As the spring rain settles into the area, you may have noticed a little moisture in your basement. While most homeowners assume it is just a little dampness seeping in from the soaked ground, this could be signs of bigger problems to come. So before you shrug off a little dampness in your basement, let’s take a look at some of the things this moisture could be telling you and what it could do to your basement.
How is the Water Getting Inside?
When you first notice water in your basement, you should find out where it is actually coming from. Water can enter your home through cracks in the wall, through the floor, through cracks in the foundation, through windows that are not sealed properly, in seams between the wall and floor, and from clogged drains or gutters. These are just some of the causes of water entering your basement.
Investigating Your Home
As soon as you find moisture in your basement, it is important for you to investigate the cause of the seepage. Look around your home for possible points of entry and causes like clogged gutters, downspouts, and other drainage systems that aren’t working correctly. It is important to maintain your drainage systems regularly so they keep directing water away from your home. You may also end up with water in your basement if you have a foundation leak or if your home is not graded properly. Clogged drains and gutters can dump water against the walls of your foundation, filling the space and causing water to seep into your home.
Problems Caused by Water Damage
Water damage of any proportion can cause thousands of dollars in damage and countless health problems for you and your family. A leak in your basement could cause a musty odor, structural damage that can affect the value of your home, and ruin items stored in your basement. Even a small amount of water in your basement is enough to encourage toxic mold to settle into your home.
Warning Signs of a Basement Leak
Water does not generally appear in your basement overnight. There are some warning signs you should look out for. Watermarks and cracks in the walls are a major red flag. Water marks on the wall are made by water running down the walls, meaning water has already entered your home. Cracks in the walls could mean the foundation has shifted and could let water enter your home. Cracks in your floor could allow water into your home. Hairline cracks are a common source of water seepage by the ground below while larger cracks may be a sign of a larger foundation problem. Efflorescence could also be a sign of water damage. This powdery deposit on your basement wall is actually a mineral deposit left by evaporating water. If you notice a damp, musty odor from your basement, it could be a sign or basement water damage as well as possible mold. Mold growth is definitely a sign of a problem. In order for mold to grow, your basement needs constant moisture.
There are two different approaches to waterproofing your basement: interior and exterior. Interior waterproofing is more than just a paint-like solution. Our approach to basement waterproofing is to redirect the water outside away from the home using systems like pipes and drains to catch the leaks, a sump pit to channel the water, a sump pump to pump the water back outside, a vapor barrier, and sealing the cracks and leaks. The next step is to work outside by adding gutters and downspouts to efficiently collect the water and lead it away from the home, install exterior drainage systems like a French drain, excavate around the home to install underground drainage systems, and to install a waterproof membrane around the home. These systems will work together to ensure your basement stays dry and your family stays safe.
Another Basement Concern
After your water damage problem has been settled, you could have another basement concern with mold. Mold can start growing in as little as 24 hours after water damage has occurred. But how does mold start to grow in your home?
Mold is a fungus that starts with a single microscopic mold spore. These spores enter your home through windows, vents, and doors. It only becomes a problem for you and your family when it starts to grow in your home. Mold needs a damp, dark surface in your home to grow as well as an organic food source like dust or drywall to grow on. These factors make your water damaged basement a perfect place for mold to grow.
Health Risks of Mold
There are many different kinds of molds that can grow in your home including allergenic molds and toxic molds. As molds spread, they release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. These compounds are breathed in causing allergic reactions. Molds can cause allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, eye irritations, congestion, asthma, and skin rashes. Black mold and other toxic molds can cause illnesses like lung disease, chronic sinusitis, headaches, memory loss, and concentration problems. Molds pose a serious health risk for people with compromised immune systems including children and the elderly.
Mold Remediation Services
While an internet search may tell you to spray the mold with bleach, that is not the proper way to remove the mold permanently. In order to get rid of the mold completely, you should call All Aspects Waterproofing. Our mold remediation service will take care of your household mold once and for all. Our technicians will secure the affected areas in order to contain the mold as much as possible. While we contain the area, we will use a negative air pressure in order to ensure the contaminants do not escape the area. We will remove any damaged building materials before disinfecting the area with a specialized anti-microbial solution that will kill any leftover traces of mold in the area. The next step is to install powerful dehumidifiers to remove the excess moisture in the area. Once your basement is dry, we will seal the area with anti-microbial, latex-based sealants then replace the building material if necessary. Our mold remediation services will restore your basement to normal and help alleviate the allergy symptoms you and your family may be experiencing.
When dealing with a leaking basement and mold, there are a million questions that can come up. From the question of “how to hire the right contractor” to “why did this leak start now?” These questions can lead you to make a foolish decision like ignoring the problem or trying to take care of it with a DIY solution. But we can help answer all of your questions and help walk you through any problems you may be experiencing. Let us answer some of the questions about mold remediation and waterproofing you may be having.
FAQ: How Do I Hire the Right Contractor for My Basement Problems?
Choosing the right contractor can be frustrating especially when you want the problem fixed right away. But there are some tips you can use to help make your decision:
- Ask about references and referrals- many contractors will provide potential clients with a list of contact information of past clients. These clients will be able to tell you about how the job was completed, if the work is still good months later, and even how the contractor treated their home.
- Use the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List for references. Check into customer complaints and any issues past customers may have had.
- Always get a written contract. This will help you fully understand what the job entails and any additional services you may need.
These are just some of the things you should ask your contractor for before hiring them to work on your basement problems.
FAQ: My Basement Started Leaking After 10 Years, Why Now?
Problems can develop in even the most well-built home. Over time, walls can settle and begin to crack and protective coatings applied during construction to wear away. As your home begins to settle, you may notice more things begin to happen. It is not a sign of poor craftsmanship but is a sign of age.
FAQ: Are Wet Basements Common?
Wet basements are a common problem with a 98 percent chance that a basement will eventually leak. But this does not mean you should not take care of the problem as soon as you notice it. The longer a basement is wet; the more damage the leak will cause.
Whether your basement has been leaking for weeks or you have just discovered a problem in your basement, All Aspects Waterproofing is the company for you! Let us help your home return to normal with our basement services. For more information, call us today!
Choosing All Aspects Waterproofing
For more information on these or our other services, contact All Aspects Waterproofing today! All Aspects Waterproofing is a full-service basement waterproofing contractor. All Aspects Waterproofing serves both residential and commercial clients in Maryland, Washington D.C., and Northern Virginia. With more than 30 years of experience, All Aspects Waterproofing has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and an excellent rating on Angie’s List. Let us help your home return to normal. Call us today at 1-866-999-3110 or 301-766-4420.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.