Worried about water in your basement or crawl space? What are the signs you need to do something? What causes this damp or water intrusion? What’s the right way to fix it and prevent further issues?
Excess water and dampness in areas like your crawl space or basement, which have concrete block walls, can be a major problem. They can cause serious risks to the health of anyone living there. It can be a sign of or cause foundation failure. When that happens, everything else can be lost.
Watch out for these signs of water-related problems and understand their root causes and smart fixes.
Red Flags Your Basement Has A Water Problem
Wet concrete walls that are clearly leaking or have excess condensation are one of the obvious signs you need to do something about moisture levels.
You may not see the water in action, but it can leave behind a white powdery residue when it evaporates. This material may not be toxic in itself but can indicate an active and recurring problem to investigate.
Wet floors and damp carpets are a big giveaway that there is something wrong. In finished basements, drywall can be wet or show stains. If neglected for too long these problems will move up into your home. Doors, door frames and flooring can become warped.
Leaking basement windows should not only be replaced with new egress windows but can be a sign of uneven settling.
Musty smells mean you already have a dampness and mildew problem that may have been getting worse for a while. Mold is not something to risk your health on.
If you already know you have a grading or gutter problem outside, then it is just a matter of how much damage has already been done, and how much more will be done before you get it fixed.
Common Causes Of Water Problems In Your Basement & Crawl Space
What’s the real cause of the problem? It may be one of these issues:
- Clogged footing drains
- Excess water pressure against the foundation walls
- Cracks in concrete walls
- Poor grading and drainage around your home
- Cheap or shoddy building practices
- Storms, snow and freezing temperatures
- Uneven settling in the soil beneath your home
Fixing Your Water & Damp Problems
Some online videos suggest you can just use a sealant to waterproof concrete block walls. The truth is that this probably isn’t a sufficient solution. It’s vital to treat the real problem, and not to expect paint to stop your home from caving in. To keep your Virginia home and family or renters safe get it inspected by a professional. Ask for a free estimate and custom solution for your home and budget.
Solutions that may be right for you include the following.
Encapsulating crawl spaces with vapor barriers can be a smart way to waterproof this important part of your home.
Gutters & Drains
Functional gutter systems are vital for preserving your foundation and preventing water from continuing to build up against your foundation walls and eventually caving them in.
In addition to exterior gutters around the roof of your home, you may benefit from interior drain systems and french drains with capture intruding water and stop it from causing damage. Grated drains in your basement floor help carry water away and prevent drains from getting clogged.
If you’ve got a basement, you should have a sump pump. You need one that is in good working order and that is designed for your needs. Noisy or constantly running pumps can be a red flag to get checked out. You don’t want it to fail at the wrong moment.
There are now a variety of support piers that can be used to stabilize your home and prevent it from sinking and creating more cracks. Without this, any other attempts to waterproof concrete block walls can be wasted if the soil isn’t supporting your house anymore.
Dampness is not something to be taken lightly. It attracts rodents and pests. It will rot your home. It can breed poisonous mold, which poses severe health risks.
Is it time to waterproof your concrete block walls? If you’ve noticed these symptoms, be sure you get to the root causes instead of attempting to just cover things up. Get professional estimates on the best repairs to make to prevent further water issues.