Damp Basement? You Might Have a Foundation Problem
Is your home a castle built on a swamp? A damp basement can be signs of even bigger foundation problems. This can be a serious risk for property owners and renters. Unless fixed, these symptoms and the underlying causes are only likely to get worse.
Know what to watch out for and what to do about it.
Damp Foundations: Know The Dangers
Unless you’ve already finished out your basement, it may not be a part of your house you visit very often. Yet whether it is unfinished storage space, a second living room, a man cave or space you rent out, this is one of the most critical areas of your home. Everything is riding on this.
Damp basements can often be a sign of much bigger problems. Left unchecked, they can cause big, costly surprises. Sometimes there are easy and inexpensive improvements to be made if you catch the problem early, so don’t dismiss these warnings.
One of the most obvious outcomes of damp in your home is mold. Mold can be toxic and may cause serious health problems with very little exposure. If you are renting out this property, you as the owner can be held legally responsible for your tenants’ medical bills and more.
Foundations hold up the rest of your house. If there are problems here, it is like living in a castle built in a swamp. You might think your house looks fine and solid, yet even before you notice it sagging and leaning, there can be roof leaks and other damage taking place.
A foundation issue is considered a structural element in a home. Most mortgage lenders will not refinance a home with structural repair needs. They won’t give a loan to a new buyer of the home. Act quickly, or you can be stuck and not be able to sell it.
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9 Things To Watch For
Odd smells are one of the most common signs of damp foundations. This may be coming directly from your basement or crawl space. Or it could be coming from the rot and mold already caused by water intrusion and condensation. Shifting houses can also unsettle pipes and cause leaking water lines or sewage.
2. Rising Water Bills
Even before you notice the smells, you might notice your water bills are getting higher. That leaking water can be running inside your walls and end up pooling in your basement.
3. Rising Electricity Bills
Monthly electricity bills can go up by 15% just because your home is more humid. This humidity stems from additional moisture under your home and all the places that are soaking up water. If your utility bills appear unseasonably high, have them investigated.
4. Damp & Signs Of Water Damage
Cardboard boxes or clothes left in the corner may feel damp. Furniture, ceilings and the inside of your cabinets can show stains and signs of water damage.
5. Warping Floors
Uneven wood floors and bubbling of vinyl floors are classic signs of foundation problems. This can get really expensive fast.
6. Uneven Exterior & Cracks
Don’t ignore interior and exterior cracks. Those more than a quarter-inch wide are indicators of major structural problems. You might even notice your house doesn’t sit level anymore.
7. Erosion Around The Exterior Of Your Home
Missing or failing gutters can cause erosion around the base of your home. This constant dripping or pouring and melting snow will eat away at your foundation and cause bigger problems.
8. Your Doors
Doors that stick or are obviously warped, along with the door frames are a red flag. It might not just be the changing weather.
9. The Sump Pump
Struggling sump pumps are a classic sign of damp basements and underlying foundation flaws. If you notice the sump pump is noisy, seems to be running more often, or is not kicking in, have it checked out promptly.
Solving Your Damp Basement Problems
The earlier you catch these problems, the better. When you notice these signs, call a professional Virginia foundation repair firm. Have them inspect it and give you a free estimate. If there is serious work to do, the best companies can often also connect you to special financing to cover any costs.
There may be easy fixes they can make. Or you may want to stay ahead of any future damp and foundation failures with waterproofing and other solutions.
Choose The Experts Here to Help You
Last March I had JES place pilings under a portion of the foundation of my home that was showing a very noticeable crack and replace a jack under the kitchen area where the previous homeowner had rigged a floor jack to hold up a sag in the floor joists. Everyone was professional as could be. They all showed up on time and stayed until the work was complete. If you remember last March it was very muddy and rainy and the guys took the time to clean everything up like they were never there. They had to make a couple of trips out to wait for things to dry out to complete the job. I would recommend these guys for any structural/foundation work that you would need.
~ Georgina B., Chesapeake, VA
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Have you ever wondered about that crawl space foundation crack and what caused it? Or if those bouncy floors are a sign that you have a bigger problem?
Our Homeowner’s Guide to Crawl Space Repair is your resource for learning about why you have high electric bills, wet crawl space insulation and other crawl space problems. Request your free crawl space inspection today and receive your copy of the e-book, as our thanks for putting your trust in JES.