Water damage can occur in many ways. It can be in the form of flooding due to heavy rainstorms or from a water leak of a broken pipe. Because of that, water damage has become a prevalent issue that a lot of homeowners, even business owners have to face. The fact that water damage can be very extensive, addressing the problem is critical. It is important to look for signs of water damage and deal with them immediately.
Basements, even the most fortified ones, are one of the most common areas of a home that is prone to water damage. Main water pipes and drains, HVAC system, a water heater tank and a sump pump can all be found in a basement. A minor malfunction from any of this equipment could leave flooding to your basement. Not to mention the heavy rain that can seep through cracks in your walls and floors.
Signs of Water Damage in the Basement
The most visible sign of water damage in your basement is the pool of water. But your basement doesn’t necessarily need to have flooded to make it damaged. Sometimes, the sign is obvious but often than not, they are subtle. Knowing the signs of water damage in your basement is important to identify the issues and fix them.
Let us guide you on how to determine if you have water damage in your basement and what to do about it.
Efflorescence is a sparkly, white and sometimes grayish residue that forms on the surfaces of a brick, concrete or clay tiles. This powdery mineral occurs when water seeps into building materials. This build-up is associated with poor waterproofing but it can also be a sign of water damage.
Mold is a natural substance that grows where water or moisture and an organic food source are present. The building materials used in basements have cellulose can be great food for mold. If there is a persistent source of water or moisture in your basement, and water damage in your basement is not addressed quickly, mold will most like to develop.
In the case mold has started to grow, it is another sign of a bigger problem. Mold has spores that can spread easily and when inhaled can cause health hazards.
Cracks in your basement’s foundation, floor or walls can be alarming. Not only water can pass through these entry points, but they can be an issue of water or ice putting pressure on the structure of your home. Hairline cracks are not threatening, but cracks that are wider than 1/16th of an inch should be repaired as quickly as possible before they can create severe damage.
Since basements are on the lower ground of your home, they are prone to producing odors. But if you notice an unusual and persistent odor, even after cleaning and ventilating your basement, it can be because of mold growth. Mold can discharge some musty odor. If there is a lingering musty odor in your basement, it is an indication that it is suffering from water damage.
Stains And Discoloration
Stains and discoloration are the most common signs of water damage in your basement. Walls or ceilings and tiles can form some yellowish-brown color spots and water stains if it has experienced water damage. It is best to inspect these areas of your basement to determine if you have a water-damaged basement.
The building materials like plaster, drywall, and wood can become deteriorated when exposed to water. If these materials are consistently exposed to standing water or excess moisture, they will breakdown. Exposure to water can also cause paint and wallpaper to flake and peel off. While they can be an indicator of aging, water damage to your basement can also be the cause. Inspect your basement thoroughly for any deterioration of your building materials.
How To Deal With Water Damage in Your Basement
Whatever the cause and the severity of the damage is in your basement, addressing the problem immediately is critical. When water damage in your basement is left untreated, it can cause more destruction to your property. Its structural integrity will be at risk and it can cause a hazard to you and your family.
While it is a good idea to resolve water damage issues on your own especially if the damage is minimal, it is still best to rely on professionals. Water damage professionals are experienced and trained in handling water damage restoration. Moreover, they use the right tools to fully mitigate the damage.
In addition to that, mold can be present in your basement as this is the immediate consequence of water damage. Category 3 water (water that contains contaminants) might also be involved in water damage to your basement. These two factors add up to the difficulty and danger of handling basement water damage.
With all that said, if you experience water damage to your basement, it is best to call in water damage restoration professionals.