Basement Waterproofing - Causes of a Wet Basement and Benefits of Waterproofing
Your basement can serve a lot of purposes, from storing seasonal decorations to adding additional living space to your home, but the most important purpose it serves is being the base of your home. So, if your basement isn’t safe, your home is also at risk. One of the most common problems homeowners deal with when it comes to their basement is water. Finding water in the basement is a stressful situation for a number of reasons, including worrying about your belongings being ruined. Water that enters the basement through cracks in the foundation can lead to mold and mildew, foul odors, and a weak foundation. The best solution for dealing with a wet basement is to waterproof the foundation. A waterproof foundation will save you a lot both in time and in money. Here are causes of a wet basement, waterproofing methods, and some reasons why you should consider waterproofing your foundation.
Causes of a Wet Basement
There are several ways water can enter your basement. It is common for people to assume that the damp walls in the basement are a result of cracks in the foundation. Although this is often a cause for water seeping through the foundation, it is also important to understand why the cracks occurred in the first place and to recognize that there are other ways for water to enter the basement, such as through the window wells. Cracks in the basement walls can be the result of a variety of things, including shifting of the foundation, the house sinking, poor gutter system, and even landscaping plants being too close to the foundation walls. The main point is that cracks can happen for a number of reasons, but the important thing to note is that with a waterproof foundation, you are sealing the cracks, ultimately preventing water from entering the basement.
Waterproofing the Foundation
There are a few different methods that can be used to waterproof your foundation. Waterproofing can either be done from the interior or the exterior of your home. For instance, a roll-on waterproofing product is typically used on the interior walls of the basement. The roll-on method is a popular choice for homeowners who are on a tight budget, however, it is important to know that this method isn’t 100% effective and it will not last long. The best waterproofing method is done on the exterior of your home and it involves digging a trench around the perimeter of your foundation, directing the water away from the foundation and installing a barrier.
Common Basement Problems
Because of their location, basements are subjected to a variety of problems, many of which occur without a waterproof foundation. Many of these problems can significantly decrease the value of your home. Some common basement problems include:
- Cracks that can occur naturally or as the result of external forces, but regardless of how they occur, if they are not repaired, the problem will worsen significantly.
- Humidity is a common problem in basements and it can cause problems such as mold growth and dust mites.
- Bad odors, which are typically the result of humidity, mold, and mildew
- Mold growth in the basement is a common risk for wet basements. Not only will mold encourage the deterioration of your home’s value, but it can also cause health problems for those residing in the house.
- Leaking or flooding is, unfortunately, one of the most devastating things that can happen when the foundation is not waterproofed. Wet basements are the primary cause of structural damage, loss of belongings, and toxic mold.
Benefits of Waterproofing Foundations
There are several benefits that come with waterproofing your foundation, including:
Protection from Flooding Damage
One of the primary reasons why basements get damaged is from flash flooding. Taking the appropriate steps by waterproofing can help protect your property from water damage.
Prevent Mold and Mildew
Even if there isn’t a risk of flooding in your neighborhood, you may still have to deal with the problem of mildew and mold, especially during the spring rainy season. The growth of mold and/or mildew can cause a wide range of health problems, including allergies, asthma, coughing, and skin irritations.
Cracks in the basement walls can occur from a number of different reasons, however, waterproofing will prevent water from seeping through the cracks that do occur. Waterproofing before cracks begin will often prevent the walls from becoming damp and encouraging the development of cracks.
Decreased Utility Bills
During the summer, the humidity level increases in your home, which can make it more expensive to maintain a cool temperature inside, and during the winter, the heat can escape through the cracks in the foundation making it extremely expensive to maintain the warm temperature. Waterproofing provides an added layer of insulation in the basement, which ultimately reduces your utility bills.
Increases Resale Value
A waterproofed foundation can actually increase the resale value of your property. Whether you are considering selling your home soon or in the future, waterproofing is a great selling point and during the time you reside there, it is providing a return on your investment.
Protects the Structural Integrity of Your Property
Damp soil can lead to water seepage in the foundation, which may eventually damage the joints and edges. Since the joints and edges aren’t open, they may experience a great deal of damage, such as foundation cracks and bowed walls.
Reduced Insurance Claims
Studies have shown that approximately 2 out of 10 insurance claims are made by homeowners that have property damage. The reasons may vary, but they often include damage to wooden beams and foundation cracks. Waterproofing can reduce your need to file an insurance claim, which will also help to keep your insurance policies lower.
When contacting a waterproofing contractor, it is important to ensure you only hire a contractor that is experienced in waterproofing and will explain the process to you in detail. Before signing a contract for waterproofing services, be sure to carefully read all terms of the contract.
Contact Tomlinson Cannon to schedule a consultation to learn how your home can benefit from our waterproofing services.