in.

With interior basement waterproofing, you can relieve that pressure on your foundation walls by redirecting that rain and groundwater out of your home and to a distance far enough that it doesn’t return to your foundation. As that pressure against your foundation drops, there’s less force to push moisture into your basement.

 



Professional Basement Waterproofing for Your Home

Protecting your home from outside moisture will require more than just a single solution like waterproofing paint from the store. It requires a comprehensive system of components that will capture the water and direct it out of your home so that it doesn’t create a wet basement situation. This is where a professional basement waterproofing contractor can be helpful. It is highly recommended that you select one that has decades of experience, has many positive reviews for their basement waterproofing, and offers a strong warranty.

 

 



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