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Wet Basements

 

A wet basement could very well be a home owner's most feared and dreaded experience. Horror stories are told of massive water damage and an incredible costs to stop the damage. Most home owners call a Basement Waterproofing company at the first signs of a wet basement. Before calling one of the Waterproofing companies, read the following information, it might save you some money and aggravation. Water gets into a basement from three different sources:  1) Condensation  2) Runoff  3) Subsurface Source  Condensation is directly related to the amount of moisture that exists in the basement air. The air can not hold this excessive moisture and condensation occurs showing up as water droplets, puddles or wet spots. Mildew on walls/ceilings. musty odors, sweating pipes, and dampness in the air are all symptoms of condensation problems. Several steps can be taking to reduce the amount of condensation in a basement: 1) Make sure clothes dryers and basement bathrooms vent moist air to the outside 2) Insulate cold water pipes and well tanks with appropriate insulation 3) Keep humidity down by installing a dehumidifier 4) Increase ventilation by opening a window Runoff water problems are mostly caused by external rain and melting snow entering the basement. MOST of the basement water problems fall into this category. The goal to prevent this type of water entry is to direct the rain and melting snow AWAY from the home. Check the following items: 1) Gutter Issues, make sure gutters/downspouts and extensions are installed, clear of debris and operational. Extension and splash blocks should be installed to direct the water at least 4 feet from the home. If you have underground drainage pipes attached to the downspouts they can become clogged. Gutter Protection/Guard devices can be installed to prevent constant gutter debris cleaning. Gutters systems that are not functional will allow water to accumulate too close to the foundation of the home. 2) Improper grading, make sure that the ground outside slopes away from your home (this includes the driveway and sidewalks) . When water lands on the exterior, you want it to naturally move away from the home. 3) Basement windows that are below grade often have wells that allow water to accumulate and enter the basement. These windows should have plastic hood covers installed to prevent water entry. 4) Basement door and stairways are another cause of water entry. Drains or covers can be installed to prevent water entry. 5) Seal any cracks inside and outside of the basement. A very small percentage of basement water problems are caused by Subsurface water entry. This problem is usually caused by a high water table around the home. If your basement is constantly wet long after a storm, you probably have a subsurface water problem. This type of problem can usually only be cured by a Professional. They can install sump pumps, additional drainage systems and waterproofing. If you need to call a Professional Waterproofing company, make sure the contractors are insured and guarantee their work. Get several estimates from different companies and also contact their references to get a better indication of their past work.  
© Copyright Your Double Check Home Inspections, LLC, 2015. All Rights Reserved.
Double Check  Home Inspections

Wet Basements

 

* Check all window and door locks for proper operationfall maintenance tips * Check your home for water leaks * Review your fire escape plan with your family * Make sure there are working nightlights at the top and bottom of all stairs * Have a heating professional check your heating system every year * Protect your home from frozen pipes * Replace your furnace filter * Run all gas-powered lawn equipment until the fuel is gone * Test your emergency generator * Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the flues and check your fireplace damper * Remove bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures * Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms * Make sure the caulking around doors and windows is adequate to reduce heat/cooling loss * Make sure that the caulking around your bathroom fixtures is adequate to prevent water from seeping into the sub-flooring