Wet basements are a problem that can cause huge disasters. In most cases, they start small and grow over time to become monsters. According to @Seepageseal, wet basements can be caused by undetected water leaks from plumbing fixtures, broken or damaged rainwater gutters, foundation cracks, landscaping problems, high basement humidity levels, etc.
Leaving wet basement problems undetected and unattended can cause huge problems. Wondering what these problems can be? Find out below;
One of the biggest and commonest problems created by a wet basement is an increase in the bacteria population in the basement. Bacteria thrive in areas with the perfect temperature and moisture. They also draw strength and nutrition from substrates like walls, furniture, and other installations in the basement.
Leaving your basement unattended can turn it into a potential bacteria breeding ground. With an increasing colony of bacteria forming in your basement, substrates lose their quality and may become damaged in no time.
The growing bacteria population in your basement can also make your basement a potential health risk for you and your family. Visiting the bacteria-laden basement can expose you to mycotoxins and other chemicals that can affect your health and threaten your life.
Pest Breeding Ground
Pests are generally interested in the comfort and safety that your home offers. You’ll be throwing in some bonus points by providing a high moisture situation to accommodate them in your basement. Leaving your basement’s moisture problem unattended or undetected creates the perfect space for pests like rodents, ants, and even reptiles to hide. They’ll soon create their nests in your wet basement and turn it into a breeding ground.
Pest problems can expose you to more problems than the associated health risks. For rodents, you may face problems like damage to your basement and valuable materials. You may also be exposed to various diseases transferrable from pests to humans.
Dust mites are best found in areas with high humidity levels. If your basement has a humidity level above 60%, chances are high that you may be breeding dust mites beneath your home. Dust mites often trigger allergic reactions in people, especially those allergic to them. Allergic people may suffer respiratory-related problems like asthma or difficulty in breathing.
A good way to address this problem and keep your indoor space and air quality up is to pay attention to the source of the problem. You can also install dehumidifiers in your basement to keep the humidity levels below 50%.
Mold problems are notorious and can start as early as 24-48 hours after a water damage incident. Molds thrive in areas with high humidity and moisture. Your basement may become a breeding ground for mold soon after the moisture problem begins. Leaving this problem unattended can threaten your health and your building’s integrity.
Mold problems often present health issues like asthma, breathing difficulties, allergic reactions, watery eyes, and more. You may also experience mildew growth due to the moisture problem. Getting rid of mold problems can also be expensive, especially as you’ll need a mold remediation expert to do the job.
Solutions For Wet Basement
Fixing wet basement problems can be expensive, especially when the problem has gone on for too long. However, if you’ve been lucky to detect the problem early, here are some solutions to explore;
Install gutter extensions
Rain gutters help transport water, moisture, ice, and snow away from the roof and foundation. It channels the water through the downspouts and away from the building. Rain gutters reduce the effects of moisture on the building and its basement. You can install rain gutters to address rising basement moisture levels.
Wall cracks are notorious for letting water into them. Contact a professional or employ DIY methods if your basement moisture problem is caused by wall cracks.
Address landscaping errors
Landscaping professionals can sometimes make errors when grading your yard. If the slope is directed towards your basement or foundation, you may suffer basement moisture problems. This problem can be solved by re-grading your landscape to direct water away from your foundation. You can also opt to dig trenches around your dwelling to collect water and prevent it from reaching your basement or foundation.
Wall waterproofing is a great way to reduce moisture percolation or entry. Most construction professionals choose to use sealing agents like epoxy to prevent water from seeping into basement walls. You can also use waterproof paints to get the job done. Be advised that waterproof paints work best when applied on dry surfaces.
Other solutions that can be explored to prevent wet basements include pumping subsurface water out, installing curtain drains, and repair of damaged footing drains.