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Basement damaged by leak

Signs and Solutions for Water Buildup in the Basement

Your basement is prone to moisture and water buildup, both of which are destructive. By knowing the signs and appropriate solutions, you can prevent water from damaging your basement.

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Basement damaged by leak

While you might not use the basement area for anything other than storage, you must maintain it. If not inspected regularly, a leaky basement can easily go unnoticed. Failure to resolve water buildup can lead to a range of problems. Basement water can cause structural damage, hurt your furniture and belongings, and foster the growth of mold and mildew.  

To protect your basement from water damage, you need to look out for signs of water buildup and know what measures to take to remedy the problem.  

Signs of Water Buildup in The Basement 

Water will always announce itself. Telltale signs that water is building up in the basement include: 


Look out for whitish sparkling stuff. It can make your basement walls look like they are sparkling. Efflorescence occurs when water evaporates, leaving shiny or ashy salt deposits behind.  

Musty odors

 Any pungent smell emanating from the basement could be a sign of decay and a strong indicator of water issues. 


 Moisture and water create the perfect conditions for mold. If your basement is dark and damp, it’s likely you will bump into mold growth while performing an inspection. 

Discoloration on your walls, ceiling, or carpet is another sign of basement water damage. Look out for yellowish-brown, black, or green stains, depending on the material. 

What Causes Water Buildup in The Basement? 

Since the basement is the lowest point of your house, it is likely to collect water. And water can get into the basement and collect via any of the following ways: 

Plumbing Leaks 

Faulty plumbing is a major cause of water buildup in the basement. A burst or frozen water pipe is the major culprit. 

Windows wells 

Window wells are designed to allow natural light into the basement. Although they actively prevent water from entering the basement, if not cleaned and maintained regularly, they can collect water and release it into your basement. 

Wall cracks 

Cracks in basement walls can be attributed to shrinkage or settling soil. Cracks caused by shrinkage do not require serious intervention. However, cracks from settling are much more severe, as they tend to weaken the underlying structure and introduce more water into your basement.  

Floor cracks 

Water from below your foundation can cause your basement floor to crack. When this happens, water will start seeping up into the basement floor.  

Faulty drains 

If an open floor drain becomes clogged, water from your sink or washer will not drain away, and this will cause a basement flood.   

Poor ventilation 

Sometimes, it’s not water that causes basement damage, but damp air that turns into the water through condensation. Condensation is a big problem in basements with poor air circulation. Naturally, the damp air gets stuck in the space and keeps collecting moisture, which later turns to water. 

Dealing with Water Buildup in Your Basement 

The first and most important step in drying up your basement is locating the source of the water. If the water is a result of poor landscaping or heavy rainfall, consider regrading your yard to direct water away from your foundation. If plumbing leaks or seeping walls are the cause, we recommend you install interior drainage solutions to prevent further buildup. It’s best to pair these drains with a basement sump as well to eject any water that gets in before it starts causing problems. 

It’s pointless to remove water without fixing the issues that instigated the buildup. Inspect and seal wall and floor cracks, fix plumbing leaks, reseal basement windows, and repair the faulty drains. Routine maintenance will also ensure your drainage and waterproofing systems are functional throughout the year. 

In case you notice significant water buildup in the basement, contact a professional basement repair professional in Roanoke VA. Waiting too long can cause more damage and lead to complicated and expensive repairs.  

Need Basement Repair Services? 

JES Foundation Repair boasts of a team of expert and skilled professionals that can waterproof any basement in Roanoke, VA. We take pride in providing the highest quality workmanship and using the most comprehensive basement repair and waterproofing solutions. Contact us for a free basement waterproofing inspection and quote today. 

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