Warning Signs of Basement Water Leaks
Protecting your home begins with knowing what could cause it harm, and how to find it. The warning signs of structural damage to your foundation aren’t always easily noticeable, which could lead to more expensive repairs down the road. Performing regular inspections will help you find any signs of damage to your foundation.
Below is a list of warning signs, based on how difficult they may be to find. As the level of difficulty increases, you may need to push aside shrubbery, move boxes from walls or even climb onto a ladder to inspect support joists.
Signs That Are Easy To Find
The following should be obvious, even if you weren’t specifically looking for signs of damage. If it hasn’t rained recently, you may need to physically touch the walls and floor to see if either is damp, especially near cracked sections.
The presence of water from rainfall, snow melting or groundwater found in the basement as well as walls that are consistently damp.
Large Wall Cracks
The visible presence of vertical, horizontal or diagonal cracks large enough to be seen from a distance.
Noticeably unstable walls that have moved or appear stressed, bowing inwards as well as walls that are obviously no longer flush.
Signs That Are Moderately Difficult To Find
These signs may still be fairly easy to identify when you are actively searching for them. You may need to move objects from walls for closer inspection. Using a flashlight for darker corners can help you identify damage such as efflorescence and spalling, which could look similar in the dark to untrained eyes.
White powder or residue found on all areas of basement walls, close to the floor.
Peeling, bubbling or chipped paint found over large sections of walls, specifically in the same general area.
Flaking concrete, cement or cinder block found on the floor next to affected walls.
Smaller Wall Fissures
Tiny, spider web hairline cracks that will evolve into larger, more noticeable cracks.
Smell Of Mildew
Dank, musty odors signifying the presence of mold, usually hidden in rafters, crawl spaces and corners.
Signs That Are Harder To Find
These symptoms are often harder to find even when you are specifically searching for them. Moving objects from walls or climbing onto a step ladder may be required. Use a surgical styled face mask in areas where mold is likely to grow.
Basement walls that are continuously damp to the touch, caused by water leakage or high humidity.
Basement walls that appear to be bowed or extended, determined by the use of common tools such as a bubble level.
Dangerous fungi that thrive in dark, damp areas, often undetected in hidden corners and behind water damaged walls.
Inconsistent levels throughout the basement, found by the use of a bubble level or raised tiles and floor cracks.
What You Should Do When You Find Signs of Structural Damage
The first step in developing a plan that will protect the structural integrity of your home is to understand what you’re up against. The warning signs listed above indicate the existing damage to your home, but aren’t conclusive about the causes of foundation damage. Further inspection by certified foundation specialists is required to determine the cause and extent of damage to your home’s foundation.
Take advantage of our FREE 68 Point Inspection for the most comprehensive evaluation of your foundation available.
Any repairs made by Keystone Basement Systems’ certified foundation specialists include regular maintenance and are backed by our Lifetime Warranty.