Friday, September 7, 2012

What to look for if you think you have water problems in your basment

Do you think that you may have water problems in your basement? Here’s what to look for to confirm before you call someone.

First things first, when you open the door to the basement and walk down the stairs what does the air feel like? Is it moist? Can you taste moisture in the air? Do you smell anything like mold or mustiness? Does the basement feel humid?

There are a lot of things that could tip you off to having a wet basement; those are just some of them. The biggest one is of course if you see damp spots in the carpet or dark spots in the concrete floor.

There are a lot of reasons for having a wet or damp basement and some of them are easily fixable and some of them are not.

If you want to know if you have some water problems here is what to look for in your basement;

Look at the perimeter of the basement on the floor where the wall and the concrete floor meet. If there is carpet and baseboard there pull the carpet back out of the way. Feel the concrete, does it feel damp? Does it look darker?

When looking at the perimeter of the basement walls look at the baseboard, is it discoloured like its absorbed moisture? If you pull a piece off is there mold or mildew on the back side of the baseboard?

If you do not have baseboard but have drywall push on the base of the drywall and see if it’s soft or if it breaks easily. This is a sign of moisture absorption.

If you have stud walls and no drywall then look at the bottom wood plate of the wall and see if you see any discolouration from moisture absorption.

Not all concrete floors are level in basements; find the lowest spot in the concrete floor and check to see if there is evidence of water laying there that might have dried.

A lot of times you will only have water problems at certain times of the year, usually in the spring and in the fall. This is one reason that you look for staining instead of just looking for water. If your basement only has water problems in the spring and fall then there are certain things that you can do to stop the water from penetrating the basement that aren’t that expensive;

Make sure that your sump pump is working.

Make sure that the sump pump is set low enough so that it can remove the water from under the floor releasing the hydrostatic pressure on your basement.

Check in the high water times to see if your sump pump can keep up, you might need a backup pump to help it out.

If you find that the water or moisture problems are showing up in the corners or near the corners then the problem could be outside. Check where you’re down spots exhaust coming from the gutters on the roof. If they are disconnected or do not exhaust far enough from the building then they could be the problem. Extending them away from the building might help solve the problem.

When you are outside check to make sure that the grade of the land next to your house is running away. If you have ground that is level or slightly sloped toward the house then it will act like a funnel toward the basement.

If you have checked all of this and you still have a water problem in your basement then it is time to call a professional in to take a look. There are a lot of different options today to fixing water problems and getting the right professional will make all the difference.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

No comments:

Post a Comment