- October 7, 2021
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Is your basement smelly, damp, dark, and dreary like a dungeon? Could it be part of a scary movie set? If your kids avoid the basement and even the family dog avoids it, you need to seriously consider basement waterproofing to turn your wet basement into extra living space everyone will want to spend time in.
The fact that a wet basement is wasted space in your home is actually the least of your worries. Water of any amount in your basement poses both structural hazards and health hazards. Let’s take a look.
Structural Hazards of a Wet Basement
Not only does a wet basement smell bad and prevent you from using the space for anything but risky storage (stuff stored in a wet basement tends to decay and mildew), it reveals potential issues with the stability of your home, and your home’s value. The moisture and smell are symptoms of greater underlying issues.
In the Mid-Atlantic region, something called hydrostatic pressure puts pressure on the outside of your foundation walls. This pressure can greatly increase when the ground outside is saturated. The water looks for somewhere to go, and in many cases, it seeps into your basement walls and floor.
The water swells the ground adjacent to your foundation and this in turn can create cracks in your foundation walls, as well as standing water, mold, and mildew. Left unchecked, all of this water can cause major problems for the structural integrity of your home and the health of your homes inhabitants. We’ve seen cases of bowed walls and walls that actually collapsed under the pressure.
Health Hazards of a Wet Basement
In addition to endangering the structural integrity of your home, a wet basement poses some health hazards, especially for people with allergies or other respiratory issues. A damp basement is usually the result of water seepage through cracks in your walls or floors.
This moisture then allows several things to happen:
- Mold growth
- Mildew spread
- Fungus growth
- Increase in dust mites
- Increase in pests such as cockroaches, spiders, silverfish, and mice
Yikes! You don’t want any of these things in your home. They’re gross, and they can all cause breathing problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) mold growth alone can be associated with:
- Runny nose
- Red eyes
- Asthma attacks in people with asthma
- Pneumonitis in immune compromised people
- Trouble breathing
These symptoms can all occur in otherwise healthy people, and can be worse for people with known respiratory problems. If a wet basement is causing mold growth, or you see an increase in pests, it’s time to find a permanent solution. The air in your basement or crawl space rises and enters all areas of your home.
Wet Basement Solutions
There are a few things you can do yourself to try and prevent water from getting into your basement. They include:
- Using downspout extenders to send water at least 6’ away from your foundation
- Regularly Cleaning your gutters and downspouts
- Ensuring the ground slopes away from your foundation
- Use window well covers
But you can’t do anything about how much it rains, or the hydrostatic pressure on your foundation walls. Once you have cracks in the wall or floor, it’s time to call in a professional for a more permanent solution.
Say Goodbye to a Wet Basement – Schedule a FREE Basement Inspection
If you have a continually wet basement that smells damp and musty, or you get puddles forming after heavy rain, or you see mold growth, deal with the problem now, before you suffer a flooded basement. Professional basement waterproofing is the best way to protect the structural integrity of your home, and protect your family’s health.
Call (888) 768-2583, or use the contact form to schedule your FREE basement inspection. Our inspectors will give you a full evaluation with recommended measures to take. We have the resources and materials to start your basement waterproofing job quickly should you decide to move forward.
We serve homeowners in Maryland, Washington DC, northern Virginia, Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan counties in West Virginia, and parts of Delaware. Let’s get your basement ready for a fun Halloween party instead of a scene from a scary movie resembling a haunted house!