Basements can be put to many uses in a given home. They make wonderful children’s playrooms, for instance, as well as terrific places to set up game rooms or to use for additional storage space. However, in cases where the basement area has a tendency toward dampness, some measures may need to be taken before the space can be put to its best use.
When moisture problems are affecting the usefulness of your basement, it is important to determine where the moisture is coming from. Typically, water complications in the basement originate from one of two places: indoor condensation or outdoor leakages.
Once you have discovered whether the issue is interior or exterior, you will need to locate the specific cause in order to determine whether it’s time to get help with basement waterproofing.
As time passes, foundations settle and improper drainage can contribute to the deterioration of the foundation walls, sometimes eventually even eroding the soil beneath the structure. This can cause the foundation to crack, which will in turn create leaks.
Take a good, thorough look at your foundation (both from the inside and the outside, if possible) to check for visible cracks. Often, there will be obvious moisture trails in such cracks – important clues to the source of your moisture problem.
Water and sewage pipes can definitely be the source of major leaks. In many cases, the water and drain pipes are fully accessible from the basement, so a quick visual inspection of these pipes can typically uncover any obvious drips.
However, it’s important to note that some drain lines can be more difficult to assess since they can develop tiny leaks that are not easily seen by the naked eye. Needless to say, this can cause long-term damage to your basement if allowed to go undetected for an extended amount of time.
Gutters and Downspouts
When working properly, gutters are designed to transport water directly to downspouts. Unfortunately, gutters can easily become blocked by leaves, branches, and even animals over time. This can eventually cause water to back up and spill over the side.
The moisture in turn falls onto the ground and can infiltrate your basement walls. You will want to make sure that your downspouts are efficiently directing any water from rainfall away from the property’s foundation. While downspout extensions come in a variety of lengths, it is recommended that you utilize extensions that are a minimum of six feet long as part of a good basement waterproofing procedure.
Windows can be a prime source of leaking water in your home as well, especially if you live in an area that experiences heavy wind and rain. Sometimes the reason for this can be obvious – like a window accidentally left open to the elements in order to allow better ventilation.
However, factors like the warping of window frames over time or improper sealing work can contribute to this problem without your being fully aware. For this reason, it’s advisable to double-check any basement windows that might be improperly sealed. Additionally, check for cracked or broken glass or signs of warping along with the frames themselves.
After locating the source of the moisture in your basement, you will definitely want to find a basement waterproofing professional in your area to help you fix the problem and prevent it from recurring in the future. These experts will make sure that your basement – as well as any belongings you store there – will be kept safe and secure for many years to come!