Basement water problems are pervasive. Whether you live in a generally humid area, a generally arid area, or somewhere in between, chances are that you’ve had basement water problems of some kind at some point. A wet basement is a huge problem, and there are many other issues that can arise because of these basement water problems.
JES Foundation Repair
Dampness, cracks, and waterproofing issues can cause serious basement moisture problems, which can themselves lead to mold and other health concerns.
JES Foundation Repair
Wet drywall typically comes around because of cracks in your walls and general leaking.
JES Foundation Repair
No homeowner wants to deal with basement condensation. Learn more about the signs and solutions to protect your home.
JES Foundation Repair
Fixing problems associated with dampness, cracks, and flooding is not always easy, and you can’t always fix it on your own.
Don’t see your water problem?
There are numerous reasons your house may have these problems. Most of these causes stem from the ground.
A footing drain is installed just outside of your home’s basement foundation. This drain is meant to keep water away from your foundation but it can easily clog. The footing drain is thick pipe that has holes drilled into it to allow water to drip into the pipe.
Stone is laid on top of the drain pipe to prevent the backfill from clogging the pipe. Over time the backfill seeps through the stone and clogs the pipe. There’s no way to keep the footing pipe clean unless you want to excavate the ground surrounding your home to flush the pipe. This is incredibly messy, expensive and could damage your foundation. And who wants to do that?
When hurricane season comes around, you need to do more than prepare for the hurricane by buying supplies. You also need to prep your home for the heavy rain and flooding that the storm may bring.
The heavy rain and flooding brought by the hurricane contribute to hydrostatic pressure and soil settlement. Both of which can result in basement wall cracks and a very wet basement. So when hurricane season comes around, make sure to check your sump pump, current waterproofing and have a plan in place to help keep your basement dry. When in doubt, call your local basement waterproofing experts.
A clogged footing drain will not collect any more water. So the water puddles up into the backfill and starts pushing against your home. The weight of the water creates pressure which pushes against your foundation – this is also called hydrostatic pressure.
The hydrostatic pressure pushes the water into the porous concrete and through cracks in the block or mortar. Over time the hydrostatic pressure, soil settlement and seasonal changes can result in basement wall cracks or cracks in the poured concrete.
Just like its summer and fall cousin, the Nor’easter is famous for flooding basements. The heavy rain and flooding caused by Nor’easters adds to hydrostatic pressure and soil settlement problems, both of which can cause basement wall cracks.
A Nor’easter can occur any time of the year but is notorious for occurring during the winter. It’s called a Nor’easter because it travels to the northeast from the south. These storms can cause flooding, hurricane force winds, heavy rain and snow. All of which can spell trouble for your basement.
The backfilled soil around your basement foundation will settle. As the soil settles it will sink towards your foundation, creating a slope which allows water to run next to your basement foundation, eventually causing hydrostatic pressure.
If your gutters don’t point away from your basement foundation then this can add to the soil settlement problem. You can help prevent some of the hydrostatic pressure from soil settlement by adding dirt to the sunken soil.
We Fix Wet Basements! We believe that you deserve only the best. All of our basement waterproofing solutions are custom designed for your home.
JES Foundation Repair
There are numerous reasons why your home’s basement can develop leaks or result in a complete flood.
JES Foundation Repair
The dynamic shape and water-capturing properties of the BasementGutter interior french drain system make it highly effective and flexible to be modified to most basement foundations.
JES Foundation Repair
A basement dehumidifier will help combat humidity issues in order to keep your basement dry and conserve energy.
JES Foundation Repair
An egress window seals out moisture and is designed to dramatically increase the amount of natural light that comes into your basement.
How can JES help me?
Our Customers Trust Us
I want to thank everyone at JES Foundation Repair for a job well done!! We can already see a difference. Thank you all at JES!View cindy crouse's Review
Taylor jeffries was very responsible snd helpful with the work we did with jes for my real estate transaction.View karen nusca's Review
Awesome experience today with JES Tech Mr.Christian Distler-Caravetta.View LaShawn Boyer's Review
I received excellent service from the JES team to waterproof the crawl space under my home. David was extremely helpful and professional.View Lindsay Quarles's Review
This age of DIYs has created a fair number of people who believe it’s possible for them to fix their basements on their own. However, this isn’t a good idea. These are just a few of the reasons you should rely on a basement waterproofing expert.
A Wide Variety of Possible Culprits
The first reason you shouldn’t try to fix your basement yourself is the fact that there are many possible culprits for wet drywall. Sure, the wet drywall may be exclusively because your basement flooded, but there might also be other problems you can’t see anymore because of the flooding. To the layman’s eye, this can be a difficult thing to figure out.
It’s also possible that you could see a problem where there is none. What happens if you see a crack in the wall, then fix that crack and assume you fixed the problem, but that wasn’t actually what was causing the wet drywall? You may rest easy, but the problem is getting worse. That’s why you should trust trained basement waterproofing professionals.
The Possibility of Making the Problem Worse
Whenever you try to fix something on your own when you don’t have a lot of knowledge of the problem, it’s always possible that you could just make it worse. After all, you may not know how the inside of your home works. It’s possible that, in trying to fix the problem as a whole, you could end up making it much worse.
This possibility should definitely preclude you from attempting a fix on your own, especially a fix for something as potentially serious as wet drywall. A fix that would be generally affordable and simple can become much more expensive and a multi-day affair if you try to fix it, then make the problem worse. You should only rely on a JES waterproofing expert for this reason.
The Possibility of Only Partially Fixing the Problem
It’s possible that you might fix the problem on your own when you try to fix the issue. However, it’s also possible that you could fix part of the problem. This might even be more dangerous than making the problem worse, because it usually means that you’ll leave the problem alone, feeling like you’ve fixed it entirely.
The problem comes later when you realize you haven’t fixed it. During the time that’s elapsed, the home will have continued to fall into disrepair. You may end up with a much worse problem in your basement, like serious foundational issues, because you didn’t properly address the issues you were initially dealing with.
Cheap Fixes That Aren’t Really Cheap
It’s common for people to invest in cheap fixes in an attempt to fix their wet drywall. For example, if someone has serious waterproofing problems, they might try to fix it by simply replacing the drywall. This is much cheaper than calling in an expert and looking for the actual problem, which might need an extreme fix and could cost even more money after all is said and done.
However, the biggest problem is that these cheap fixes definitely aren’t really cheap. Sure, they might look cheap at the front end, but are they really? More likely than not, you’ll have to invest in these cheap fixes over and over again, eventually spending more than you would have if you had just called in a basement waterproofing expert. That’s why you need to avoid fixes that look cheap and easy, because chances are, they’re neither of these things.
Wet drywall can come from a variety of sources, and many people don’t know why their drywall could be wet. Here are a few prominent reasons you might be seeing wet drywall in your home.
Internal leaks are one of the more common reasons you could find wet drywall. Do you have a pipe hidden in the wall that’s leaking without your knowledge? Did you recently have a pipe burst in the floor above, causing flooding? Have you noticed that one of your pipe connections is leaking more than normal? These are all sources of internal leaks.
Of all types of leaks, internal ones can sometimes be difficult to fix. When you have a flood in the area, you’ll usually go down to your basement and make sure nothing bad happened. However, if you have a leaky pipe in the bathroom above your basement, you might not realize that it migrated downward. Any time you experience any strange leaks in your home, make sure you check your basement to clear it of leaks as well.
Another possible cause of concern for your home when it comes to wet drywall is leaks from the outside. Did you recently have a flood in the area? Did it rain for a long time after not having any rain at all? Have you noted that water has been pooling around your home’s foundation? All of these sources of external water can cause leaks that will invade the home.
These external leaks are definitely a concern because they’re often responsible for an overly moist basement more so than standing water in the basement. Though you might think standing water is more dangerous than moisture, moisture can still cause foundation problems and mold, and it can be even more difficult to uncover than standing water.
Cracks in Your Walls
If your walls have cracks in them, no matter how tiny, rest assured that water will find a way through those cracks eventually. Water wants to fill any space it enters, and if there’s any way for that space to become larger, the water will follow it. Therefore, it makes sense that water would work through the cracks in your walls.
The problem is, cracks can sometimes be extremely tiny. These cracks, known as “hairline cracks,” can be almost impossible to notice, which can lead to them going unnoticed for a long time, especially if you think a moist basement is normal. If you notice any amount of water seepage in your basement, even if it’s small, you should probably seek help for your basement’s health.
Any basement with high levels of moisture will probably deal with condensation at some point. The air can only hold a certain amount of moisture, which people express using the concept of “relative humidity.” When the relative humidity grows over 100%, that extra humidity has to go somewhere. Outside, it turns into rain; inside, it turns into condensation, usually on cool surfaces.
Condensation can be a big problem in your basement because it can provide a fertile breeding ground for mold and mildew. This is especially true when you have drywall because the condensation can form on the drywall and therefore lead to wet drywall even without an internal or external leak. This is just one of the reasons you need to fix your damp basement as soon as possible.
Fixing wet drywall isn’t necessarily an easy task. You need to take a multi-pronged approach to fixing this problem. Here are the four biggest steps to fixing your wet drywall.
Find the Source of the Leak
Your first step has to be finding the source of the leak. Although this can seem like the easiest step, it might actually be a very difficult step, especially without proper knowledge and training in basement waterproofing.
This is also partly because there may be more than one leak source. For example, you might have a very big and pressing leak from a broken pipe in the basement, but your basement could also have cracked walls or condensation issues. The only way to really know is to consult with a basement repair expert who can help.
Fix the Source of the Leak
The next step is probably the most difficult: You have to fix the leak at the source. Although this might be easy if you have a leak caused by a burst water pipe or a flood in the floor above, for example, it will be much more difficult if you have a leak from cracked basement walls or leaking basement windows. You can’t just fix these with a simple patch.
Fixing the source of the leak requires that you fix the source of the problem. If you have bowing basement walls, for example, you can’t just put up an epoxy solution and call it a day. You need to invest the time, money and energy into making sure you’re fixing the basement walls themselves.
Replace the Wet Drywall
The reason this step is after fixing the leaks in your basement is that some people feel like they can just replace the wet drywall and think nothing else of the wetness in their basement. After all, as long as you’re fixing the issues the wet drywall causes, you should be fine, right?
This only holds true if you have wet drywall from something like an unexpected flood in your basement. If you have wet drywall because of an unnoticed leak, because of high moisture levels, or another reason that’s ongoing, you have to fix that problem before you can replace the drywall. Otherwise, you’ll end up with wet drywall again in a short period of time.
Maintain the Basement
Lastly, it’s important that you maintain the basement once you’ve replaced this wet drywall. After all, you don’t want to end up with the same problem. This may mean regularly checking up on your pipes if your pipes burst because they were old, it may mean installing a dehumidifier if your basement problem was moisture, or it may mean something else entirely.
Maintaining your basement health is, of course, something you should be doing at all times. It’s vital that you keep your basement in good shape. However, it’s especially important to maintain your basement after you’ve just fixed it. If your basement waterproofing expert suggests any specific ways of maintaining your basement, it’s a good idea to follow them.
Some people might not see the problem with wet basement carpet at first glance. It can certainly seem unnecessary to treat it with this amount of gravity, for sure. Here are just a few of the problems you might experience.
Mold and Mildew
The first and potentially biggest problem with wet basement carpet is mold and mildew. Whenever you have a wet area, especially a contained wet area, and the right temperature, mold and mildew are sure to exist. Mold and mildew absolutely love wet basements because they are the perfect places for these organisms to grow.
Most of the time, a temperature that is comfortable for humans is also comfortable for mold and mildew. That’s exactly why mold and mildew are so prolific in many basements. If you have wet carpet, chances are you have mold and mildew growing on, around, or under it in some way, and that’s an important thing to get checked out.
Musty Basement Smell
A musty basement smell almost always comes from mold and mildew. It can be tempting to mistake it for a “stale” scent that you might be convinced to “air out.” However, this smell rarely comes from a basement that doesn’t have enough air. Instead, it’s typically that the basement has mold or mildew growing inside.
The best way to get rid of your musty basement smell is to fix the mold and mildew that’s growing on the inside. However, you can’t fix that mold and mildew until you’re able to get down to basics and completely scour the basement to find the cause of your problem. The musty basement smell should be something you check out as soon as possible.
If your basement carpet rests on wooden baseboards, chances are that wet carpet will also extend to wet baseboards. In fact, it’s almost undoubtedly true that you have wet baseboards if you have wet carpet, at least if you let these baseboards sit for too long. You should make sure you’re not allowing your wet carpet to sit because water seepage will transfer the moisture all across the baseboards.
Of course, wet baseboards can have a whole host of issues. Wet baseboards don’t just become a potential host for mold and mildew, but also for wood rot, and wood rot is difficult to treat or eradicate. Wet carpet should itself be enough for you to seek treatment for your basement moisture problems, but if that’s not enough, just think of all the issues wet baseboards can cause.
Signs of a Deeper Problem
The last and potentially most dangerous issue with wet carpet is that it isn’t the only problem. Instead, this wet carpet is just an indication of a much deeper problem. If you ignore the wet carpet or just replace it with a different dry carpet, you’re ignoring the signs that are telling you there’s something much worse going on.
Ignoring these signs will always make the problem get worse. Unfortunately, you can’t just ignore whatever problems you’re experiencing in your home. You have to work toward making those problems better, and the only way you’ll be able to do that in this situation is to bring in a basement waterproofing expert.
The DIY mindset has made people think fixing things themselves is always possible or preferable to getting an expert. In this situation, that’s not possible, and it’s important to recognize what can arise if you try to do it yourself.
Making the Problem Worse
One of the biggest problems that can arise if you try to fix the problem on your own is unintentionally making the problem worse. Sure, you probably have a variety of YouTube videos and helpful DIY articles that will give you a head start, but do you actually know what you’re doing, or are you just rooting around randomly?
If you make this problem worse, it’s going to be more difficult and more expensive to fix it. You could turn a relatively minor problem into something that might require thousands of dollars and multiple days to fix. Instead, contact a basement waterproofing expert to help you figure out what to do next.
Not Addressing the Real Problem
Another problem that tends to hide under the surface is the problem that you might not actually fix what’s going on. Sure, you might think you’ve fixed the problem, but have you actually? Or, in your quest to fix the problem on your own without really having an understanding of the process, have you instead hidden the true problem?
It’s unfortunately common for a layman to believe that the problem is one thing when it’s actually another. If you think you’ve fixed the problem, watch out, because the problem might be much deeper than that. One of the biggest problems here is that it might make you complacent because you believe the problem is no longer happening, so you’re not going to be on the lookout for any extra problems.
Damaging Something Else in the Process
Although this is less common, it’s still something that can easily happen. What do you do if you’re trying to fix the problem, and in the process, you cause a different and less easy-to-fix problem? For example, you might bring in a ladder to reach a high pipe and in the process knock your ladder onto the wall, breaking free some pieces of concrete and causing a chip in the wall.
These bits of damage aren’t extremely common, but they can happen. If a professional basement waterproofing expert comes to your home and causes damage to another piece of your basement, they’re liable for that damage. If you do it, you’re now liable for the original damage and for the new damage, which can be a very frustrating position to be in.
Investing in a “Cheap Fix”
The allure of a “cheap fix” is something that pulls in many people to DIY fixes. After all, if you can fix your basement water problem without spending a lot of money, why wouldn’t you want to try this fix instead of a much more expensive one from a professional? Of course, the problem with these cheap fixes is that they’re rarely cheap and they’re rarely fixes.
Most often, these cheap fixes are more of a bandage. They help to stem the tide for a little while, but they don’t actually fix anything. Instead, they just put the problem off for anywhere from a few days to a few months. However, when they come back — and they definitely will — you’ll have to spend more money, time and energy to re-install a fix that was never a fix at all.
The path of fixing water in a basement cove isn’t always easy, and it can be a bit confusing, especially from the outside. The good news is that when you break it down, there are typically four steps, although a basement waterproofing expert may need to do more.
Pump Out Any Standing Water
The first step is simple: If you have any standing water in the basement, you need to pump it out as soon as possible. Standing water in the basement can cause a huge variety of concerns, including but not limited to basement dampness, mold and mildew growth, and even foundation problems if you aren’t able to pump it out properly.
Although this should be the first step, it obviously isn’t the last step. Pumping out standing water is useful because it gets rid of an immediate problem, but that standing water is just a symptom of a deeper problem. What’s next? You need to start looking for that deeper problem.
Find the Source of the Water
Once you’ve pumped out the standing water in your basement, it’s now time to find the source of that water. There are many reasons you could end up with water in your basement cove, but it’s most common to have the water seeping through leaky basement walls. However, that isn’t always the problem; it could be due to a number of issues.
This is one of the reasons you should contact a basement waterproofing expert instead of trying to go in and fix this problem on your own. Often, finding the source of water in your basement cove is a difficult and time-consuming job, and it’s best completed by experts who have spent a lot of time training to do this.
Fix the Source of the Water
After you’ve found the source of the water, you should go through the process of fixing it. Of course, fixing the water source isn’t always easy; it’s possible to have a tough time fixing it. Especially in the case of water in your basement cove, the source of the water might be widespread hairline cracks in your basement wall, which could be an even deeper cause of a number of things.
Again, a basement waterproofing expert is your best bet here. Although there may be a variety of DIY tips and tricks online, a basement waterproofing expert will have all the tools they need to help you uncover the best waterproofing solutions to keep your basement clean and water-free.
Maintain a Clean and Dry Basement
Lastly, once you’ve fixed the initial source of the water and pumped out the water, you’ll need to find a way to maintain that. You might need to use a number of tools to maximize your basement maintenance process. Depending on your unique situation, you might need a dehumidifier or an interior drain system.
However, you can’t just install one of these fixes and call it a day. These fixes need to be tailored to your unique needs, and it’s important that you consider what your basement’s doing if you’re going to install one of these fixes. Only a personalized assessment from a basement waterproofing expert will give you that.
The sight of water in your basement cove can definitely be worrying, even more so because it’s common not to know why you’re having water in your basement cove in the first place. These are some of the most common reasons you might have water buildup in a basement cove.
One of the biggest problems basements deal with is hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is the weight of water at rest, and it’s a problem because water is incredibly heavy, even though you might not notice it. The water that’s always resting in the earth, especially if you live at or under the water table, is one of the things that will cause hydrostatic pressure against your basement walls.
Home designers and constructors know about hydrostatic pressure, and they construct your home to be able to rise against this pressure and stay straight whenever possible. However, if there’s more hydrostatic pressure than your basement walls can handle, this hydrostatic pressure may cause cracks in your home walls, which can easily let in the water from the outside.
Flooding and Other External Water Issues
If there’s recently been a lot of rain or flooding after not much water in the area, it’s possible for you to have water leakage unrelated to regular function. For example, if you have ground-level windows in your basement, the flooding may overwhelm the window and cause water to leak in, or open windows and crawl space vents may have let this external water in.
However, it’s important to realize that this could be an ongoing problem or a one-time problem. If the problem was that you had open vents, you can easily add vent covers to the vents to avoid this problem. On the other hand, if the problem was that the windows were overwhelmed by the hydrostatic pressure, you may need to fix the window sealant to avoid that happening in the future.
Leaks and Other Internal Water Issues
Alternately, if this water didn’t come from outside your home, it’s possible it may have come from inside your home. Sometimes, basement cove water seepage can come from leaks and internal water issues.
This may include a pipe that burst, a sump pump that backed up, or any other method of ending up with water in your cove from your home water system.
If this is the real problem, it’s important to fix the problem as quickly and thoroughly as you can. That may mean calling in a plumber to fix a broken pipe, calling in a basement waterproofing expert to fix a broken sump pump, or adding insulation to a cold pipe so you no longer deal with condensation.
Clogged Footing Drains
A footing drain isn’t a drain you can see from the inside of your home. Rather, it’s an exterior foundation drainage system. This footing drain isn’t intended to be the only source of drainage for the water around your home, but it’s often a useful part of a functioning home. At least, it can be as long as it’s clear and draining water properly.
The problem here is that footing drains clog very easily. These clogs can cause hydrostatic pressure to build up around the home because the water doesn’t have anywhere to go. Cleaning the footing drain requires that you excavate the ground next to the foundation. Instead, most basement waterproofing experts will suggest waterproofing the basement and leaving the footing drain alone.
The vast number of DIY fixes available online has led some people to believe they might be able to fix water in their basement coves on their own. However, this isn’t a great option. Here are a few things that can happen if you choose a DIY basement cove fix over a fix from a professional.
Worsen the Problem
One of the most obvious issues that can occur is simply that you can worsen the problem. The already-existing problem is bad enough, but what can happen when you make it even worse? If you tinker with it on your own, you’re bound to find out.
This can be anything from accidentally opening a wider crack in your basement, which can cause even more water flow from the outside, to causing concrete spalling and chipping on the surface of the basement. No matter how you worsen the problem or what happens next, you never want to do this in your basement.
Clear Only the Surface-Level Problem
Sometimes, it might seem like you fixed the problem, at least for a while. You might even be very happy with how “well” you fixed the problem in question. However, much of the time, you’ve only fixed whatever’s happening on the surface. The problems lying underneath have still gone very much undisturbed.
This can make it very difficult for you to realize that there’s still a problem. All the while, your basement walls will still bear the weight of the water, and they’ll still be straining under it. It’s crucial that you fix the underlying problem, not just the surface one, and an expert will do that for you.
Break an Unrelated Thing in Your Basement
There are boundless ways you can break things in your basement; it’s not just limited to accidentally breaking your walls or messing up the waterproofing further. Instead, you might end up taking a DIY tutorial the wrong way and accidentally breaking something completely unrelated in your basement.
What will you do if you bring a ladder into the basement, for example, and the ladder hits the wall and knocks out a chunk? Now your wall has a giant chunk missing, and you’re still no closer to fixing the problem than you were before. This is just a single example of the ways in which you can accidentally break things in your basement while trying to fix it, and it’s by no means the only example.
Leave the Door Open for Future Problems
The last big problem you might experience while trying to DIY a fix is the fact that you might end up causing an opening for future problems. After all, while your problems might be pretty obvious right now, there are many ways in which these problems can become more confusing. What should you do, for example, if you have hairline cracks, but seemingly no water pouring through them?
In general, one of the biggest concerns that comes with a DIY fix is the fact that it can be difficult to ascertain whether it’s useful. When you perform a DIY fix, you’re not usually fixing anything. Instead, a basement waterproofing expert will have to come along later and fix your “cure” to help you along on the right path. That’s why choosing a basement waterproofing expert first is the best option for your basement needs.
With high basement humidity being the most common problem that causes a rusty water heater, it’s probably good to look into the signs and symptoms of that as well. You may see any of these if you have basement humidity problems.
One good indication that your basement is probably humid is whether you have wet carpet. Of course, wet carpet can come from all sorts of sources, both external and internal. You may even end up with wet carpet from condensation coming from other sources of moisture. However, one thing that wet carpet showcases is the fact that there is water somewhere in the basement.
This wet carpet is something you need to get rid of as soon as possible, whether it’s the main source of your basement moisture concerns or not. However, only a basement waterproofing expert will be able to give you more information about your home’s wet carpet, construct a unique plan regarding how to fix it, and institute that plan for you.
The strange “chalky” residue you may sometimes see on walls has a name: it’s called efflorescence, and it’s actually salt. When water moves through stone or another structure with salt inside, that water may move the salt to the surface. When it does, it manifests as the chalky or fuzzy residue you may see on your basement walls.
This isn’t harmful on its own. Although some people can mistake it for mold, it’s just hardened salt, and you can scrape it off with a stiff brush with no problem. The issue is not the efflorescence itself, but rather what the efflorescence indicates. When you see it, it means water is moving through your walls, and that’s never a good sign.
Mold and Mildew
Anytime you have a lot of moisture in an area of distinctly nice temperature, as you do with a high-humidity basement, you’re going to end up with a pretty significant amount of mold and mildew in that area. Mold and mildew grow best in areas above around 60% humidity, although it may be able to grow on water-soaked drywall and stone as well.
If you see mold and mildew in your home, regardless of the specific reason for it, you should definitely contact an expert for help. When you notice mold and mildew in your basement, it’s good to contact a basement waterproofing expert, because these are the types of people who are most likely to have the knowledge necessary for fixing it.
Cracked, Leaky Floors
You probably don’t think about water entering your home from the floor because it’s not usually something you think of as having a lot of external pressure. However, because your basement is positioned underground, it’s very likely that your floor experiences the same hydrostatic pressure as the walls, which makes them prone to cracking and leaking.
This is even true if the cracks in your floor aren’t from the hydrostatic pressure itself. Whether you just dropped something very heavy or you ended up with cracks in the floor from the hydrostatic pressure surrounding the floor, any cracks in the floor are a great place for moisture to enter from the outside, which is a significant problem for many homeowners, even if they don’t realize it.
There are many reasons you might have a water heater with rust on or around it, and it’s good to consider all of them. These are the most common reasons you might have rust on or around your water heater.
Faults in the Water Heater
Of course, the first thing you’ll probably think of is that there might be faults in your home’s water heater. If you’re dealing with something that appears to have faulty pieces on it, you’re obviously going to wonder whether there’s something wrong with it directly. In this case, it’s a good idea to consider whether the water heater has a problem.
It’s true that especially if there’s rust happening on the water heater itself, it could be a problem with the water heater, and it’s good to either rule it out or confirm it. However, it’s not usually the most common problem associated with a rusty water heater. Usually, you’re going to have another problem that’s causing this rust.
External Leaks and Water Flow
It’s always possible you’re having issues because of water that’s coming into your home from the outside. There are a variety of ways this can happen; water likes to expand to fill any space that’s available. The most common external leaking problems typically come from either flooding above-ground or hydrostatic pressure below ground.
Regardless of the type of external leak you have, the water can move to the area around and on your water heater. That can then rust because of the interaction between the water and the metal of the water heater. Water coming in from the outside is an important problem you should strive to address at the source.
Internal Leaks and Water Flow
If water isn’t coming in from the outside, where could it be coming from? The answer is simple: the inside. There are many places water can come from the inside. You might have had a pipe burst in your basement, you may have had a flood in the upper level, or you may have just spilled water in your basement. Either way, these are all internal issues.
As with external leaks, internal leaks can be either abrupt or ongoing. Although a quick flood is something that typically happens only for a short period of time, after which you can clean it up and go back to normal, there are also longstanding leaks that can happen for a very long period of time that tend to cause ongoing damp basements.
High Basement Humidity
Of all these problems, there is one that can occur by itself or due to any of the above-mentioned problems: high basement humidity. Though some people think of high basement humidity as being something that’s part and parcel of having a basement, the truth is that a healthy basement needs to rely on low humidity to keep its health.
Any type of water entrance, whether it’s from the inside or from the outside, can lead to high basement humidity if allowed. This humidity can cause serious damage to many surfaces on your home, from your water heater to your drywall and even your concrete floors. Even if you don’t feel like your basement is especially humid, you might need a basement dehumidifier to put your basement back to a healthy humidity level.