The basement is one of the most important rooms of any home. Whether it’s a simple storage space or a high quality workout area, this room is the foundation of your house. However, since basements are entirely or partially below grade level, they have the same problems that should be addressed, mainly linked to water and moisture. These problems can include a minor nuisance or catastrophic issue that can ruin your home’s value. Here are the most common basement problems to look out for and their proper solutions.
While sturdy, concrete blocks can be prone to soil pressure. As the outside soil and water push against the walls, they can easily bow inward. This lets water and pests inside and can turn deadly. If the water problem goes unchecked, you might find your walls leaning away from the foundation or caving toward the basement floor. In either situation, your house will suffer from serious structural damage.
Basement windows represent the weakest point in your basement’s energy efficiency and are a common entryway for groundwater. A complete and well-designed basement window shouldn’t leak or be a drafty part of your home. The purpose of the windows is to allow sunshine into the dark space of your basement.
Make sure the seal is good and not cracking. If water is not getting in, heat or cold may be getting out. Direct waterproofing can replace your old windows and their wells or install a good waterproofing system into existing windows to prevent flooding through them.
Condensation is the accumulation of water along the basement surface and items. It’s usually a result of high humidity and high moisture levels in a basement. While this water might drain away or evaporate on its own, your basement is still likely to be humid. Controlling the air quality and removing water issues are critical in preventing humidity.
Eliminating this excess humidity might require you to buy industrial fans or dehumidifiers. Alternatively, you could waterproof your basement to save money and time trying to remove mold and moisture.
When water makes its way into your basement, it won’t take long until insects and animals start doing the same. A damaged basement can rapidly become home to termites and other wood-eating pests, which may risk your structural supports. In addition, rodents may eat away at your electrical wiring, making it harder for you to maintain energy efficiency throughout your home. Some pests are also known to carry and transmit diseases, so staying pest-free is essential for your overall family’s good health.
A finished basement with livable space usually consists of complete products, including wood-framed walls covered with drywalls, decorative trim and moldings, and materials such as tile or carpet. Unfortunately, the items are prone to water damage, mildew, and mold if the basement isn’t properly protected.
If the proper waterproofing system is not in place, it is common to find carpet and other flooring materials damp, containing water, or even wet. Carpets and padding are susceptible to retaining moisture which can rapidly lead to mold and mildew growth.
Moisture tends to contribute to many issues in the basement, and a musty smell is a sign of moisture problems. Other causes of funky smells in a basement include mold, mildew, rot, and dust mites. Check all wooden surfaces, drywall, leather, fiberglass, or painted surfaces for signs of moisture or dampness since all these make a good home for these culprits. Be sure to take care of this issue before closing the basement walls.
Awkward posts’ placement can often ruin the overall look of your basement. Since they form a critical part of the support system, it’s a good idea to hire a qualified basement contractor for a reliable solution. A professional contractor can place a double or specially designed beam rather than posts to improve the aesthetics of your basement without compromising its structure.
Due to the hydrostatic pressure, different types and sizes of cracks can occur within your basement walls. When the water is not correctly directed or controlled through proper drainage and waterproofing systems, it can become trapped within the outlying soils and outside the basement walls. This exerts a force on basement walls and can result in cracks. If these cracks in the walls aren’t taken care of, this may result in basement wall leaks. Water may then get into the basement and lead to several other issues.
Regularly check for cracks in the walls and repair them as needed. The best way to prevent leaks is to fix the cracks before they become large. If cracks in your basement walls continue to appear and spread, call an experienced basement contractor to assess the structural integrity of your home.
Mold in your basement can lead to some headaches. It has an awful look and smell, which can deteriorate your home’s value or lead to serious health issues in the worst cases. Asthma, basement allergies, stuffy nose, and red or itchy eyes are some of the most common health problems associated with molds.
Get a professional mold removal company to inspect your home as soon you notice there is mold in your basement. Mold often starts to grow in the damp and darkest area where it’s difficult to see. By the time it’s visible to you, it has likely been growing for quite some time.
While this is not a serious problem, having a cluttered basement usually masks the presence of other grave issues. Ensuring you have a clean basement will items well-arranged is essential. Depending on the type and number of items in your basement, it can be a good idea to invest in a few shelves to maintain a tidy space.
Basement problems range from minor to catastrophic. Whether your walls have an ugly appearance, mold is growing on everything in your area, or you have cracks on your basement walls, your problems are common and can be fixed or prevented. However, if you are having trouble keeping your basement in good condition or want to avoid possible basement problems, consider looking for professional basement contractors serving your area for help.