How to Know if Your Basement Leaks?

You’d think it would be easy to determine if you’ve got a leak in your basement. Sometimes it is — when you see standing water, you know you’ve got a problem! It’s not always so simple though. Leaks aren’t always easy to spot. Sometimes you have to act like a basement detective to figure out if your basement has sprung a leak.

Worried that your basement might have a leak? Look for these signs.

Standing Water or Moisture on the Walls

Any standing water should tell you that you’ve got a leak. Whether it’s from your plumbing or coming from outside the house, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Moisture on the walls can also indicate potential leaks, but may also be a sign of poor ventilation and high relative humidity.

Mold, Mildew or Odor

Mold grows in high moisture areas. Many varieties produce toxins that can irritate the lungs or cause long-term health problems. Leaks and flooding in basements are common causes of mold, including toxic black mold. Mildew tends to be less dangerous and easier to clean up. Yet you really don’t want it growing in your basement either.

Seeing either on any surface in your basement indicates that you’ve got a moisture problem — most likely a leak! If you have a finished basement, the mold or mildew can hide under carpeting or behind drywall. In these cases, you may notice a musty or unpleasant odor before any visual signs appear.


Sometimes confused for mold or mildew, efflorescence is actually a mineral deposit that you may find on your walls if you have any moisture problems. Most common on concrete and masonry walls, this chalky white buildup occurs when water deposits dissolved minerals on the material’s surface.

Efflorescence can only occur when water passes through the material. So if you see it you know that you have a moisture problem.

Stains or Discoloration

Homeowners with finished basements don’t always see standing water. Instead, they see signs of moisture on the walls, ceiling, carpet, or flooring. Brown stains on the walls and ceiling can indicate water infiltration due to roof or surface runoff, as well as other sources.

Depending on the color, texture, and pattern of your carpet, water stains might not stand out as noticeable as the staining on walls, but when you do see them you will want to take action quickly. It won’t take long for mold to start to form beneath carpeting.

What to Do When You See Signs of Basement Leaks

Basement leaks don’t improve on their own — in fact, they only get worse over time. That means that the best thing you can do when you find signs of a leak is to call a professional. By dealing with the problem right away you keep it from getting worse and keep the repair bill as small as possible.

Call Ray Arnold Masonry to Help you With Your Basement Leaks Problem

Noticed signs of moisture in your basement? Let the experienced professionals at Ray Arnold Masonry & General Contracting quickly identify and fix the problem. Give us a call at (440) 834-8252, or fill out our Contact Form to schedule an appointment for a FREE estimate.

Don’t wait until your basement floods — let the pros at Ray Arnold Masonry fix small leaks before they become big problems!