No one loves the idea of walking into their basement and finding water droplets or puddles on the floor. But sadly, water issues are part of basement care. The question is not if but when water or moisture will develop. If water or humidity levels go up, will your basement hold up or fall apart?
If you have done proper waterproofing, you’re safe. But you still need to keep an eye out for seasonal changes and other things. Your basement may appear dry in winter, but come summer, humidity levels could possibly spike, and the signs of water issues will become clear.
Telltale Signs of Excess Water
So how does water buildup manifest in the basement? Here are seven signs:
- Mold and mildew: Both microorganisms are common invaders in a basement with water issues. They’ll appear as black, white, or green-yellow streaks on your walls and the floor. When mold and mildew get into the basement, they will release awful, musty smells.
- Efflorescence: Another unmistakable sign is the chalky white mineral deposit that forms on the walls. They occur when bonding agents in lime break down chemically.
- Rust stains: These usually form on concrete floors or carpet when metal objects like nails or metal feet come into contact with moisture and air.
- Stained carpets: Stains may also develop on your carpet. Find out what’s causing them and if they are connected to rainwater.
- Water bugs: A wet or damp basement is a magnet for small insects looking to quench their thirst. You’re likely to see them behind your appliances, around corners, and along beams and baseboards.
- Warped wood: Wood and floorboards warp when they come into contact with moisture.
- Cracked floors and walls: When cracks form in the basement, it’s a sign water is exerting pressure on the structure as it tries to get in. This may cause the floor to break and water to seep through.
Why is Water Collecting in the Basement?
Don’t look far and wide for the causes of water buildup. Here are the culprits:
- Leaking water pipes: Basements with old or poorly maintained plumbing systems are likely to blame because of wear and tear or accidental damage.
- Window wells: When these fixtures get clogged or are installed without drains, they’ll encourage water to seep into the basement.
- Wall and floor cracks: Cracks are another vector for moisture and water to get into your basement. They may form when soil settles or shrinks, or due to concrete curing.
- Clogged basement drains: Gunk, dirt, and debris can also block the drainpipe that runs below the basement floor, stopping it from draining water outside. Water will collect and linger in the basement.
- Condensation: A typical basement problem that’s likely to occur in summer when the air is heavily moist. It manifests as water droplets on cold surfaces.
How to Address Water Buildup
Lucky for you, there are many ways to keep the basement dry. But first, ask your local basement contractor serving Denver, CO, to inspect the basement interior and exterior. They’ll uncover the source of water or moisture and recommend the right fixes.
Wall cracks are your weakest links in keeping the basement dry. Have your contractor seal all the cracks and openings and install wall repair measures if needed. Monitor them for some time to ensure they don’t reopen. If they do, the problem could be elsewhere.
When it rains, does your yard facilitate backflows? If so, regrade it so water flows away from the perimeter of your home. This way, the foundation stays dry and no water gets into the basement.
Inspect water pipes that run through your basement. Fix any that are leaking and replace old pipes. Once you’re through, insulate them so warm air won’t condense along them during cold winter months.
Have a slowly draining basement interior drainage system? Have your basement waterproofing contractor install a more reliable system like BasementGutter™ that will not clog. Be sure to pair this system with a trusted sump pump, as well.
If you have basement windows, check the seals and reseal them if they’re loose. Better still, replace your old wooden basement windows with leak-proof windows.
Waterproofing the basement interior is a good thing. But it doesn’t make sense to seal cracks or clear drain backups if the atmosphere is heavily moist. The most sensible thing to do in this case is to get a dehumidifier. Your best bet is an energy-efficient unit that will clean and filter the air, control moisture and humidity, and reduce odors and the potential for mold growth.
Condensation occurs when moisture-laden air gets in but doesn’t move around the basement. Consider installing an HVAC unit to condition this space. If you have an air conditioning system, extend it to the basement.
Don’t let moisture or water buildup degrade your basement and deny you the chance to use it to its full potential. Complete Basement Systems can provide a free basement waterproofing inspection and repair quote so you can know what’s wrong and how best to fix your water issues.