02 July 2014 ~ Comments Off

Top 5 Subtle Signs That It’s Time for Basement Waterproofing

Anyone can tell you that if your basement is full of water, it’s time to look into basement waterproofing. But what if there’s just a little moisture on the walls? Sometimes, the signs of basement waterproofing problems aren’t obvious. Water is a tricky substance; it can appear and disappear almost at will, leaving behind only subtle hints that it is planning on turning your basement into a pond soon. The cost of waterproofing a basement isn’t as much as you might think, and taking action before the problem gets worse can save you a lot of trouble.

Take note of dampness

If your basement is relatively dry, but sometimes the walls or floor get a bit wet, it’s time to take action. Even a small amount of water, especially on the floor, is an indication that your foundation has been compromised. Water is obviously making it from the outside world into your basement, and with enough pressure, such as during a storm, this could cause a major leak or flooding.

Look out for efflorescence

Water can contain lots of dissolved substances, and when it evaporates, it leaves these substances behind. Efflorescence is a scientific term for these leftover crystallized substances. In your basement, efflorescence appears as a powdery white substance on your basement walls or floor.

Even if you do not see water, efflorescence is a tell-tale sign that water is getting into your basement. Soil and concrete contain plenty of dissolvable, tiny particles. As water squeezes its way through tiny orifices to get into your basement, it picks up lots of substances along the way.

Watch out for stains

Much like efflorescence, stains can indicate the presence of water, even if your basement doesn’t actually look wet. Thanks to the process of evaporation, the water can leak into your basement and then disappear, leaving behind only an unsightly spot or two to let you know it was there. These stains are especially apparent if you have a finished basement.

Be alert for humidity

Humidity is water in its most covert form. It may be invisible to the eye, but you can still tell it’s there. It makes the air in your basement feel heavy and damp. Humidity indicates that water is somehow getting into your basement and evaporating, a growing environment for molds.

That funny smell

Let’s say your basement doesn’t look at all wet, but it smells somewhat musty. That musty smell might just be mold, a fungus that can grow in seemingly inhospitable environments; all it needs to survive is organic material like water. Basements tend to be enclosed environments with little air circulation and sunlight, which mold loves.

Not only can mold become an aesthetic problem as it starts to show on the walls and floor of your basement, it is a health hazard that can cause serious symptoms in some individuals. Mold is an allergen, triggering sneezing, watery eyes, asthma attacks, and other health concerns. When you weigh the cost of waterproofing a basement with the value of your and your family’s health, the choice becomes pretty easy.

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