Basement Water Problems
As the spring begins, so does the spring thaw! With it comes plenty of unwanted water seeping into your home and ruining everything it comes into contact with. As a home inspector, I am always on the lookout for water in unwanted places. However, due to the seasons, quick fixes or freak accidents, we cannot always predict when and where the water may come in. Here are a few pointers to help you out when looking for your future home.
Signs of previous water damage;
- Staining/Dampness On Carpets – One of the best indicators of moisture, make sure you take note of where it occurs, is it the entire area or one wall/corner of the room.
- Mould- Mould takes time to grow- which means that the moisture was likely there for a while, or could be a reoccurring issue. There is also an odor that comes along with it, which is a musty smell.
- Efflorescence – A mineral deposit which is and occurs on the surface of masonry. This is resulted usually by the passing of water through the crack on the wall.
- Rust Stains – If you are seeing rusted metal feet on furniture, electrical boxes, rusty nails on baseboards or rust on the flooring/carpet, this is a clear indication of past moisture.
- Stained/Darkened Wood – Spots on the wood floor can indicate past moisture as well, sometimes due to pets but still something to look for.
- Dampness/Staining Around Floor Cracks – Water may be forcing its way up through the cracks due to pressure.
- Water Insects- Some insects gravitate towards moisture and you will be able to find them behind couches, under furniture or along the baseboards.
If you are like many people, you have already purchased your home and may have found in a very wet spring, that there is in fact moisture that was not evident prior to purchase. The first thing you need to do is figure out why you are getting moisture. Once you have figured the issue out it will be much easier to prevent the damage for the next spring. Here are some common issues and preventative measures for moisture in your basement.
- Basement flooding due to eaves trough overflow~ Install downspout extensions and direct water flow away from the home or you can install a rain barrel and put a spout from the eaves trough directly into it, use this water for your plants.
- Leaks from appliances~ Check appliances regularly and check water source hoses for wear/tear and replace when necessary, also replace older appliances if possible as they are not energy efficient and could be costing you money.
- Leaks from cracks in walls and foundation~ Seal cracks in foundation walls and basement floors with a sealer you get at a local hardware store.
- Broken or burst pipes~ Ensure your water valve is working and be sure you know where the shut off is, in case of an emergency. Check plumbing for corrosion, buckling, bulging or cracks and replace. Consider reinforced braided stainless steel hoses.
- Poor lot grading~ the sloping of the land is promoting water flow toward the house, this can be fairly expensive to fix but it may be worth it if it means having a dry basement.
Stay tuned for Basic Waterproofing Tips…