Posted on: 3 June 2018
Your basement is the part of your home that is the most susceptible to water damage, since any heavy rainfall or changes in the water level will naturally lead to flooding at the lowest point in your home. Water damage and flooding not only can cause structural damage and necessitate an expensive cleanup, it can also lead to mold and mildew growth which represents a serious health concern to you and your family. Understanding some of the major signs that your basement has experienced water damage in the past and may need waterproofing in the future can help you identify such problems before they become more serious.
Discoloration and Staining
One of the first signs of water exposure that you will notice within your basement is any sort of discoloration or staining to various surfaces. This will have a different effect depending on the material that the water was exposed to: wood can warp, bend, and begin to rot away, whereas wallpaper and paint will likely appear stained and may begin to bubble, peel, or flake away from the walls. Water exposure and most metals can cause rusting, whereas concrete is likely to be simply discolored.
If your basement is not finished and you aren't able to discern if the discoloration on your concrete walls and floors points to dirt or to water exposure, you should keep an eye out to cracks in the wall, even if they are small. Cracking points to the erosion of the soil around the foundation, which can cause shifts and thus structural damage. In other cases, the water is absorbed into the concrete and when the temperature drops below freezing, turns to ice, expanding and forcing a crack to appear in the wall. In either case, you may want to consider installing a vapor barrier or a water-resistant sealant.
Strong Earthy Smell
Finally, one of the more serious signs of water damage in your basement whether it is finished or unfinished is the heavy, earthy smell that seems to permeate the entire area. This smell will be hard to cover up and will not go away no matter how much you clean. This points to hidden mold and mildew growth somewhere in your basement due to extended and consistent moisture exposure, and means that you will have to call a mold remediation specialist to test and clean your basement, as well as a waterproofing contractor to fix the underlying problems which caused the mold to grow in the first place.
Contact a company, like Safe-Way Waterproofing, for more help.Share