Waterproofing your basement is an essential step in preventing water damage to your foundation, floors, and walls. However, suppose you just bought a new home and are unsure whether to waterproof your basement. In such a scenario, it is advisable to look for various signs indicating water intrusion in the basement.
Remember, the sooner you get the waterproofing done, the sooner you can prevent excessive water damage from occurring. Thus, it is essential to look for signs of water intrusion as early as possible.
With that said, here are the three most common signs that will let you know you need basement waterproofing services.
Musty Smells and Molds
One of the main signs of water intrusion in your basement is the presence of a musty odor. In most cases, the musty smell emanates from molds that have developed in your basement. Molds only grow in humid or wet conditions, and thus the presence of molds in your basement is a clear sign of water intrusion.
However, basements are often poorly lit, and thus you may not be able to notice molds right away. However, the musty smell will encourage you to look for the molds even if they are not visible. Thus, whether you notice molds or notice a musty odor in your basement, then it is a clear sign that you need basement waterproofing services.
Gleaming or shimmering walls are a result of efflorescence. Efflorescence is the depositing of minerals on your walls after the water has evaporated. The process starts with your foundation absorbing water from the ground. Due to the porous nature of concrete, the water then travels up the wall and into your basement.
However, the water absorbed from the ground contains dissolved minerals. Thus, when the water evaporates on your basement walls, the dissolved minerals get deposited on the walls (efflorescence). As a result, your basement walls appear as if they are shimmering.
Thus, shimmering basement walls is also a clear sign of water intrusion. Therefore, if you notice efflorescence occurring in your basement, make a point of hiring a basement waterproofing contractor before you encounter water damage in your foundation.
If your basement has wooden beams and floors, you should also consider waterproofing. Unlike concrete, timber is more sensitive to water damage, and thus, you also need to check for signs of water intrusion.
Fortunately, signs of water intrusion in wood are quite simple to notice because timber tends to swell—the swelling results from the wood fibers absorbing so much water that they start to expand. However, the swelling is gradual, and you may not notice it early enough. Thus the best way to detect it is by brushing your hands on the surface of the wood floor or beam.
Wooden installations are smooth and level, and thus, if you notice bumps or ripples while brushing your hand against them, it is a sign of early swelling. Therefore, when you notice the slightest sign of swollen timber fixtures in your basement, make a point of calling a basement waterproofing contractor as soon as possible before the wood starts to rot due to water damage.