9 Signs You Need to Waterproof Your Basement Right Away

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Did you know that 98% of homes in America will face water damage at least once in their lifetime?

Not only are water damage issues expensive to treat, but they can also affect the structural integrity of your home and even harm you and your loved ones’ health.

Have you ever wondered if you should waterproof your basement? Keep reading to learn about 9 signs that you need immediate professional help.

1. A Musty Smell

When most people think about water damage, they imagine flooding and other severe problems. The truth is some homes may only show subtle signs of water damage that are easy to miss. Even if you don’t see anything concerning in your basement, you may be able to tell that something is off by the way it smells.

If your nose is bombarded by a musty scent when you enter your basement, this means that water has been lingering for a long time. Some homeowners may also notice that the air feels damper, too. Whether the smell is caused by poor ventilation, a leak, or another issue altogether, basement waterproofers will be able to correct the problem.

2. Mold

Since mold can grow in as little as 24 hours, waterproofing a basement can help prevent any infestations from getting out of control. Mold thrives in dark, damp environments, which is why basements are high-risk areas in homes.

Mold is terrible for your home for many reasons. It feeds on organic substances, which means wood and other common household materials are susceptible to rot and structural damage. If mold spores make their way into your air circulation, they can spread and colonize all throughout your home. 

3. Everyone in Your Household Has Chronic Flu-Like Symptoms

It’s no secret that mold is also terrible for people’s health. Even if you don’t see any obvious signs of mold growth in your basement, there are plenty of nooks and crannies where colonies can thrive out of sight. Once the mold spreads throughout your vents, you and your loved ones are susceptible to breathing in the spores and facing the side effects of long-term exposure.

Mold enters through your respiratory system, which means the symptoms can feel similar to a cold or flu. One major difference between these illnesses is that your symptoms won’t go away until the mold is removed from your home. Some telltale signs of mold exposure include the following:

  • Red or itchy eyes
  • Headaches
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Skin rashes
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue

4. Water Stains

Unless you can trace the origin of a stain back to a recent incident like a spill or a leak, you should never find watermarks on the floor or walls. The reason why old or faint stains are bad is because they’re a sign that water has seeped through your foundation at some point. If it happened once, it’s guaranteed to happen again and cause other problems.

5. Rust

Basements are usually full of things made out of metal. Whether you have a furnace or furniture with metal parts, they can all show signs of water damage over time. Even tiny pieces of metal like nails and screws can be checked to see if you need basement waterproofing.

If your basement is exposed to lots of water, the high humidity can still cause metal to rust even if it’s not submerged in liquid. People who suspect their basement feels too damp should inspect any metal objects to see if they’re rusting.

6. Efflorescence

When concrete gets wet, the minerals inside are drawn to the surface after the water evaporates. Once this happens, the walls may have white, chalky streaks. If you turn the lights on, you might also notice that the walls seem to sparkle.

Efflorescence isn’t as dangerous as mold since the white substance is made out of salt, but it’s still a serious sign that your basement needs to be waterproofed. If water continues to leak inside, then you could deal with a mold issue next.

7. Bowed Walls

Since your basement is underground, it’s exposed to the swelling and shrinking of certain types of soils that surround it. When it rains, the soil gets saturated with water and expands, then it condenses once it dries out. If these forces are strong enough, they can cause the walls to bulge or curve inward.

These changes can be subtle at first. The best way to catch this problem early is to take a close look at the alignment of your wall and see if anything looks uneven.

8. Cracked Walls or Floor

Untreated bowed walls can also lead to the development of cracks in your foundation. If the pressure is high enough underneath the floor, you can also spot cracks there as well. This water damage causes hairline cracks at first, but they can get larger over time and threaten the structural integrity of your home.

If your basement shows no other signs of water damage except for these cracks, it’s possible that you may only need to waterproof those affected areas. Getting an inspection from a reputable waterproofing company can help you find the best solution for your home.

9. Bug Infestation

Mold isn’t the only thing that thrives in dark, wet environments. Plenty of species of bugs also enjoy breeding in these conditions.

If you don’t want extra roommates living in your basement, waterproof services can help you get to the root of the problem. Calling an exterminator may improve your situation in the short term, but if you don’t address the water damage, more bugs can find their way inside in the future.

Do You Need to Waterproof Your Basement?

If you notice any of these 9 signs of water damage in your home, you most likely need to waterproof your basement. Since the structural integrity of your house and your health are at risk, you should never wait to call for professional help.

Are you searching for basement waterproofing companies in Baltimore or Rockville, Maryland? If so, Armored Basement would love to help with any job. Contact us to schedule your free inspection.