When it comes to basement repair, there are some common issues that every homeowner should be prepared to deal with. In this session, we are going to cover the most common issues you will face downstairs. We’re going to share symptoms to look for and a few solutions. We’ll start the ball rolling with, undoubtedly, the most common issue.
Moisture In The Basement
One of the most common issues in basements is moisture. This can be attributed to: poor construction, lack of moisture abatement, leaking pipes, sump pump malfunction, excessive rainfall, washing machine failure, flooding, toilet drainage issues and a host of other problems such as the home settling. Listed below are the top 13 signs that a basement has moisture problems.
- Musty Odor
- Basement Mildew
- Basement Mold
- Damp Spots On Walls
- Paint Peeling, Flaking and/or Chipping
- Rust On Appliances
- Rust On Jack Posts
- Dry Rot
- Foundation Cracks In Walls and Floors
- Foundation Cracks In Floors
- White Chalky Substance On Basement Walls
- Weeds Growing In Your Basement
- Wet Spots On Basement Flooring/Carpet
If you have signs of moisture in your basement, you need to address that issue immediately! Ignoring moisture signs can have the net effect of creating a very unhealthy downstairs living space. Moreover, it goes without saying that moisture issues can lead to costly physical damage. In many instances, the task of applying a basement waterproof sealer is adequate for alleviating moisture distress.
Mold And Mildew In The Basement
Another serious issue that typically starts in the basement is the mold issue. This matter is critical because it can affect the health of you and your family. There are two sets of symptoms. The first set relates to your physical health.
- Nasal Stuffiness
- Eye irritation
- Skin irritation
- Shortness of Breath
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- Allergic Responses To Mold
If you or one of your family members finds yourselves falling ill every time you venture into your downstairs living space, you are in all probability, reacting to mold. These symptoms demand that you talk to your doctor immediately. You need to determine if your symptoms are caused by mold or by something else. Keep in mind that each person’s immune system is different; consequently, each individual reacts to mold differently. That stated, your health is of ultimate importance; if you or a family member experiences any of these symptoms, you need to seek medical attention immediately.
The second type of symptoms is related to the physical attributes that are visible in your basement.
- You Smell a Musty Odor
- You Visibly See Mold
It should go without saying that if you see visible signs of mold, you need to act immediately! Mold has a wide range of colors that you need to be aware of. The most common colors are black, white, yellow, green, brown and gray. Additionally, aside from the color, mold can be look and feel powdery, sort of like baking soda. It can also crop up as moist/wet depending on the conditions.
Basement mildew and mold concerns are a serious and potentially dangerous matter. Mildew and mold can severely impact your physical health. These harbingers of bad news can also easily ruin clothing, books, wood, precious photographs as well as other organic substances placed in your basement.
You need to be aware that mold has a tendency to blossom in and on wall space and on wood. Additionally, it is inclined to thrive on goods made of linen, paper, cotton and leather. This is why you’ll want to immediately address any mold and mildew issues!
In terms of solving the moisture and/or mold issue, unless you are a basement repair specialist, you’ll want to have a number of specialists provide you with estimates. These estimates are actually detailed inspections designed to confirm the source of your problem. By getting at least three of these inspections, you can glean from each contractor to better gauge what the issue is.
A common problem with basements is flooding. If this unfortunate scenario happens, you need to act fast! First and foremost, you will need to extricate the water immediately! Generally speaking, this will require some type of sump pump or other water drainage system. Once the major part of the water is removed, you will need to mop up the remainder puddles and wet spots. Finally, you will need to dry out your downstairs living space.
That final step cannot be taken lightly. Remember, everything we learned about mold and mildew? If you do not complete this last step, your basement will become a harbinger for mold and mildew. Use a dehumidifier to complete this task. After you are done, perform a detailed inspection from corner to corner. Your basement should be returned to a completely dry state. If you are unsure about this process, your best option is to hire a basement repair specialist. Here are the top reasons why basements suffer flooding.
- Home is located in a flood zone
- Poor installation of basement floor and wall sealants
- Failed sump pump
- Cracks in floor or walls
- Debris located in eaves troughs
- Obstructed gutter system
- Drainage system installed improperly
- Plumbing leaks
- Leaks via windows
- Sewage back up
- Wash machine flooding
- Water heater flooding
All of these issues can be avoided with a detailed flood proof inspection. Of course, you need to perform such an inspection while everything is dry. In summation, you will need to monitor your basement on a regular basis for signs of mold, mildew, cracks in the walls, shifting floors, flooding and foundational issues. Never assume that everything is OK. Be diligent in performing regularly scheduled inspections; doing so, will save you a ton of aggravation and money.