Within your home, your basement is the most vulnerable portion of your to experience water damage. If a major storm passes through and creates flooding, your basement may experience water damage if suitable waterproofing measures are not in place. In some cases, even your basement waterproofing might fail due to a number of reasons. In result, it is vital to know of the signs to look out for that may indicate that your basement waterproofing is no longer effective. If that is the case it may be time to consider a new basement waterproofing solution.

Why is waterproofing your basement important to your property?

There is standing or trickling water

Water accumulating on your basement floor is an obvious problem. Aside from the apparent risk of harm to your possessions, basement flooding indicates major problems that must be handled urgently. In order to discover where the water is coming from and how to deal with it, contact a local waterproofing company to find the source and come up with a solution.

Damp spots on the walls 

When wet, an unpainted brick will turn a deeper grey or a darker shade of what the original color is. Discoloration or darkening of the paint will appear on a painted wall. A discolored poured wall is possible. In any instance, there may be white or black outlines surrounding the spot, indicating that it has previously leaked or that significant moisture has come through in that area. Outlines on the foundation are indications of prior basement water leaks.

Mold or mildew 

Mold and mildew are living, breathing organisms that thrive in conditions of high dampness. Mold and mildew may develop in walls, carpeting, furniture, or any other organic food source, such as wood, insulation, paint, or paper. Mold reproduces by microscopic spores, which can lie dormant for long periods of time. This implies that even if you do not smell or see mold or mildew in your basement or crawl area, it might be existent. Mold can be a serious health issue because it may cause eye, nose, throat irritation, and worsening of asthma symptoms. 

Peeling paint 

When paint ages, it can peel away from the surface it was painted on, similar to the peeling paint you would see in older homes. However, it does not peel off just because it is old. Paint may peel as a result of a number of reasons such as the paint was the wrong kind for the material it was painted on, the surface was not properly primed, or there is dampness or moisture in the walls you painted on. Paint will not adhere to wet surfaces. Water vapor will discolor it and scrape the paint straight off the wall or poke holes in it. Examine the wall for blisters where the paint has bubbled away from the wall. This indicates that there is dampness in the basement or crawl area.

Rust on appliance or jack spots 

When there is an abundance of moisture in the environment, metal is prone to rust. Due to excessive wetness and humidity, rust may form on fuse boxes, water heaters, jack posts, or appliances.  When rust appears, you must totally remove the rust and repaint it as quickly as possible, and then investigate the source of the moisture. If not treated promptly, the rust will come back.

Musty odor 

The decomposition process connected with mold, mildew, and dry rot causes the musty “old basement” odors. It is the stench emitted by something that is decomposing or rotting. When you sense a musty, mildewed stench, check for the cause and clean any items that have the odor. If it reappears, you will need to replace anything with the smell of mildew. Stenches like this can be a clear sign of basement waterproofing that has failed. 

Dry rot 

Basement dry rot is a brownish-black fungus that develops on walls, garments, and other surfaces, mainly on wood.  Keep in mind that dry rot is a result of the decaying process. Again you will need to not only replace the damaged items but also identify and treat the source of the dry rot in the first place or you risk the dry rot returning to newly replaced items.

Foundation cracks in walls and floors 

Cracks in the foundation or basement can come in various forms, sizes, and orientations. Step cracks, for example, may be visible on the wall. In your basement, you may see vertical or horizontal fractures. Cracks do not form accidentally in any of these examples, hence something is the direct cause of them. It might be caused by settling, pressure on the walls or under the floor, or a variety of other factors that may be caused by basement waterproofing that is failing.

Bowed or bulging walls 

It is critical that you respond immediately if you detect that your basement walls are bent or bulging. This is usually an indication of hydrostatic pressure, which occurs when the soil surrounding your home’s foundation gets oversaturated and consequently exerts pressure on your walls, which it was not built to withstand. If left untreated, the strain will eventually cause your foundation to break.

White chalky substances on basement or crawl space walls 

Concrete is composed of limestone, clay, mortar, and aggregate. The white border or patch you perceive is calcium seeping out of the block. It’s a symptom of water, or excessive moisture, and should be taken seriously. It is known as efflorescence. Since this will only appear on concrete you will only be able to view this issue if you do not have a finished basement. However, if your basement waterproofing has failed other signs will appear. In almost all cases water damage will display some type of warning sign.

Causes of waterproofing failure 

Flawed design 

While some homes are built on level ground, there are others that are not. As a result, waterproofing designers must manage to changing ground levels and surface conditions. They must also strive to predict severe weather and flooding. Such problems can impair the effectiveness of the design and cause leaks.

Missteps during installation 

Even if a planner designs an excellent layout, its effectiveness is dependent on the expertise of the contractors that are installing the basement waterproofing. Flaws will directly afflict the waterproofing system if they hurry the installation procedure or utilize inferior materials. They must also work with the designer on last-minute changes and manage quality control.

Pre-existing problems 

While a waterproofing company must establish an appropriate design that tailors to your home, a problematic site might hinder the effectiveness of its job. This is why thorough inspections are used to assess the clients’ basements before design and installation take place. Wall gaps, floor joints, shattered windows, and burst pipes may all wreak havoc on proper basement waterproofing efforts.

Basement waterproofing solutions

Two of the most prominent solutions to your basement waterproofing needs are external and internal basement waterproofing. Both with their advantages and usable scenarios, here are two solutions to your failing basement waterproofing: 

External basement waterproofing 

One solution to your failing basement waterproofing is external basement waterproofing. It is a possible solution that aims to provide a long-term solution to wet and leaking basement issues. It requires a substantial investment but proves to be the best and most effective form of basement waterproofing. External basement waterproofing involves digging all of the soil around a structure in order to construct a waterproof membrane across the whole foundation. A drainage panel is also built so that any water that collects around the building drains away from the foundation walls.

This waterproofing technology safeguards the structural integrity of a home’s foundation. Heavy precipitation levels endanger any basement foundations. External basement waterproofing removes the risk of future structural failure while also increasing the value of your house.

Internal basement waterproofing 

Another option for basement waterproofing is internal basement waterproofing. Internal basement waterproofing is done totally from the interior of the home. It is a cost-effective choice, particularly when variables beyond your control restrict your basement waterproofing options, such as limited space between buildings. It may also be done in addition to external waterproofing to provide your property with an extra layer of protection.

Internal basement waterproofing is not a one-size-fits-all solution, several waterproofing materials can be employed based on the amount of protection required. Epoxy injections and sealants, for example, can be used to treat some foundation cracks.

Waterproofing mortar can be put to foundation walls to reduce the impact of water pressure and to guard against efflorescence damage. If there is a substantial moisture problem in the basement, the installation of a sump pump and drain may be explored. The most significant advantage of internal waterproofing is the decrease of dampness in the basement.

Basement waterproofing is essential in protecting your home and the belongings inside. It is important to notice signs that your current waterproofing has failed in order to diagnose the problem and get it fixed promptly. Some signs may be more obvious than others but as soon as a sign appears it is important to act because a minor issue can easily turn into a major problem. You may want to consider external or internal basement waterproofing solutions for your next home project.