If you have an unfinished basement, you may not go down there on a daily basis. If this is the case, you can easily miss some of the more subtle signs that water is leaking into the base of your structure. You don't have to have pools of standing water to have a moisture problem.
Few things can threaten your home as much as moisture. Even small amounts of water can lead to mold and mildew forming and insects like termites forming colonies in your support beams. It's important to be on the look out for the signs that your basement needs some type of waterproofing.
Signs of water leaking in your basement
1. Discoloration. If you have an unfinished basement, check for darker spots on the cement blocks that form the walls of your basement. On a finished basement, the signs may be more subtle, but can include discolored patches, peeling paint and plaster chipping away from the ceiling.
2. Mildew smell. Even if you don't see any water or dampness, the distinctive smell of mildew is a sure sign that water has been present in your basement.
3. Mold. Black patches on your walls are usually an indication of mold forming. Mold can also appear yellow, brown, green or even white.
4. Salt deposits. If you see a gray powder along the base of your walls, this is another sign of that water has been present. Salt, also called efflorescence, forms when water comes into contact with concrete, cement or natural stone.
5. Cracks. Hairline cracks in the walls of your basement and/or the cement floor are another indication of water damage. Even if you don't see any water around these cracks, it's a good assumption that water can find its way into your house via these openings.
6. Water lines on basement windows. If you have window wells, water can collect in these wells and gradually find its way into your basement. If this is the case, you'll likely see streaks or lines where standing water has been present on the panes of your basement windows.
7. Bowed walls. Walls that incline inward are a not-so-subtle sign that water is leaking into your basement. This can be a serious threat to the integrity of your structure and should be addressed as soon as possible.
A waterproofing company, such as Gord's Basement Waterproofing Ltd, can evaluate your basement water situation and determine the best course of action. Just a few of the many remedies available include installing a sump pump, repairing cracks to your foundation or the mortar between the stones and installing custom window wells.