Water seepage in your basement is more than just a nuisance. It’s more than just a pain that prevents you from using one of the most valuable parts of your home. It creates real hazards. Find out what’s really causing it and how to fix it and save your home and health.
Maybe you are tired of feeling unsafe and having water in your basement. Or maybe you’d just like to use your basement for storage, instead of it being a murky swimming pool every time there is a major rainstorm or one of those notorious Virginia Nor’easters. Or perhaps you’d love to get your basement finished and turn it into a rental apartment, home gym or office, or turn around and flip this house after adding this value. Whichever is the case, here’s what you need to know.
What Is Water Seepage?
Seepage is a more complicated term for a leak. When it comes to basement seepage, this can be water intrusion flowing through flaws and holes in your home and foundation. Or it can be coming through into your crawl space through porous materials.
Why You Can’t Ignore Water Problems In Your Home
Water is probably the most powerful force in nature. We can’t live without it and you want it on demand out of your faucets, yet it can also be incredibly destructive.
At first, a little condensation, mildew or water seepage may not seem like a huge deal. Before long, it can swell into a major problem.
One of the first and most pressing issues can be mold. Mold can be toxic. A little basement mold may not bother you at first if you rarely go down there. Yet those mold spores can travel. Soon you can have mold growing and blowing through your air ducts. It can grow between your floors and walls and spread fast.
This is a serious health risk. It may just start out with heightened allergy symptoms like runny noses and irritated eyes. Then it can be recurring and worsening coughs and headaches. Over time, it can weaken your immune system, cause permanent lung damage and asthma.
Water seepage in your basement will only worsen. That can cause major foundation problems. It is a sign you already have them. Left unchecked, it could bring your whole house down.
Toxic mold and foundation problems are structural issues. This can prevent you from refinancing your home and anyone else from getting a mortgage to buy your home.
Water Seepage & What To Do About It
Basement seepage comes from water against your foundation walls or other gaps that are allowing rainwater in.
At its most basic, this may be a basement window that needs fixing or replaced with an egress window and window well.
Or water can be building up against your foundation walls due to poor drainage and grading around the exterior of your home. This can especially be a problem if you don’t have gutters or they are not functioning well. That causes erosion and unwanted water build-up.
Once water pressure becomes too much for your concrete block walls, they begin to crack. Stair-step crack patterns along mortar lines signal uneven settling of your house. That may be due to the soil under your home no longer being able to support the weight. Vertical cracks through the brick show the pressure has become too much and your foundations are already failing. Horizontal cracks are urgent. Your home is already too much for your foundation walls. Everything is on the verge of falling in.
Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions that can help. Get your home inspected by a local professional foundation expert and find out what your options are.
This may include:
- New support piers for your foundation
- Wall anchors
- Grated drains and pipes
- Interior gutters in your basement
- New exterior gutters and grading
- Vapor barriers
Water seepage is more than just an inconvenience. It is a real threat to your health and the structure of your home. Mold and foundation failure can be some of the unwanted consequences of basement seepage left unchecked. It’s time to tackle it. Save your home. Stay healthy. Get so much more value and enjoyment out of your Virginia home and sleep with more peace of mind.