Minimizing Your Risk of Leaking Basement Walls

August 19, 2016 9:26 pm Published by Jane Azzinaro

Flooded basements are a serious hazard. They can encourage mold growth in the home; weaken foundations and structural support, and damage items and equipment. Fortunately, there are many skilled professionals at Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing to help you protect your home. However, there are also some steps you can take yourself to prevent leaky basements or limit the damage incurred in a flood.

Don’t cause yourself to chase your problems. Prevent them! It is important to inspect the exterior of your home. Many cases of basement flooding are caused by improperly graded landscaping or faulty rain gutters. A good time to do this inspection is immediately after a moderate rain, so you can see how water tends to flow and pool around your home. The dirt outside your home should always have a slight grade away from the walls, so it will channel water away from the building.

Poorly maintained rain gutters can also cause problems, as they can create pools of water against the walls of your basement. This will eventually seep in and cause a wet basement. Exterior foundation cracks and poorly sealed window wells should also be noted and discussed with a reputable waterproofing contractor.

Once you have identified exterior problem areas, it is time to walk through the interior of your basement. This is usually a simple job in unfinished basements, but can be trickier in finished ones as drywall and flooring can mask problem areas. The main things you are looking for are cracks in the walls or floor and leaky pipes. Since most plumbing runs through basements plumbing problems can quickly lead to a flooded basement.

It is important to inspect all visible pipes for signs of excessive wear, condensation, or leaks.  Typically, plumbing issues do not carry with them the other symptoms of a foundation problem. If your initial water issue comes from plumbing issues, be sure to get that fixed. You should also be aware of any other water sources in your home. Get another look from a waterproofing expert.

If your basement is finished, it can be more difficult to find problem areas. However, there are still some things you can look for. As an example, water damage tends to show itself in drywall by creating bubbles or causing the surface layer to peel away. Wet basements can also reveal themselves with water stains. If you see discoloration or peeling paint on a basement wall, it is a good idea to give a waterproofing contractor a call to see if it is a sign of a leaky basement.

Improperly sealed concrete is also a major culprit in flooded basements. If concrete is not treated and sealed correctly, it will allow water to seep through the walls and floor. While this may not cause a flooded basement in itself, it will damage to items stored in the basement and may damage the structure. If you suspect that your basement is not sealed correctly, have an inspection done.

Preventing a flooded basement is not always possible, but there are steps you can take to minimize your risk. If you do find risk factors or problem areas, contacting Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing is a great first step. Whatever you do, do not let the problem continue. Water damage is a serious issue and can lead to major structural damage if it is not fixed immediately.

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This post was written by Jane Azzinaro