Is Your Basement Staying Dry?

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If you have a basement in your house, then you know the convenience that comes with having all of that extra square footage. Whether it is an area for living, recreation or storage, a basement provides homeowners with extra space that can be used for a variety of purposes. Of course, with that extra space comes the extra hassle of making sure it is in good condition. One of the biggest issues that basement owners deal with is water.

The Problem With Water

Water can show up in your basement in a number of different ways, but they are all potentially bad. Water in your basement, whether it’s in the form of a few drops or a torrent, can lead to a number of problems, including mold, ruined furniture, malfunctioning appliances and electrical concerns. These issues can be merely inconvenient, but in some cases, they can cause severe health concerns. For all of these reasons, it is crucial to figure out what the problem is and how to deal with it effectively.

The first step is to determine exactly where and when the water problem occurs. Most basement water comes from one of two sources: condensation and runoff.

Runoff

If you notice basement water after a weather event, such as heavy rainfall or snowstorm, then you are most likely dealing with runoff. Runoff is water that originates outside with precipitation, sinks into the ground and then makes its way into the basement through cracks and fissures in the walls or an overly porous material that can no longer keep out moisture. 

Unfortunately, a runoff concern can be caused by several different factors. So, it takes some sleuthing to figure out the exact issue. The problem could be from cracks in the basement walls, in which case it might require you to patch up the affected walls. However, the problem could be more serious, like cracks in the foundation of your house. These cracks will open up areas where water can get into the basement, and they can lead to even bigger problems down the road. In this case, the only real solution is to have the underlying foundation issues fixed by a professional foundation repair company.

Other problems that can cause runoff water include landscape that is graded the wrong way, so it forces water to come toward your home instead of away, and cracks in the driveway, which can allow more water to seep into the ground.

Condensation

If the water in your basement doesn’t coincide with outdoor events such as weather, then you might be dealing with condensation problems instead. Condensation occurs when the air in the basement is warmer and more humid than it should be. When this air comes into contact with the cooler basement walls, it condenses and forms pockets of moisture. 

Usually, the culprit for condensation can be found in the use of appliances such as a clothes dryer. These appliances pump out warm air, and if the basement is unable to air out properly, condensation can occur.

There are a few ways to fix this problem. If possible, finding ways to air out your basement such as opening windows can fix most of these problems. You can also purchase dehumidifiers at your local hardware store. These small appliances are designed to pull moisture from the air before condensation can occur. A third way to fix this problem is to inspect the area around the appliances. If the dryer is not venting properly, for example, it can also lead to condensation.

Other Causes

Another cause of a wet basement can be faulty plumbing. In this case, a leaky pipe or fixture is dripping water, which is making its way down to the basement. 

The problem with a plumbing issue, though, is that it is not always easy to find and diagnose this problem due to gravity. Often, the leaky pipe might not be anywhere near the basement. Instead, it might be on an upper floor where the water is trickling down the outside of the pipes, staying in the walls, until it finally reaches the basement and cannot go any farther. Obviously, in this scenario, it can take some serious professional help to find and fix the problem.

Call the Professionals

If you are dealing with a wet basement, the only sure-fire way to diagnose the issue is to call in professional help. Why not call  Ray Arnold Masonry & General Contracting at 440-834-8252 or fill out our contact form today to schedule a free quote? We are ready to serve you!