Water seepage is no fun to contend with, but you’ll want to address it quickly if you want to protect your basement from long-term damage. What constitutes seepage, and what can you do about it?
Water in Your Basement
Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine when you’re dealing with a temporary leak and when you’re faced with seepage. Both conditions tend to generate similar symptoms in your home. However, seepage tends to last a long time, whereas leaks ebb and flow with the weather.
If you’re not sure what kind of damage you’re dealing with in your basement, try to keep an eye out for:
- Foggy windows
- Damp walls
- Mold clusters
- Critter infestations
- Warping doorways
- Damp, porous objects, like your couch, carpet, or other fabrics
- Damaged personal belongings
Again, while these symptoms can indicate all manner of water damage through your basement, their presence in the long term can suggest seepage over another type of leak.
How does this water get into your space? You’re most likely to find water entering your home through your:
- Window wells – If you have windows looking into your basement, then water will follow gravity and make itself at home in your window wells. Here, it can wreak havoc on your window seals and break them open, after which it can easily make its way into your home.
- Foundation cracks – It’s also possible for hydrostatic pressure to build up outside of your home after heavy rains or snow runoff. Hydrostatic pressure forces the materials making up your foundation and basement to rapidly expand and contract. The stress that builds due to those changes can eventually cause your foundation or other structural supports to crack open.
What Happens If You Don’t Repair Your Leaks?
It can be tempting to let leaks try and resolve themselves on their own, especially if you’re concerned about the cost of repairs. Unfortunately, this isn’t how the process works. If you leave a leak unattended, it’s going to get worse. It can sometimes get to the point where a leak can cause structural damage throughout your home that cannot be reversed.
If you’re not sure where to start, when you’re dealing with a leak, you can always reach out to the professionals working in the Cleveland, OH, area. Again, while the cost of repairs can be intimidating, it’s best to get ahead of the damage before it costs you much, much more.
Waterproofing Your Home
If you want to prevent seepage throughout your basement, you’ll need to take steps to prevent water from getting into your home. Some of the best ways you can work against the weather and groundwater seepage include using the following reliable basement waterproofing measures:
- Interior drains – Interior drains protect your home by catching leaking water from the walls, floor, and wall-floor joint. They are installed in the sub-floor and throughout the perimeter of your basement, and they direct collected water to a sump pump system.
- Sump pumps – For waterproofing to work correctly, interior drains need to be paired with sump pumps. Sump pumps gather water collected by the interior drainage system, and they work to pump this water out of your basement and away from your home’s foundation. It’s a good idea to have a backup battery for your sump pump in the event of power outages so that your basement will remain dry.
- Dehumidifiers – Excess moisture is a common problem in basements and an ingredient needed for mold to grow. It’s important to keep moisture and humidity in control with an energy-efficient dehumidifier that also will clean and filter the air in your basement.
- Vapor barriers – Vapor barriers are more frequently used in crawl spaces, but you can also use them to protect your basement by having them installed on the walls. These thick plastic-like sheets are dense enough to keep both water and gas out of your home, allowing you to protect your belongings on multiple fronts.
- Flood vents – If you’re dealing with unusual amounts of water in your home, you may be interested in flood vents. These vents are designed to let water flow in and out of your home with ease. In doing so, they’ll reduce the amount of hydrostatic pressure that your structural supports have to endure. The external flow will also prevent water from staying in your home, even as it reduces the amount of structural stress your basement and foundation have to endure.
If you’re concerned by the seepage making its way into your home, don’t worry. There are several ways you can go to bat against this unwanted moisture. The foundation and basement repair professionals at Ohio Basement Systems can inspect your home and provide you with a free quote on the services that will best help you dry out your basement.