‘Wet basement’ is a phrase that instils fear into the hearts of most homeowners. The most general causes for a wet basement are runoff, condensation and groundwater swelling. Waterproofing solution depends on the cause of the problem and can be anything from using a dehumidifier to installing a drain system. If you feel the dampness and dank odour on entering your basement, you may be experiencing its initial signs and should take charge of waterproofing it before it does any severe damages to your home.
How to Spot a Water Problem:
- Never ignore a consistent damp smell.
- Locate the cause of a wet basement before making any modifications to your home.
- Get professional advice before reverting to any groundwater-swelling problem.
- Check with your local authority for information on any recent changes in the water table.
Water Problems and Solutions:
- Condensation: It occurs when moist and warm air hits cold foundation walls. In case you have wet spots on basement floors, there is a fair chance you have a condensation problem. Allowing condensation to persist in your house can lead to structural issues. Regular airflow in your home from open windows can eliminate the problem. You can install a dehumidifier for a long-term solution.
- Runoff: The most typical cause of runoff is rainwater not directed away from the house. The hydrostatic pressure comes to play and forces the water through gaps in walls and footings. This problem can be spotted with water moving through the cracks in the walls or floors. Also, growths of mold and algae make the surface damp. Prevent runoff by making sure that the land outside your home slopes away and that drain spouts are not leaking near the foundation.
- Groundwater Swelling: Groundwater swells when the water table exceeds its high point and the soil surrounding your home can not hold the extra water. When groundwater-swelling is the reason for your wet basement, it will stay wet for a long duration after each storm and rainfall. Also, you may spot the water bubbling up from the joints between the wall and floor. Note that it is expensive to install a system to combat groundwater-swelling problem.
It does not matter if your basement is an essential part of your home or just a storage room, it is highly critical for the structural integrity of your home for you to spot a wet basement problem at the earliest. Solutions to combat a damp basement are plenty. The first step is to figure out the problem. Check the grading around your home and check drain spouts for any leaks. Take care of all the issues you encounter with proper basement waterproofing techniques.