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Damp Basement? What to look for.

Allergic reactions, broken bones and even radiation poisoning can come about with a damp basement.

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Monday, February 17th, 2020

Just because you don’t feel the effects of moisture in the basement doesn’t mean you’re safe. A damp basement in Colorado Springs is bad news for your family. Besides harboring mold and allergens that can trigger respiratory issues, your moist basement can usher poisonous radon gas into your home and increase the cost of heating. 

Problems Caused by Moist Basements

Problems in moist basements

No homeowner wants to imagine that their basements can get damp. Because if that happens, they can expect lots of problems to head their way. Some of the key problems they’re like to face include:

  • Floods and leaks: It’s a common problem for homeowners with damp basements in Colorado Springs. Other than causing serious damage to your home, leaks and stagnant water can cause water-borne diseases. Algae may also form in the basement, releasing corrosive chemicals that will eat your steel foundations away.
  • Basement cracks: Excessive moisture can cause your basement walls and floor to crack. When this happens, water may seep through from external sources into your basement. Cracks can also exert pressure on the sewerage drainage pipes running under your floors, causing them to snap and leak sewage waste into your basement.
  • Damaged floor: Excess moisture on your basement may find its way into your floor and cause warping. Wood rot will follow, and this is risky as it can cause your floor to cave in when someone walks across.                                                                                             
  • Weakens underlying structure: When moisture collects in the basement, it will cause your joists and beams to rot. The effect is the underlying structures will no longer be able to support the weight of your home, so the risk of your home sinking under its weight is real.
  • Mold infestation: High moisture levels in your basement will almost always encourage mold growth. Spores emanating from mold can float into your home’s atmosphere and cause myriad respiratory tract infections and allergies. Plus, mold can also leave a permanent discoloration on your wooden floor, forcing you to replace it.
  • Creepy crawlies: As much as you dislike unwanted guests, your damp basement will invite pests and termites to your home. These guests may chew and damage your belongings and wooden beams. Mice also introduce fleas that bite and cause serious diseases like the bubonic plague.
  • Pungent odors: Mold and mildew buildup may release an awful stench to your home. Add to that decomposing droppings from mice and other pests, and you end up with terrible odors that no amount of air freshener can conceal.
  • Wall and paint damage: When moisture from the basement enters your wooden home in Colorado Springs, it may cause the paint to peel off and the wall to decay.
  • Radon toxicity: Cracks and crevices forming around your house foundation can release radon gas into your precious home. The gas is odorless and highly radioactive. This may cause cancer to house members.

Which environments promote basement dampness?

Some environments seem to encourage and worsen dampness more than others. Knowing what these are can help you take appropriate measures. The first is homes around flood-prone areas. This needs no explanation. Water will saturate the soil and find its way to the foundation walls, then seep through cracks to your basement. 

If your home is poorly graded, it’s also likely to encourage dampness in the basement. Rainwater will flow towards your walls and seep through into the foundation and not away as it should be. The same problem may also arise when the soil around the perimeter of your home is poorly compacted.

Upon curing, homes with concrete foundations tend to develop cracks. Again, these will let in water into your basement and cause it to be damp. When buying a home, ensure joists are properly attached to the foundation walls, or else they will wobble about and cause cracks. 

Other than the visible drainage pipes, modern homes with a proper basement also have a subsurface drainage channel system. These can clog or block water flow, causing water to stagnate or overflow into your basement. If you have installed a sump pump, ensure continuity in the pump’s connections.

Struggling with moisture or dampness in your basement? Not sure how to stop the moisture issues? There are so many ways you and your home can benefit from basement waterproofing projects. Schedule a free basement inspection with your local basement contractor and find answers to your moisture problems.

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