When buying a home, it is hard to tell if the property you are looking at has a soggy secret. It is not until the rain starts to pour that you will find out you have a leaky basement on your hands. The dingy basement is often the most ignored room of the house, but it can also lead to costly repairs if left unattended. Here are some things to look out for to avoid water damage in your basement.
Water Collecting Around the Foundation
While a normal rainfall may not bring any signs of concern, a torrential downpour might. It is important to have a proper drainage system that directs water away from the house. This includes having the landscape of your property slope away from the structure to divert water from the foundation.
Door and/or Window Cracks
During the next rainfall, look for signs of leakage around your windows and doorways. If you find water, it could mean there are small cracks or holes around your doors and windows. The sealant around them could also have let go, causing water to sneak in. Reseal with caulking anywhere you find a flaw.
The source may not always be from outside! Leaking pipes are a common problem and could be your cause of dampness in the basement. It is a good idea to regularly inspect your pipes for any cracks or blockages. When the weather turns cold, be sure to drain exterior faucets to prevent any freezing which could lead to a burst pipe and a basement flood.
If you cannot find a source of water, it may just be high humidity levels within your basement. What could cause this? Poor ventilation is often the culprit or just warm summer temperatures. If it looks like your walls are sweating, chances are it is a condensation problem. Luckily it can be fixed easily by purchasing a dehumidifier to help collect that excess moisture.
If you leave any of these things unattended, it can lead to stains on your walls and/or ceiling, warped wood, cracked flooring, or even mould and mildew. Taking the necessary precautions will help avoid any extensive damage to your home.