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Basements are awesome spaces that create more usable space for you and your family to enjoy. From basement home theaters to playrooms, there can be many different purposes for this space.
But, basements do come with their own unique set of problems and one of them is water. As basements are below the ground, they are more susceptible to water damage than other parts of the house. Delaying on an important repair can cause permanent and expensive damage. To help, here’s how you should handle a wet basement.
Are you looking to repair your basement or stop leaks before they start? Contact a basement remodeling pro today for quotes from contractors in your area, for free!
Discovering A Leak
If you have a basement, finished or unfinished, finding that your basement has a leak can be scary. There will be a lot of mystery around why it's happening and where the leak is coming from. It’s important to find the source of the leak and get it repaired quickly, as leaks can get bigger over time.
However, it’s not that simple. Unlike a leaky faucet, finding the source of the water in the basement can be tricky. Start by checking for cracks in the walls and floor. Sometimes, water can get in due to hydrostatic pressure allowing water to enter in through the cracks in your basement floor. An overflowing gutter or defrosting snow might find its way in through your basement's foundation.
A local basement pro can be helpful when it comes to finding the source of water. Be sure to reach out to them as soon as you notice a leak in your basement.
Sealing Your Basement
One of the first steps you’ll want to take if you have a damp basement is to get it sealed. This will cover up any of the small cracks on the walls and floor where water may be entering. Depending on the size of the crack or your knowledge of the source, you might be able to seal your basement or foundation yourself. But it’s best to ask a contractor for help when it comes to your basement and they can help identify any other potential problem areas. The average cost to seal a basement or foundation is $3,660.
Basement Drainage Repair
Outside of leaks and cracks in your basement walls, you could be getting water in your basement due to blocked drainage. Sump pumps and floor drains can back up leaving you with excess water in your basement. It’s important to repair your drainage as soon as you notice a problem. The average cost of basement drainage repairs is between $1,586 and $3,575.
Of course, one of the biggest fears that come with owning a home with a basement is flooding. Often, this can happen due to weather conditions, so you’ll want to be sure to prepare the best you can.
“When there's heavy rain, water can become backed up and flood in your basement,” Ryan Siebert, owner of SG Home Builders, said. ”The best way to prevent this problem from happening is making sure that you have a functional sump pump. You'll want to have professional checkups every year to ensure that it's working well during the rainy season.”
Maintaining your sump pump can be the key to a dry basement when heavy rains hit. The average cost to repair a sump pump is $444, with most homeowners spending between $339 and $472.
However, if you do find yourself in a situation where your basement has flooded, don’t try to enter without shutting the power and gas off. This can be harmful to try and wade through. You’ll need to remove the water as quickly as possible to avoid permanent damage. Depending on how much water is sitting in your basement, you may want to contact a basement contractor who can help.
Basement Air Quality
If you have a damp basement, one major concern is humidity. This can cause mold and mildew leading to air quality concerns. Mold and mildew can cause serious problems for your health if found in the home. Even if you don’t enter the basement that often, the effects can travel.
“With basements being humid, underground and exposed to moisture, mold and mildew are a common problem,” Siebert said. “This is important to keep track of because mold and mildew are dangerous for your health. Also, a large majority of the air you breathe on the first floor comes from your basement. By keeping the basement clean and buying a dehumidifier, you should be able to keep your home safe from mold and mildew.”
A dehumidifier can help keep your basement dry. But, you also want to protect your basement from any outside moisture as well by caulking and insulating areas in the basement, if you haven’t done so yet.
While basements are great to have, the problems you may face can have serious consequences for your home. It’s important to get any moisture or water removed from your basement as soon as possible.
“If you ever notice you have any of these problems, hire a professional,” Siebert said. “This will ensure that the problems are solved efficiently and quickly. When your home's structure and foundation are put into question, you shouldn't wait or wonder if the problem is truly fixed. You'll rest easy knowing a professional is fixing the problem.”
Looking for more tips to take care of your basement? Read What To Do With Leaking Basement Windows.