While water can leak into your basement from the outside, interior sources can also be to blame. Interior leaks are one of the most aggravating types of basement issues. This is largely due to the fact that there is nothing you can do to stop it. Here’s what you need to know about internal basement leaks.
The Causes Behind Interior Basement Leaks
Interior basement leaks can be caused by a variety of factors. An interior leak occurs when water enters your basement from the inside of your home. The following are some of the most typical causes of interior leaks.
- Plumbing Issues: You may have interior leaks if your basement plumbing is of poor quality. This can happen if your plumber did not make sure that all your plumbing connections were secure. If you have low-quality plumbing somewhere in your house, those connections might quickly rupture.
- Aging Pipes: Your home’s plumbing can deteriorate and break down over time, which is why it’s important that you pay close attention and keep up with your routine inspections. Natural entropy will occur in all plumbing, but if you keep an eye on the age and condition of your pipes, you’ll be less likely to have piping problems.
- Freezing Pipes: South Carolina is generally warm, but what if you live in a particularly chilly climate? Homeowners in areas like Columbia and Greenville especially should be aware that frozen pipes might occur from time to time. Frozen pipes are a severe issue because water pressure can build up in unusual places within the pipes. You could wind up with a burst pipe due to the high water pressure.
- Inadvertent Movement: Have you moved one of your home’s pipes by accident? It’s not uncommon for someone to accidentally bump a pipe or rattle a screw without realizing it. Although this unintended movement does not necessarily cause difficulties for your pipework, it can. Keep an eye out whenever you’re near exposed plumbing.
The Risks of Interior Basement Leaks
Any kind of water leaking into your basement, whether from external or internal sources, can be damaging. This impacts not only the appearance of your basement, but its safety, structural integrity, and your home’s value. Here are some problems interior basement leaks can cause.
Basements tend to naturally be damp, and when water leaks into this below-grade area of your home, this helps raise humidity levels. Humid air is harder to heat and cool, leading your HVAC to constantly run and drive up your energy costs. Increased humidity also results in condensation on windows, unpleasant odors, and even pest activity.
High humidity as the result of an interior basement leak also creates the perfect atmosphere for mold to grow. Mold comes in many forms, and it can look pink, white, green, gray, and black. Black mold is particularly hazardous and can cause or worsen conditions such as asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues.
Other Water Damage
Many homeowners use their basements as additional living spaces or places to store various belongings. If there is an internal leak, especially from a pipe running along the above floor joists, the leaking water can damage and completely destroy anything it touches. And, to revisit another problem, if the water is not cleaned up within 48 hours, mold can easily take hold on wooden and soft surfaces.
First, turn off your main water supply if the leak is significant or a pipe has burst. This is considered a plumbing emergency, and most professional services will respond immediately. Turning off your water will avoid leakage if the leaks are small or you can’t discover them, but it may not be the most effective way to deal with the matter. Instead, contact a professional basement specialist and request a thorough, free evaluation of your property. They’ll be able to pinpoint the source of the leaks and any secondary damage, as well as design a personalized solution to the problems your home is experiencing as a result.
Basement damage caused by interior leaks can quickly spread throughout your home. Most of the damage you’ll be dealing with will be caused by dampness. For starters, moisture can leak into your basement’s structural supports, weakening them and perhaps causing foundation damage. Moisture damage in your home also can quickly spread to the first and second floors. If you don’t address this type of damage quickly enough, your floor joists may begin to deteriorate. As a result, the upper levels of your home’s flooring may begin to sink, making them dangerous to walk on.
The best way to protect your home is with professional basement waterproofing solutions customized to meet your specific repair needs. Some of the waterproofing measures your Mount Valley Foundation Services inspector may suggest include an interior drainage system to intercept leaking water, a sump pump to remove the collected water, and a dehumidifier to control moisture and humidity levels. You may need one or all of these solutions, and they are designed to work hand in hand to keep your basement dry and healthy.
Keep Your Basement Dry with Professional Assistance from Mount Valley!
As a homeowner, dealing with interior basement leaks is aggravating and inconvenient. You don’t have to deal with these leaks alone, though. Get the process started by contacting Mount Valley Foundation Services for a free inspection!
One of our specialists can assist you whether you have continuing problems with internal leaks in your basement or simply want to avoid them in the future. We live in the communities we serve including Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, and Savannah, so we are very familiar with the challenges area homeowners face. Don’t hesitate to reach out and start protecting your basement and home today!