Basement moisture is a common problem in many homes. However, as much as basements are notoriously dark and damp, having a wet basement can be a significant problem.
A little moisture can create structural damage and toxic mold, threatening your family’s health. That’s why you should contact general contractors in the Delaware Valley to help you fix the issue.
What Are the Warning Signs of Moisture in the Basement?
Experienced waterproofing contractors in the Delaware Valley can help you identify the warning signs and symptoms of a wet basement. While the most significant indicator is standing water in the basement, other signs include the following:
- Rotting joists, columns, and headers
- Damp, humid air and musty odors
- Water tricking out of the walls
- Condensation on floors and walls
- Discolored ceilings, walls, or floors
- Efflorescence or sparkly white powder that happens when water seeps through the foundation walls and dries
Any one of these signs indicates you have a wet basement, but where does the moisture come from? A skilled and experienced contractor explains.
Where Does Basement Moisture Come From?
There are several reasons why there could be moisture in your basement. Since the basement is the lowest point in your home, it’s easy for water to collect there because water pipes and sewage lines usually run through the basement floor and walls.
Your waterproofing contractors in the Delaware Valley may identify the following causes of a wet basement.
Every house settles over time, creating cracks in the foundation. Cracks in the basement walls or floors are a significant problem in many homes. Even minor cracks will let water seep through the basement walls, creating a moisture problem. Water may also seep through the gap between the foundation wall and the floor.
You can remedy small cracks with a chisel, mallet, putty knife, and some patching cement. However, it’s best to call a professional to assess the situation first. Foundation cracks can indicate significant structural problems.
An Interior Water Leak
While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s advisable to first check for inside leaks to identify the source of basement moisture. Several sources can cause a water leak, including:
- Washing machines
- Bad pipes
In some cases, basement moisture in the ceiling or walls beneath a kitchen or bathroom could be due to an interior water leak. An internal leak is one of the most straightforward problems to handle. Skilled Delaware County general contractors can repair the leaks, and if they were the cause of basement moisture, the problem would be gone for good.
While basement windows can help bring more light into the basement area, they can also be a source of moisture. Window wells may sometimes have leaks that cause water to build up in the basement.
They’re likely to allow moisture-filled air during hot and humid months. The moisture accumulation leads to mold growth, causes decay in wooden fixtures, and instigates condensation. Delaware County waterproofing contractors can help prevent your window wells from filling up by:
- Covering the window wells: Professionals can help you install specially-designed enclosures that reflect lots of natural light into the basement. The window enclosures don’t rot or corrode and can extend the life of the window frames. They also keep the wind from blowing against windows for greater energy efficiency and comfort.
- Fix drainage problems: Poor drainage can cause water from melting snow, rainfall, or the ground to fill the window wells and enter the basement. Waterproofing contractors in the Delaware Valley can help you keep the gutters clear, fix grading, and extend downspouts.
Basement condensation happens when warm, moist air comes into contact with the cool basement walls and floors, creating moisture. Wet basements due to condensation are easier and less expensive to fix than leakage or drainage problems.
Some ways to deal with condensation in the basement include checking the dryer’s exhaust and draining the central air conditioner. Let waterproofing contractors in Pennsylvania check that the systems are not clogged and air flows correctly. Then, they can help you determine if you need these additional remedies:
- Installing an exhaust fan to direct steam from hot showers and the kitchen outside
- Increasing air circulation by installing air conditioning vents
- Insulating the basement on places like pipes, walls, and ducts to eliminate moisture by keeping warm air from coming into contact with cool surfaces
Poor Drainage Around the Home
Many houses lack a subsurface drainage system. Since basements in older homes were inhabitable spaces, a drainage system under the floor wasn’t necessary. Modern homes with a drainage system often incur problems, ranging from clogged pipes, broken sump pumps, or broken connections.
Fixing poor drainage problems can take a substantial amount of work. The project is more significant than some of the solutions mentioned above. If you determine that poor drainage is the cause of your wet basement, contact experienced Delaware Valley waterproofing contractors.
They will handle the digging up in the flooring and add a drainage system connected to a pump that expels moisture. With the right tools and knowledge, they can do the job right the first time.
Improperly Sloped Patios and Walkways
To direct water away from the house, outdoor spaces must be properly installed. Poorly constructed or damaged patios and walkways may end up sloping toward the house, causing water to gather around the foundation. Moisture eventually finds its way into the basement, causing it to be moist and musty.
Large patios or long walkways that slope in the wrong direction can be challenging to fix. Possible remedies include adding concrete curbs to direct water away, sealing cracks, or doing a complete replacement. Let a professional handle the work to get it done right.
A Skilled General Contractor Helping You Address Your Basement Concerns
Having a wet basement can affect your health due to toxic molds. Moisture can lead to structural problems to the walls, foundation, and floor, devaluing the home. The devaluation can make it harder to sell your home if you decide to put it on the market. Contractors serving Delaware County and Chester County can help you evaluate the problems and attend to them.
The general contractors at our company have helped hundreds of clients get solutions for their basements. We aim to help them protect their foundations to keep the crawl spaces dry and safe. We can help you choose the best waterproofing solutions depending on your situation. Contact us to learn how we can help you with your waterproofing needs.