Too many homeowners put off fixing their leaky basement walls. It’s extremely important that you fix this problem as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you could end up with any of these problems.
Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew are both very common problems that occur whenever there’s high moisture in the area. Most of the time, the relative humidity needs to be at least 55-65% for mold to start growing in earnest, but if you have water droplets on your basement walls, the humidity in those specific areas is very high, which means it will probably start growing on those areas of the wall.
Although most mold and mildew aren’t toxic to humans, that doesn’t mean you can just ignore it. Mold and mildew can both be bad for your respiratory tract when you breathe in the spores, meaning they can exacerbate allergies. Plus, they make great food for many pests, so you’re basically inviting pests into your home with mold and mildew.
Much of the time, leaking basement walls happen because your home’s structure is failing. Typically, it’s because of bowing basement walls that are starting to cave in because of the hydrostatic pressure on the outside. It’s important that you fix the problem at the root as early as possible so you can address these structural concerns.
In extreme cases, basement bowing may end with the basement wall literally crumbling in on itself. Of course, this is unlikely and would typically happen only after many years of ignoring serious problems in the basement. However, do you really want to take that chance? Fixing the problem early makes it less likely that you’ll have a complete structural failure.
High Indoor Humidity
When you have a leaky basement, the water resting on the walls will typically start to cause high levels of humidity in the basement. As with any other amount of resting water, this tends to significantly increase the possibility for the room to become extremely humid. The problem is, in most homes, this high level of humidity won’t just stop in the basement.
As the basement becomes more and more humid, it’ll start to move up into the home. This might happen if you go into the basement regularly, if you don’t have a very secure basement door, or even if you just leave it alone for long enough. For the most part, there’s really no way you’ll be able to avoid basement humidity becoming general home humidity.
High Energy Bills
When you have high levels of indoor humidity, you’re also going to start having high energy bills. Think about how you feel when you’re in humid weather — you probably feel hotter when it’s hot, and you feel colder when it’s cold. Your body will tend to react much more strongly to the temperature when there’s a lot of moisture in the air.
It’s most common to respond to that in a home by turning the thermostat up or down, depending on what the outside temperature is. Plus, your air conditioner may take more time and energy to condition the air. That means you’re going to end up with much higher energy bills than a home that doesn’t have humidity concerns. With the money you can save, it almost makes more financial sense to invest in basement waterproofing than to avoid waterproofing your basement with a professional.