5 Signs of Basement Damage Home Buyers Need to Look Out For

Posted by:

Buying a home is an exciting time in someone’s life, but it can also be overwhelming. You’ll be dreaming about relaxing in your new backyard while also worrying about the areas that need to be fixed up. The good news is that you can avoid a huge headache by knowing what to look out for ahead of time.

As you begin to narrow down your favorite potential homes, it’s important that you look at the damage that you need to deal with; especially when it comes to basement damage. After all, it is easy to overlook signs of damage, happily buy the home, and then have to deal with the financial burden of fixing it. 

Let’s take a look at the 5 signs of basement damage you need to look out for. 

1. Mold Growth

When it comes to basement damage, the biggest culprit is water. Water damage makes itself known in different ways, and when left untreated, it can compromise the foundation of your home and lead to more devastating issues. One of the first signs to look out for is mold growth.

Mold grows in an environment full of moisture. You can see the beginnings of potential mold growth from unsightly stains. Look at the basement of a potential home and see if you find any discolored spots. 

There may be a white, powdery residue or reddish splotches. If you see dark black or grayish spots, that’s a sign of mold, and it’s an indicator that there are significant drainage issues. This needs to be addressed immediately. 

Mold will continue to grow, spread, and destroy the structure of your property. There are also negative health effects linked to having mold in your home. This can be mild effects like sneezing or itching eyes, but it can also lead to more serious problems like permanent lung damage.

You might notice a musty smell that can also be an indicator of mold growth.  

2. Deteriorating Materials

One of the more noticeable signs of damage is deteriorating materials. When there is water and/or moisture, building materials will weaken and begin to break down. This might first show up as flaking, or you might notice some paint peeling off.

Eventually, this can get worse, and it’ll begin to break down the foundation of your home. This is an easy fix if caught early, but if it’s too late, it’ll set you back significantly. Although flaking and the peeling paint could be an indicator of age, it’s always better to be diligent and take any sign of damage seriously.

If you find a home that doesn’t have any signs of deterioration, you can be proactive in preventing basement damage by basement waterproofing your home. This is a great way to protect a vulnerable part of your home and save money in the long run. 

3. Sinking Floors

If you’re looking at a home and the basement floors feel uneven or like they’re sinking a bit, that’s not a good sign. This might be a little tricky to notice, so it’s good to put it on your list of things to check as you browse potential homes. Sinking or uneven floors are a sign of potential foundation damage or soil erosion underneath the foundation.

This can easily make a foundation that is structurally-sound, unstable. This can lead to some serious problems, so it’s essential to be diligent and get that straightened out right away. The thing about sinking floors is that it may not be caused by water damage.

It can also be caused by a foundation contractor that didn’t adequately compact the soil before pouring the foundation or used an inappropriate base. This results in the slab cracking under its own weight. Regardless of what’s to blame, be sure to get it sorted out as quickly as possible or cross that home off your list.

4. Cracks

Another reason to do a thorough inspection is to check for any cracks in the basement’s foundation, floor, or walls. Water can enter through the cracks, and those cracks may have formed because of water that is placing pressure on your home’s structure. Cracks may not always mean that bigger issues are coming up, especially if they’re small; bigger cracks have to be fixed before they become a problem.

The main reasons most basement cracks occur include:

  • Foundation movement resulting from soil or other issues
  • Pressures pushing against the basement wall or floor
  • The shrinkage process of concrete
  • Hydrostatic pressure that involves wet soils and other water issues

As with any of the other signs mentioned here, you want to diligent if anything feels like it could become a bigger problem. If you’re going to find your dream home, you don’t want the pressure of having to dish out more cash to fix foundational issues – something to keep in mind!

5. Bugs 

This might be a strange one, and hopefully, you aren’t squeamish, but another sign of damage is insects. Pretty much all of the bugs that love moisture include centipedes, roaches, silverfish, earwigs, and pill bugs. If you’re noticing more of these than you’d usually see in a basement, that may be a sign of a bigger problem.

These bugs enter through cracks in the foundation and lurk among wet basements. You should ask the property owner if there have been issues with pests in the past or investigate something more problematic.

Signs of Basement Damage

It can be discouraging to find a home you love and notice something off about it. Most of the time, you hope that you can fix it for a reasonable price. If not, then it’s time to look elsewhere.

Although most people tend to neglect the basement, basement damage is one of the best things to look out for. If there’s a problem with the basement, that might lead to structural issues with your home.

The best thing you can do if you find your dream home is basement waterproofing, so it won’t get water damaged. 

If you’re convinced that you need to protect your basement, be sure to contact us for a free inspection!