When summer storms hit, one of the complications to your home can be flooding in areas like the basement. This sort of water damage can wreak havoc with your possessions and even harm your foundation. No homeowner wants a house that is damaged or unsafe.
But you don’t have to worry about the structural condition of your home’s foundation if you take proper preventative measures to keep it safe. That’s why waterproofing areas like your basement can be so advantageous. Here’s what you need to know about waterproofing the basement and protecting it — and your foundation — from water damage.
What causes moisture issues in the basement of a home?
Moisture can invade your basement in many ways. Some of the more common reasons for water damage starting in your basement include:
• Leaky pipes — The normal wear and tear of age and use can cause pipes to develop leaks. These issues usually start out slowly but worsen over time if not addressed.
• Flooding — Whether because of a burst pipe or a heavy storm, flooding can quickly cause all kinds of issues in the lowest parts of your home, such as the basement.
• Soil issues around the foundation — In Oklahoma especially, our clay soil contracts when dry and expands when wet. This constant cycle of soil expansion and contraction can damage your foundation, making it easier for pooled outside water to get inside your home.
What kind of damage can moisture cause in your basement?
Simply put — a lot! Excess moisture is damaging to all areas of a home, including the basement. Whether you use your basement often, or rarely get down there except to store something, moisture accumulation can cost a host of issues that are potentially unhealthy, costly, and even dangerous.
Some common issues caused by excess moisture, leaks, and other water damage in basements include:
Asthma and allergies
Moisture may start in your basement, but it’s not going to stay there. As it evaporates, it works its way into the rest of your home, increasing interior humidity which breeds dust mites, mildew, and mold. All of these are allergens which can cause irritation to throats, noses, eyes, and skin. Asthma sufferers especially struggle in such conditions.
High energy costs
That added moisture in the air from your basement? It’s probably increasing your electric bill. Humid air enters your main living areas, which must be cooled or heated depending on the season. The problem is that humid air takes more work to heat and cool, which makes your HVAC unit work harder. The result: increased utility bills, to the tune of up to 15-18% more than you’d otherwise be paying, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Unfortunately, moisture in your basement can also cause a host of foundational problems, including many issues that may look cosmetic but can actually be signs of a weakened foundation, such as:
• Cracks in basement walls
• Spalling — which is chipped concrete resulting from water damage
• Brown or rust colored stains on basement walls and floors
• Wood rot on floor joists and other exposed wood
• Sagging floors
• Collapsed basement ceilings
All these issues add up to costly foundation repairs if not dealt with swiftly. This is why preventing water damage and moisture incursion in the first place is so valuable.
Signs Your Basement May Have a Moisture Problem
To spot issues early, keep an eye out for signs of moisture damage like these:
• Wall cracks
• Chips in paint
• Chipped concrete
• Bowing or sagging floors
• Weakened or fallen ceiling
• Brown and rust colored stains
• Rotted wood
• Damaged flooring
• Musty odors
• Visible mildew or mold
• Increased signs of pests like rodents and insects (often attracted by excess moisture)
• Higher than normal utility bills
• Symptoms of allergies and asthma, especially if they are worse than normal
• Need to regularly use a dehumidifier to dry out the basement
How does waterproofing your basement benefit your home?
Waterproofing is a great way to reduce the likelihood of moisture problems starting in your basement. This technique, when professionally applied by a skilled waterproofing specialist, can produce many advantages for your home:
• Limits the spread of damage resulting from leaky pipes
• Makes it easier to make repairs because the water damage can’t spread
• Allows you to fully use the space in your basement, adding to your living space if you desire to finish the basement
• No need to worry about moisture damaging possessions, carpeting, flooring or foundation
• Reduces or eliminates the need for costly repairs or restoration after heavy storms
• Prevents the growth of unhealthy mold and mildew
• Adds resale value to your home
• Gives you peace of mind that your investment in your home is well-protected
For Best Results, Seek the Advice of a Waterproofing Specialist
Don’t let issues with your basement or worries about moisture damage eat away at your peace of mind. Consult with a basement waterproofing specialist like the trusted, expert team at Edens Structural Solutions.
We’ll visit your property to give it a thorough look and come up with the best plan to meet all your needs. We’ll help you navigate your options and come up with solutions that fit your home, whether it’s installing a French drain, applying waterproof membranes, filling in the soil as needed around your foundation, or injecting a special hydrophobic grout to block and stop leaks. You’ll get waterproofing solutions that help you to enjoy your home — top to bottom — worry-free.
Contact us today to get started with a free estimate, and look forward to a safe, secure home where you can relax and enjoy your life.