Eight Signs of a Potential Basement Waterproofing Problems
- Damp, Musty Odor – Does the basement smell like a locker room? Chances are it’s not years of accumulated sweat socks but rather years of water seeping into the basement. There may be no other signs of water infiltration but the nose always knows.
- Mold – Black, white or green, whatever the color, the presence of mold in the basement should cause you serious concerns. Not only will you have to repair a water problem, you’ll have a mold remediation job on your hands.
- Efflorescence – See a white, chalky substance on the walls? That’s called efflorescence, mineral deposits that leach out of wall cracks and openings where water has infiltrated. Not serious in itself but a bad sign.
- Cracks in the Walls – You may not see signs of water seepage-–yet—but foundation cracks never get better by themselves and it’s only a matter of time before you’ll have to repair them. The good news is that crack repair is usually the least expensive waterproofing remedy.
- Cracks in the Floor – Hairline floor cracks are common sources of water seepage from hydro-static pressure in the ground below. Large cracks or heaving may be signs of an inadequate floor or more serious foundation problems.
- Bowed Walls – If you notice an inward curve or bulge in a foundation wall, particularly one made of concrete block, plan on some repairs-–soon. Bowed walls will allow water infiltration and may compromise the entire foundation but can usually be fixed with steel bracing.
- Water Lines on Basement Windows – Basement windows are meant to let in light and air, not to be aquariums. Evidence of retained water means the window well drain is either badly clogged or missing. Either way, there are repairs–-or fish-–in your future.
- Water Marks on Walls – If you spot stains from water that ran down basement walls, water has entered the basement over the top of the foundation, probably due to poor grading or exterior sources of infiltration. If it happened once, it’ll likely happen again.