Most homeowners panic when they first notice water in their basement, and their concern is understandable. However, some of the signs of trouble that might need a waterproofing company to fix in a basement are more subtle.
Warning Signs It’s Time To Call A Waterproofing Company
If you know what to look for, addressing them early can save you from significant expense and hassle later when the problem has grown.
Here is a look at some of the top warning signs you need to call a waterproofing company.
A Musty Smell
Contrary to popular belief, a musty smell in the basement is not natural. The air in your basement should smell no different than the air in other areas of your home.
If you notice a musty odor in your basement, it is likely due to high humidity or leaking, and quite possibly the existence of mold growing on organic materials in the basement.
If you notice a musty smell, check for other signs of water intrusion in your basement, such as visible mold spots, discoloration on the wall, or peeling paint.
A Growing Pest Problem
Finding pests in your basement is never pleasant, but the nuisance extends far beyond the annoyance of trying to get rid of insects; it typically signifies a water problem in your basement.
These pests are drawn to damp, dark spaces, where they thrive and breed. This type of environment attracts silverfish, carpenter ants, rats, mice, cockroaches, and pill bugs, to name just a few.
Waterproofing not only stops these pests from entering in the first place; it also keeps the moisture and humidity they depend on to thrive from getting into your basement.
Although mold is not always visible during the early stages of growth, visible mold is always a cause for concern. Not all mold is black; it could also be green, white or gray.
In simple terms, the combination of too much moisture in your basement and a lack of adequate ventilation leads to mold. In addition to being unattractive, it can cause health problems for your home’s inhabitants.
The best thing to do if you notice mold is start running a dehumidifier immediately and get in touch with waterproofers to locate the source of the moisture and find the most effective solution. Mold remediation services may also be needed.
White, Chalky Stains
If you notice white, chalky stains on your basement walls, ceilings or floors, this is efflorescence. Made of the minerals found in concrete and water, it is left behind when water evaporates and may even appear to sparkle.
Although you might never actually see water in your basement, this is a sure sign of its presence. Efflorescence is easy to clean and not toxic, but wiping it off of your walls will not stop it from eventually returning. It is an indicator that you need to get in touch with professional waterproofers right away.
If the surface of the concrete in your basement is starting to peel, break or chip away — known as spalling — it may be due to water getting inside of it.
Salt deposits found in the water that is entering can settle into the surface of basement walls, causing them to flake away or peel.
You might notice condensation on your basement’s walls, pipes, ceilings or metal. This arises due to high humidity associated with excess moisture and forms when warm and humid air hits cold surfaces.
The ideal range for indoor humidity is around 30 to 45 percent. Higher humidity levels can lead to issues like mildew, mold and excessive condensation.
Although a dehumidifier might help control basement humidity levels, its effects will be negligible if the basement is not first sealed from outside elements via waterproofing.
Wet Basement Walls
Even basement walls that are only slightly wet warrant further investigation, whether the moisture is coming from a leaky window well or water seeping in through hairline foundation cracks.
It is important to recognize that water will always find its way through even the smallest of openings, causing leaking and flooding and making cracks grow.
Damaged walls that are left untreated can eventually collapse thanks to the hydrostatic pressure caused by soil that has been over-saturated with water on the other side of the wall.
If people in your home are dealing with unexplained symptoms such as headache, fatigue, photosensitivity, tingling skin, chronic coughing, congestion, vision problems or abdominal distress, it could be related to mold exposure, even if no mold is visible.
A waterproofing company can identify whether mold is growing in your basement and seal the area to prevent the moisture that mold seeks from entering.
Reach Out To The Waterproofing Experts
Whether you notice one of these signs or several of them, it is time to get in touch with experts.
The waterproofing professionals at Waterproof Caulking and Restoration have the experience and equipment needed to help you keep your basement dry, reduce your energy bills and protect your home from costly damage.