Besides the obvious water puddles, there can be other signs of moisture in a basement. According to This Old House, 60% of all homes in the United States have a wet basement and a moisture problem, and 38% could carry mold because of it. Mold can not only affect your home but your family as well. A basement waterproofing contractor may be needed if you see that your basement often is damp.
Signs of Basement Moisture
We all know a puddle in the basement is a clear sign that you have basement moisture problems, but there are also other signs that you may not know can contribute to a wet and musty basement. There can be rot along the joists and headers of the space, or you could see the wood or carpet deteriorating. The air can be humid with a smell of mildew or mold. The basement walls could be stained, or you may see condensation on them. There may be water that seeps from the wall, or the base of the walls could be saturated. Any of these are a clear sign of too much moisture in the room, and you should treat it immediately to avoid structural damage or health concerns. A basement waterproofing contractor can assess your basement and tell you what needs to be done to keep your home and family safe.
Causes of a Wet Basement
There are many reasons that your home’s basement could be wet. Some of these are outdoor issues and a few are problems found in the home. We are focusing on the seven most common reasons.
1. Gutter Defects
If you have missing sections in your gutters or gutters that pull away from the home or have cracks, that means the water isn’t being diverted to where it needs to go. Did you know that one inch of rainfall has about a thousand gallons of water that can seep into your home, according to the U.S. Geological Survey? Gutters need to be in proper condition to direct water away from the foundation of your home. If you see that your gutters are clogged or that you have any of the other problems listed here in this section, you should see about having them fixed immediately.
2. Cracks in the Concrete
When your home “settles” or there is trauma to the foundation, there can be cracks left behind. These breaks allow water to seep into your home. They can range from small, microscopic fissures to large open seams in the concrete. You should get these assessed by a professional to ensure your home is still structurally sound. They will likely seal these cracks with a sealant, and the sealant works by getting in the small fissures and forming a bond that will keep water out and help protect the rest of your basement. Waterproofing by a basement waterproofing contractor is a great service to hire if you want to keep your home in good condition for a long time.
3. Grading Issues/Sloped Areas
If you have a patio or a walkway that is sloped improperly, it may be directing water straight toward your home instead of away from it. This can cause a moist basement because of the water that gathers around the foundation. This is also the case with grading, where the ground has been graded towards your home rather than away from it. What makes the issue worse is if the dirt around your foundation wasn’t compacted correctly, so when the dirt settles there is an indention around your foundation that’s perfect for water to pool into. Any of these grading or sloping problems mean that water is going to get into your home and cause a wet basement.
Driveways are the source of many sloping and grading issues that cause wet basements. If your driveway slopes toward your home and not away from it with the pitch of the grade, then you are getting water pooling around your home from it. This will cause moisture to seep into the basement and into other parts of the home.
4. Inside Water Leakage
Not all water seepage into the basement is caused by outside problems, such as an interior water leak. These leaks may be from a pipe, sink, washing machine, or a host of other places. Finding them can be as simple as checking where the water appears in the basement and seeing what is directly above it. However, you will need an experienced professional to have these leaks repaired. Afterward, you should be proactive and have a basement waterproofing contractor out to ensure no future moisture problems.
5. Neighboring Homes
Your neighbors may be the source of your moisture problems if they have bad drainage and a slope that angles toward your home. If they aren’t able to properly direct water away to a safer spot, the water run-off may come rushing toward your own home. If they have pooling spots in their yard, that moisture may work toward your basement and make it damp.
6. Humidity Indoors
If your home has too much humidity, then that can cause condensation in your basement and on windows. That means peeling paint and some odors may be present to alert you. Many thermostats are equipped to show you the humidity of the room, and if you see it start to creep up, then you know you will need to start looking into ways to reduce that moisture from the air. When there is too much humidity, you may try dehumidifiers to try to rid the moisture from the air. A basement waterproofing contractor can also be used to seal your basement and proactively work against humidity in the home.
7. Bad Sprinklers
If you have garden or yard sprinklers, they can lead to basement moisture when they have leaks or if they have structural damage. Slow leaks or bad aim can lead to water pooling around the foundation or striking the foundational walls, which allows for water to seep into the basement. You may not even notice until there are stains and odors. A general rule of thumb is to not allow sprinklers to water any areas that are within four feet of your home. This will help keep moisture at bay.
If you have a fire safety sprinkler system installed in your home, you should look out for problems with those as well. If the seals are bad or there’s a pipe leak, those sprinklers may be leaking inside the walls and going down into the foundation unit of the basement. If you begin to notice water or excessive moisture in your basement, it’s a good idea to check your pipe and plumbing system. These are often causes of wet basements.
If you have any of the above problems and have noticed moisture in your basement or condensation on your windows in any room, you should call a basement waterproofing contractor today for an assessment. A-Proseal Basement Waterproofing & Concrete Lifting can help. We can check the humidity levels of your home and see where there are sloping issues that may be causing your troubles. We are experts in the field and a very experienced basement waterproofing contractor. See what our services can do to protect your home from damage.