How to Spot a Wet Basement

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A wet basement is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. What seems to be a simple moisture issue, if not immediately addressed, can easily turn into a big problem that costs you a lot of time, money, and effort.

Nobody thinks twice about their basement waterproofing until something bad happens. And sure, every basement should be properly waterproofed right off the bat, but sometimes (especially after heavy rainfall), basement waterproofing issues will inevitably arise. And many homeowners aren’t privy to this until it’s too late and the damage has already wreaked havoc in their house.

So, when it comes to basement waterproofing, the best course of action you can take is to nip it in the bud. What this entails is a proactive approach on the homeowner’s part by which you regularly check your basement for signs of moisture.

Suspect a Wet Basement? Look for These Signs

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Identifying the following signs of dampness will help you stop moisture dead in its track before the problem escalates:

  • Water stains on the basement walls, floors or carpeting
  • An unpleasant, musty odour emanating from the basement
  • Visible mould and/or mildew in the basement
  • The lawn adjacent to your basement walls is wet
  • Rotting basement joists and columns
  • Water coming in the basement where the walls meet the floor
  • Basement humidity

Now that you are able to identify common signs of basement moisture, it’s time to pinpoint the source of the problem.

What Causes a Wet Basement?

Having a leaky basement can be caused by several factors. Here’s a list of the most common reasons behind a wet basement

Improper landscapingDefective or insufficient gutters and downspoutsCondensation on the basement walls and floorsCracks in the house foundation

The landscaping near your basement should be constructed to drive water away from your property rather than towards it. But if the grading around the basement walls slopes towards it, water after heavy rainfall or from sprinklers can trickle through your house’s foundation and accumulate in the basement.

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The purpose of gutters and downspouts in a house is to direct rainwater away from the foundation. If those gutters and downspouts are missing, or not working as they should, rainwater will drain towards your foundation and will accumulate in the soil around it. As a result, this water that’s accumulated near the foundation will end up inside your basement.

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A common mistake homeowners make is open the basement windows to air it out. If you do this on a warm day when the air is humid, it will form condensation on the walls and floors as soon as it hits them. As a result, your basement might develop some moisture problems that appear as mould and mildew on the walls and floors.

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If you have crevices or cracks in your foundation, water is likely to find its way into the house. In fact, sometimes the water is even the cause of the cracks themselves, and if floor joists are not properly connected to the foundation walls, it can allow the walls to move, and, in turn, cracks are thus formed. This process creates the perfect path for water to penetrate through the cracks in the foundation and into your basement.

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How do you fix a wet basement?

The fix to your basement waterproofing problem depends on the reason causing it. If you’re unsure of what you need to do, contact a waterproofing contractor to get the right answer.

How much does wet basement repair cost?

Again, this depends on the reason that’s causing your wet basement and what you must do to fix the problem. Cracked foundation repair, for instance, is a big project that can cost up to $100,000.

Can you seal a basement from the inside?

Sealing the basement foundation is done according to the severity of the damage in the walls or floors. There are basement concrete sealers that can do the trick, preventing water seepage and vapour transmission.

Is waterproofing a basement worth it?

Waterproofing a basement is one of the best things you can do for your basement as well as your house’s market value. Protect your basement now to prevent long-term damage. So, yes, we think waterproofing your basement is certainly worth it.

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Need More Information about Wet Basements?

Contact us at Moose Basements. Our basement waterproofing experts are happy to answer your questions regarding wet basements and the solutions best suited for your situation.