Studies show that over half of U.S. homes include wet basements. That is a problem for several reasons. Damp, dark basements can become breeding grounds for mold that will grow very quickly. It may eat away at stored items. Damp basements feel chilly and have an unpleasant smell. Most importantly, these signs all point to problems that could affect a home’s structural integrity. Many homeowners combat the problems with basement waterproofing but it is important to understand the entire problem for the solution to work.
Early Action Is Critical to Solving Wet Basement Problems
It is important to take the right steps as soon as it becomes obvious that water is affecting a basement. The most obvious sign is a musty odor. Homeowners need to determine the reason for the problem since there can be a few causes. It is absolutely essential to fix the issue before making any home modifications. Local authorities may be able to help identify contributing causes like water table changes. The simplest solution is to call a contractor who specializes in waterproofing basements.
What Causes Some Basements to Get Wet
Condensation is a leading cause of damp basements. It forms when warm air touches cool basement materials. There is actually a simple test to identify condensation issues. Homeowners can tape a piece of plastic wrap to a damp spot and seal the edges, then leave it. If moisture forms on the wall side within a few days, the problem is a leak. It is condensation if the outside of the wrap is wet. Runoff, or water that fails to flow away from homes, can also cause dampness. Groundwater swelling is another culprit. It happens because the soil cannot absorb water, so it creates runoff near the home.
How Homeowners Can Waterproof Basements
The first step in drying basements is finding and fixing the problems that caused dampness. Homeowners should also repair incidental damage, like cracked driveways or foundations. They can then apply a concrete sealer that essentially coats walls and floors. A polyurethane membrane serves the same purpose but may require a sump pump and channels to get the best results. Waterproofing experts can help homeowners decide on the best option.
Many homes include damp, musty basements caused by issues like condensation and runoff. However, these problems can be repaired and basements waterproofed once homeowners identify all moisture sources.