It’s no secret that water can cause serious damage to your basement. Water drops that permeate through the foundation can lead to mould growth which can be detrimental to your health as well. Moisture can also cause structural and electronic damage to your home. To protect your basement this summer from these risks, stay on top of moisture levels and prevent it from getting inside your home.
What to Look Out For
Pooling water isn’t the only sign that you have a problem. The signs of basement moisture are not always obvious. Here are a few things to look out for:
- Condensation or water drops on the walls and floor
- Staining on the walls
- Blistering walls
- Strong odours
- Rotting wood, columns or joists
- Damp carpet
How to Protect Your Basement this Summer
Using exhaust fans to dry moisture and condensation can help but it won’t solve the problem from the source. To prevent water from getting in, you need to prevent it from reaching your foundation and passing through the materials. You can protect your basement from water with the following solutions:
Concrete is porous, so if it’s left untreated, any water that comes in contact with the wall can be absorbed easily through capillary action. And once water makes its way inside the concrete it can cause all kinds of issues, especially during the freeze and thaw cycles. Fortunately, there’s a way to stop the influx of water – waterproofing. Waterproofing provides a high-quality seal against water in your foundation. The coating can be applied to the exterior or interior of the foundation to control the movement of water.
Even small cracks in your foundation can cause big issues. If you find any cracks, it’s important to have an expert find out the exact cause, as the solution will vary. Sometimes cracks occur when the floor joists are not properly connected, other times, it’s caused by hydrostatic pressure that pushes against the foundation walls. The cracks will need to be repaired either way, however, if there are structural problems that need to be fixed these should be addressed as well to prevent further issues from occurring.
Weeping Tile Installation
Not all homes are built with a subsurface draining system. Even new homes that have a drainage system in place will eventually fail which can lead to water damage. If your home was not built with adequate drainage, it’s important to have an exterior weeping tile system installed. This intricate water drainage system is buried underneath the soil by the foundation wall to capture moisture before it has a chance to reach the home. Interior systems can also be installed inside the basement to manage any water that has already passed through, pushing it out and away from the home.
Sump Pump Installation
To keep the basement dry, a sump pump can be installed that will remove any of the water that enters through a pipe to the outdoors. Even when it’s not working, it can be used to alert a homeowner that the basement is in danger of being flooded. A sump pump is also a good investment. A home that has a sump pump installed will be more attractive to a buyer than a home that doesn’t have an adequate draining system.
Ineffective grading that slopes towards your home can cause flowing water to make its way inside through the basement windows and through cracks in your foundation. In order to fix this, you’ll need to build dirt up around your foundation and create a slope that directs water away from the house. The downspouts that direct rainwater off your roof should also be directed away from your foundation. Extenders can also be added to disperse water out towards the road or a drainage system.
Concrete and cinder block walls have mortar joints between the blocks which will eventually break down from the pressure. And if the people who built your home didn’t do a good job of applying it, water will find the weakest point and make its way inside your basement. Eventually, all this moisture is going to cause issues and expensive damage. If certain blocks appear to be wet, deteriorating, or staining, it’s time to fix the leaking mortar joints.
The best way to keep water out is to use a combination of the above solutions. Grading the landscape, filling cracks, fixing the mortar, adding a drainage system, and waterproofing will control water and prevent it from getting inside your home. If you need basement solutions, our team can fix any foundation problem. Contact us at the Foundation Experts today and we’ll make sure that your basement is well protected this summer.