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Signs Your Basement Could Be at Risk for Flooding

Posted Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Is Your Basement at Risk For Water Damage?

A flooded basement is a homeowner’s nightmare. The water can destroy treasured possessions, ruin flooring, lead to structural damage, destroy wood or drywall, and create the right conditions for toxic molds to grow. Luckily there are a few ways to know whether your basement could be susceptible to water damage. Here’s how to check the signs your basement could be at risk for flooding.

Use Your Nose

Do you smell a musty odor? Mold and mildew need only slightly elevated levels of moisture to begin to grow, and your basement might be a good habitat. The concrete walls of your foundation are porous enough to allow moisture to pass through. And typically poor ventilation in basements traps humid air. However, you might have a small leak increasing the moisture in the basement, which could turn into a big problem after a heavy rain.

Look for Stained Walls and Blistering Paint

Is there visible discoloration, water marks, or bubbling paint on the walls of your basement? It’s easy to spot, and a clear sign of water seepage. On the ceiling rather than the walls, this might indicate a leaking pipe or water heater, or an improperly sealed toilet or tub. Wherever you see damage, it’s smart to call in a professional right away before more water enters the space.

What about cracks?

Most foundation walls have small vertical or diagonal cracks after they settle. However, if you noticed long horizontal cracks, especially if the walls are also bowing, you may have a serious problem, and should call a foundation contractor. Any crack, though, might be an entrance point for water, and could be closed with a sealant or caulk.

Step Outside

Check for worn seals on window wells, clogged gutters and downspouts, and adjacent ground that slopes towards your home. Each of these allows water to pool along the foundation. Pretty soon, some of that water will make its way into your basement. Make sure your home’s gutters are properly cleaned, the window wells are in good repair, and the ground slopes away from your walls on all sides.

Sump Pump Issues

If your sump pump doesn’t turn on when it should, you can look forward to floating boats across your basement. Make sure it is in good working order by having a contractor service it regularly. Also see that the discharge lines are insulated from freezing Michigan temperatures. It’s also important to monitor the lines for clogs, so that falling leaves or snow don’t prevent the water from draining properly.

Know When to Call for Help

After reading this, if you suspect your basement could be at risk for flooding, call a waterproofing professional. And remember that if the floodwaters do rise, Modernistic is ready to respond immediately with professional restoration services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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