If there is one thing that homeowners dread the most when it comes to their home, it is fixing a problem around the house. In fact, the biggest issue in such situations is figuring out what causes the problem in the first place. This is often the case with wet basements.
Generally speaking, basements are extremely dark and damp, often causing the occurrence of moisture. Even a little bit of it can turn into a big issue and lead to additional damages around the house. What troubles people the most in these events is what makes their basements wet and what they can do to fix the problem.
While the assistance of basement waterproofing experts is inevitable in these situations, it is still recommended that you first gain some knowledge about the matter. This post elaborates on the major causes of moisture in basements and what steps you should take to prevent it from occurring.
Signs you should look out for
Before you learn about the major causes of moisture in your basements, it is crucial that you are able to identify the warning signs. While water puddles may be the most obvious symptom, moisture can present itself in your basement in many ways. Here are a few signs of moisture in your basement you should look out for:
- Condensation on the walls and floor
- Stained or blistering walls
- Humid air
- Deteriorating carpet or wood
- Rotting columns, headers and joists
- Bad odor
- Water trickling out of the walls
- Floor paint and wallpaper peel off
Once you identify the signs, you can move on to figuring out the causes of water leaks in your basement.
Major causes of moisture in basements
In general, basement moisture usually comes from one of three sources and these include rain or groundwater, interior moisture sources and condensations with outside air.
For example, underground condensation is very common in basements. This part of the house is much cooler than the rest of it, so the cool air can’t hold as much moisture as the warm air in the other rooms. When both types of air come together, it causes condensation on the basement walls and creates the perfect environment for mold to grow.
Also, condensation can be caused if you do laundry in your basement and use a dryer as the moisture that will be created will cause your walls to become damp overtime.
Another major cause of wet basements is moisture rising from the soil. This usually happens if your home is built with old and porous bricks through which moisture could easily rise from the ground below and make its way to the foundation of your walls and floor. This can further lead to cracks and openings on these surfaces.
How to prevent wet basements
The best way to prevent wet basements is to have an effective waterproofing system. This means doing some improvements around is necessary to help keep this part of the house always dry. Some ways to do this include:
- Improving outside drainage systems by cleaning your gutters, adding downspout extensions to drain the gutters and making sure the soil around the house is properly sloped away;
- Installing interior drainage systems to capture water to inhibit it from reaching the basement floor;
- Installing or replacing sump pump to provide protection against basement flooding;
- Installing new windows and window well covers to prevent them from clogging with leaves or debris;
- Repairing foundation cracks to avoid foundation or construction defects;
- Checking roof for damage;
- Installing a proper ventilation system in your baths and kitchen to control moisture.
The solution to your basement moisture or flooding will depend on the cause of the problem. In other words, the sooner you identify the root cause, the faster you will fix the issue. This will further save you more time and money as you will be taking measures on time.
The truth is wet basements are a very common problem for homeowners. Because this part of the house is typically dark and damp, it can cause the occurrence of moisture which can then lead to additional issues all around. The first step to fixing the problem is to identify the root cause and find the most suitable solution to fix it. No matter the severity of it, you should always rely on the help of experts to prevent further issues.
For more information about damp basements and ways to fix them, keep our guide nearby and find an easy solution to your water leak problem.