How many of us understand the significance of a clean, dry basement, and how it can affect our homes and our health? A basement is something we tend to take for granted – a place that’s a den; a family room; a general hangout. Or, it’s just a dark, dank room with a furnace or boiler or washing machine and dryer. But it’s actually much more because it can make a big difference to the condition of your house.
A leak in your basement can cause a great deal of damage and affect the value of your house. Even more important, is the fact that it can lead to a build-up of mold. Additionally, a leaky basement can be hazardous by virtue of the fact that any contact of electrical wiring with water may lead to short circuits, and ultimately, a fire. It’s important to recognize the warning signs of danger, whether due to mold or electrical hazards.
Damp basements and the menace that is mold
Mold is definitely a menace that needs to be tackled as soon as it’s detected. In fact, don’t wait to see the signs of mold – learn to recognize the presence of mold before it takes over your basement. Mold flourishes in basements that are damp or wet, and particularly so, if it is a finished basement, because the mold gets the opportunity to grow in carpets, panels and behind damp drywalls, undetected.
The presence of mold is undoubtedly bad for your health and can have long term implications. When mold spores are dry, they are airborne and can circulate freely right through your house. And when you are exposed to mold, you risk contracting any number of health issues such as:
- Upper respiratory tract infections
- Eye irritations
- Runny nose
- Deteriorating asthma
Watch out for warning signs!
So, how do you know your basement has a problem? Do you only wake up when you have a flooded basement? No. You look out for the signs that are symptomatic of a deeper problem, such as:
- The presence of insects that really thrive in leaky environments, including termites, water bugs, spiders, etc.
- When paint or spray coating on your basement walls are peeling, chipping or cracking.
- When the floors and walls are discolored, stained or cracked due to water leaks.
- When floors, walls and carpets are wet or even just damp.
- When the drywall or panels are warped or damaged, or show evidence of dry rot.
- When you get a musty odor, or see mildew or mold.
These are all signs that you need to take up basement waterproofing, or foundation repair on a war footing.
Just remember, that it is in your own best interests to implement the most efficient basement waterproofing strategy that you can find, preferably devised by waterproofing contractors, to solve the problems of a leaking basement.
Consider this. Your basement is leaking. There is a risk of damp coming in contact with electrical wiring. Or there is a risk of mold developing in your basement. Can you imagine the kind of issues you may have to face? Do think about it, and what you can do to solve the problems associated with the urgent need for foundation repair.
Fortunately, you have some very effective options open to you. But you must first learn to recognize the signs of the problems that can be caused by a flooded basement so that you can seek professional help. Once you get the professionals on board, you can learn all about the work they do to address your basement waterproofing needs.
Professionals in the area of waterproofing start by identifying leaks of different types in your basement. These include:
- Window leaks
- Rod leaks
- Window wells
- Chimney leaks
- Mortar Joints
- Drain tile obstructions
- Beam leaks
The waterproofing professionals know how to recognize the problem of mold caused by a leaky basement; the different types of mold; the negative health implications caused by the presence of mold; how to prevent exposure to mold; and how to get rid of mold. Amazing, isn’t it, the damage that the presence of damp in a basement can do?
Efficient waterproofing professionals will first work to get rid of water in your basement, permanently. They will then look for the source of the mold and eliminate it. They will ensure that the foundation of your home is not endangered. They will then work towards appreciating the value of your home.
If you’re worried about the expenses involved in foundation repair – don’t be. Many of these repairs can be quite inexpensive, depending on the extent of the damage. Contact the best local waterproofing professionals in your area, let them assess the damage caused in your leaking finished basement, get some competitive quotes and then decide on the one that best meets your needs.
You can also do your best to avoid these problems by ensuring that:
- Your basement windows are above ground level
- The basement windows have watertight seals
- The soil around the foundations should channel waterflow away from the exterior walls
- All drainage systems, downspouts and gutters divert water away from the house
- The roof of your home drains out efficiently
- The gutters are always kept clean
- Mulch beds are never too high
Do the right thing to find the right solution
Be aware that every basement waterproofing problem is unique. Try to find a waterproofing contractor who will find a waterproofing system that is designed specifically for the problem you are facing. They may even use a combination of systems to tackle the type of foundation repair you need, efficiently.
So, do your homework, and choose the most efficient basement waterproofing expert you can find.