10 Reasons Why There May Be Hidden Dangers in Your Basement
Basements are known for their damp walls and darkly lit corners. They’ve remained a staple of horror films thanks to their typically creepy appearance. However, that’s not how the average basement should look or be.
A musty, moldy basement isn’t something to shrug off or repair next year. You’ll need to start now to find and eliminate common issues plaguing your basement. But this can be tricky if you’re not familiar with these problems.
Without further ado, here are 10 reasons why there may be hidden dangers in your basement.
Mold thrives in moist places, including damp basements. And while the toxic black mold is a well-known threat to homeowners and their properties, white mold can be just as dangerous.
Though you may think of mold as something that ruins your weeks-old leftovers, it can eat through far more than bread, yogurt, or meat. Molds can destroy concrete, plastic, metal, wood, and almost anything else your basement is made of.
When mold colonies release spores, wind, or your home’s HVAC system, pull in those spores and spread them throughout your home. These spores may begin to grow in sinks, bathtubs, showers, and other humid areas.
They can also cause significant health problems, notably those involving the respiratory tract. Consequently, it’s crucial to do everything in your power to prevent and remediate basement mold colonies.
Damp basements may be a haven for mold, but what causes them to become damp in the first place? Well, basements have a bad habit of attracting water.
Heavy rainfall, clogged gutters, cracks in the basement walls and foundations, and nearby sewage overflows can cause water to end up in your basement. Though this water may drain away or evaporate on its own, your basement will likely be humid.
Getting rid of this excess humidity may require you to purchase or rent industrial fans and dehumidifiers. Or you could waterproof your basement now and save a ton of time and money trying to get rid of mold and moisture.
When concrete becomes wet and goes through temperature changes, it can begin to form cracks and decay. That’s because water naturally erodes materials over time. Temperature changes can cause concrete to expand or contract, leaving cracks.
This isn’t an issue for many cold, wet stones near formations like waterfalls or rivers, but that’s because they’re not supporting a house. When it comes to your basement, you don’t want to see cracks in the walls or floors.
Leaving cracks to fester and expand could jeopardize your home’s safety. It’s best to get any crack evaluated by a service technician as soon as possible. You’ll also want to invest in regular pest control treatments for your basement.
Termites, rats, cockroaches, and all other sorts of pests can infiltrate your basement and claim it for themselves. If you’re not careful, you could wander into your basement in search of stored items only to find it overrun with pesky pests.
Not only is this irritating and a potential source of property damage, but it could also prove risky for your health. Some household pests are known to carry and transmit disease, so staying pest-free is essential to your household’s good health.
5. Uneven Foundation
A combination of water, pests, and erosion can make for a dangerously uneven foundation. When a home’s foundation begins to show signs of cracks or dips, it’s time to call in a team of professionals. Otherwise, your home may crumble.
Your house could have strong walls and a sturdy roof, but if the foundation is uneven or is slowly decaying away due to water damage, it’s not safe. Be sure to check your basement’s flooring and walls for signs of unevenness, cracking, or buckling.
6. Buckled Walls
When a home’s foundation begins to decay and sink, the basement walls may begin to buckle beneath the upper floors’ weight. This is a dangerous situation and one that requires immediate care. Otherwise, collapse is imminent.
We may have already mentioned mold and humidity, but basements can fill up will water. In some cases, the floodwater may be coming from a nearby sewer. This nasty liquid may bring deadly bacteria into your home.
Because basements almost always lie below ground level, they’re particularly prone to flooding. Heavy rain, cracked walls or flooring, or a faulty sump pump can contribute to basement floods.
Waterproofing your basement may help you avoid many related dangers of flooding, including bacteria, mold, mildew, and decay. Consequently, it’s one of the smartest safety and maintenance decisions you can make regarding your basement.
The basement is not only prone to flooding, but gas accumulating as well. Many household appliances that function with gas fuels are placed and operated in the basement.
To make matters even more perilous, many basements lie atop small deposits of radon. This gas can enter the home via the basement and build up to fatal levels before owners become aware.
Gas detectors in the basement can help prevent accidental deaths or injuries resulting from natural or appliance-based gas build-up. Still, owners will need to remember to check these detectors often to ensure that they’re working.
9. Fire Danger
If your home has a basement, there’s a good chance that there’s a heater in that basement. Heaters are beneficial, but they can also pose certain dangers. When left to operate unmaintained, a home’s heater could explode or catch fire.
Should you only visit your basement every once and a while, you may be unaware of dust or dirt build-up around your heater. When you operate it during the early winter months, you may be putting your home at risk of catching fire.
10. Home Security
Some basements have small windows or entry areas. This can help them “breathe” or allow tenants to enter the basement from a driveway or sideyard area. But it can also become another entry point for home invaders and burglars.
If you don’t have your basement windows outfitted with strong, shatter-resistant glass or tight locks, you’ll want to change that. It may also be helpful to attach your basement’s entry points to your existing home security system.
10 Reasons Why You Need a Basement Waterproofing Company
We’ve explored 10 reasons why you may have hidden basement dangers, including mold, humidity, pests, and flooding. And though we touched on a few potential remedies for these issues, you may need additional services to protect your home and repair your basement.
A waterproofing service could be the best option after repairing a dangerous basement. Though you’ll also need to invest in carbon monoxide detectors and other safety instruments, waterproofing could prevent many of the above dangers.
Do you need a team of professionals to gauge your basement’s safety? Contact us today for a free estimate. We’re happy to help.