The last thing you wish to see in your home is a wet basement. This monster gives most homeowners sleepless nights. You know why? First, it has a great negative impact on the value of your home. Secondly, dealing with a leaking basement is not easy and requires a lot of money to waterproof the basement. And the worst is the adverse effects that it can have on the structural integrity of your home.
However, the best thing is that if you are keen, you can notice the wetness in your basement early and handle it before it spreads to other parts of your basement. Many signs will show you something is not right. There are many causes of wet basement, and depending on the cause, you will be able to identify the wetness easily. Still, sometimes it might take you a while before you notice your basement is leaking unless you call a professional.
1. Play Safe, Not Sorry.
It is better to be safe than being sorry when you see the issues. So, before you buy a home, check for the signals of wetness. It is better to be proactive about this than to notice it after you have signed the buying agreement. Do not depend on the seller disclosure since he is there to do business and might not disclose issues that may scare you away from buying the home.
Sometimes, they might even not know the condition of their home. If you buy a home with these issues, it could be hard to reverse your decision, or even prove that in court if you decide to sue the seller. Remember, lawsuits are also expensive.
However, it can also be more costly to dry out a wet basement. So, always hire an independent home inspector, but it is also a good idea to inspect the home personally as well.
2. Signs of Wet Basement.
We have said that you can inspect the home personally. However, this is contingent on you knowing what to look at. So, if you have decided to inspect your prospective home, check the following signs;
- Check for the water stains on the floor and along the walls. Concentrate on the joints where the floor meets the walls. The wetness could be as a result of simple things such as overflowing laundry tub or seeping through the walls, floors or basement windows. Give a quick sniffing of the basement. A lot of moisture can result in a musty smell.
- Look for mold. Mould can exist in different colors, depending on the type of mould. It can be brown, black, green or yellow. You may not know whether it is mold until you do some tests on the substances you suspect to be mold. If you see these signs and continue with your plan to buy the house, then you should be ready for wet basement repair.
3. Possible Causes of Wet Basement.
One major cause of leaky basement is underground water that seeps through the floor due to hydraulic pressure. When it rains, water gets saturated in the soil and starts to push upwards to less hydrated soils. If your foundation is not strong enough, water seeps through the small pores and finally gets on your floor.
Gutters also might overflow, especially if there is a torrential downpour. This problem usually occurs if debris or leaves clog the gutters. It could be as a result of incorrect installation. For instance, if the second-floor gutter is not well connected to direct water into the first flow gutter, water may fall on the foundation or the walls of your house. Gutters may also overflow if they freeze and then thaw.
4. Possible Solutions.
One solution is to redirect water. It might seem simple, but it is effective. You need to;
- Reconnect downspouts.
- Clean your gutters.
- Install under window sills and flashings.
- Restructure your landscaping.
- Turn sprinklers away from your home.
The second solution is the installation of a sump pump. This sends water away from your foundation at least twenty feet.
You should also consider installing French drains. This can be installed around the house or under the slab.