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What Problems are Associated with Damp Basements and is My Home at Risk?

what does a damp basement mean

Homeowners with basements in Charlotte, NC, have their fair share of troubles. Some of the problems are minor, while others are serious necessitating urgent repairs. Don’t overlook any problem. Small as it may seem, it can worsen with time and compound your problems. So you may end up dealing with more issues than just normal moisture or pungent smells. And that means costly repairs and inconveniences to your loved ones.

You can prevent moisture issues by carrying out routine inspections and maintenance. Should you notice any of these problems, get in touch right away with your local basement contractor.

Normal Basement Problems

When you live in your home for many years without experiencing moisture issues, you can easily forget what problems your damp basement can cause. Let’s look at them. Some are normal, while others should prompt you to seek professional help right away.

Peeling wall paint: Water paints are susceptible to moisture. When you start noticing basement wall paints peeling or warping, it’s because of the high moisture levels in your basement.

Basement cracks – Cracks can happen when soil settles over time or because of freezing and thawing. No matter how small they appear, eventually, they’ll let in water. Any crack that’s bigger than 1/8 inch should be a cause of concern and should be fixed as soon as possible.

Mold growth:  Moisture triggers mold growth, a serious and potentially hazardous issue that should be addressed promptly. Otherwise, it’s going to cause respiratory health problems like asthma and damage your clothing and other organic materials. Remediation is often effective in stopping re-infestation.

Awful smells: This arises from mold and fungi as well as decomposing pest droppings and decaying organic materials. Cleaning the basement and removing decomposing materials can help fix this problem.

Basement moisture: Even if water doesn’t pose a threat right away, you should be worried about humidity. Moisture buildup can lead to condensation that causes mold to grow, dust mites to flourish and organic materials to rot.

Pests and insects: Another problem you’re likely to face when your basement gets damp is pest and insect infestation. Cockroaches, termites, and mice will come in and make the basement their second home. And you know well how much destruction they can cause when they’re left on their own.

Radon poisoning: Over time, your basement can collect radon gas from the soil below your basement floor. This gas is often hard to detect as it’s odorless. Testing can reveal the level of radon gas in your basement. Check for cracks in the foundation walls as this might be the primary source.

If you notice one or more of the above basement problems, get in touch with your local basement contractor and have them fix the underlying issue as soon as possible. Basement waterproofing can stop persistent moisture issues leaving you with a clean, dry and usable space.

Is My Home at Risk?

Your home could be at risk of developing moisture problems if it’s in an area with poor grading. It could either be a sloping landscape or uneven foundation that causes water to collect and seep through to the basement. Leveling the soil can help stop seepage.

Flooding also contributes significantly to a damp basement. Stagnant water that collects around your home will eventually find its way through foundation cracks. Make sure you create external drainage to channel running surface water away from your home.

Faulty or damaged gutters and downspouts also contribute to a damp basement. Why? Instead of channeling water to a drain, they let it pour down your wall. In a few hours, such water will start seeping through to the basement through cracks.

Homes without subsurface drainage are also prone to moisture issues. And so are homes with clogged drains, broken sump pumps, and leaking water pipes. Ask your contractor and plumber to come and inspect your basement and fix them.

If your foundation has cracks because of soil settlement or hydrostatic pressure, your home is going to be a good candidate for moisture and all problems associated with it. Ensure all cracks are fixed on time before the rainy season starts.

Not sure of what to do with your moist Charlotte, NC, basement? Schedule a free basement inspection and find out what ails your basement. We’re happy to pinpoint your problems and apply lasting fixes to them!

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