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The Common Signs of Water Damage in Your Basement

Signs of water damage in Charlotte, NC

Did you know the average water damage repair cost is between $1,303 and $5,699? It’s a high price for a seemingly ordinary household problem. Unfortunately, this is the reality that many homeowners face.

However, there’s a way around this huge financial burden. Many higher-priced water damage repairs result from excessive due to unattended signs.

Hence, it would be best to spot early signs of water damage to relieve yourself of a costly repair. Read on to learn what to look for when monitoring for water damage in your basement!

Puddles or Standing Water

The most obvious signs of water damage include a pool of water forming on the ground. This can result from a water leak from a sink, bad pipe, shower, toilet, or even washing machine and water heater. It can also be that the water from outside seeped through the basement via cracks.

If you see puddles of water in your basement, check for inside leaks first. If you’re sure the leak isn’t from inside your house, check your gutters and downspouts. Ensure the soil surrounding your foundation slows away from your home.

Consider installing a sump pump and an internal drainage system for preventive measures. These can help prevent water from building up. You can also get basement waterproofing to avoid persistent home water damage.

Presence of Mold stains

Wet surfaces make the perfect breeding ground for toxic molds. Excessive mold growth can lead to serious health issues.

Many building materials provide proper nutrients that can encourage mold to grow. Cellulose materials such as paper and wood products and ceiling tiles are particularly conducive. Other materials, such as insulation, drywall, fabric, and upholstery, also support mold growth.

However, note that mold will only grow in these materials when wet. Without water, mold can’t obtain enough oxygen to thrive and spread. Hence, you likely have a water issue if you spot mildew or mold growing in your basement.

Mold can come in different colors. The most common color that infiltrates households is black, yellow, brown, and green.

In addition, the mold can sometimes be pink, although this rarely happens. Molds will also often appear as either speckled, slimy, or fuzzy.

Damp Air and Musty Smells

If you have a hard time spotting signs of mold on your stuffed basement, trust your nose. Basement water damage leads to the rapid spread of mildew. These collectively release foul-smelling gases.

This musty smell is further amplified by excessive humidity, a common characteristic of damp areas. Hence, if your basement smells earthy and musty, start looking up for professional help.

Excessive humidity indicates water leaks, foundation cracks, and malfunctioning pumps. Left unattended can lead to more complicated and costly structural issues.

Cracks or Crumbling

It’s common for foundations to have cracks as time progresses. However, professional foundation repair is highly recommended for horizontal cracks and bulging walls. These cracks result from hydrostatic pressure, a prime suspect in many water damage-induced household issues.

Specifically, a poor drainage system can cause water to accumulate against the foundation. This build-up results in hydrostatic pressure, which induces cracks. If you spot crumbling or gaps in your basement, immediately get professional help.

Look Out for Efflorescence Stain

One of the most common signs of water damage is the presence of efflorescence. However, contrary to popular belief, salt water isn’t the only type of water that contains salt. All kinds of water contain at least five milligrams of salt.

When water evaporates, it leaves behind salt and some minerals on the surface it occupies. In the naked eye, this is the white, chalky stain that you see on your basement ceiling, walls, and floor. As such, even if there’s no visible water leak or puddle, these white stains are a huge indicator of water damage.

Aside from efflorescence stains, keep an eye out for discoloration. When exposed to water for an extended period, your basement walls, floors, and items will eventually discolor.

In some instances, the discoloration appears in the form of yellowish-brown stains. Don’t take even the most innocent-looking stain for granted. That stain might be the tip of the iceberg of a basement water problem waiting to explode.

Flaking or Peeling Paint

Flaking or peeling basement wall paint results from excess moisture in said areas. When water seeps through your basement walls, it won’t affect the surface coating. Instead, moisture will build up behind the layer, forcing it away from the brick, stone, or block.

Moreover, moisture removes the adhesion from paints which causes them to peel. Thus, if you see any blisters in your basement paint coating, let alone flaking, start looking for a reliable water damage repair service provider.

Wood Rot and Uneven or Sinking Basement Floor

If you’ve got wood-based structures in your basement, it’s best to check them when monitoring for signs of water damage. If any of these wood structures exhibit signs of wood rot, there’s excessive moisture in the room.

Water’s presence dramatically changes the structure of wood. It softens the cell walls of wood, which decreases its stiffness. Thus, the wood fibers lose their strength, making them likely to break. As a result, cracks in wood samples, including ceiling joists, occur.

Consistent water exposure can also lead to bouncy or uneven floors due to a rotted wood floor joist or sill plate. Meanwhile, an uneven or sinking concrete basement floor may result from soil erosion or shrinkage under the foundation. You should leave the inspection of the sinking floor to a professional.

Better Safe Than Sorry: Professional Water Damage Repair Services

If you spot any of these signs of water damage in your basement, don’t sleep it off. In a blink of an eye, such signs could lead to costly damage repair costs you’d regret later.

One of the best ways to deal with water damage in your basement is to call for professional help. Our dedicated team of experts will stay on your project from start to finish. You can rely on us to help ensure you don’t suffer from unnecessary damages and financial burdens due to water problems!