The weather in Missouri is hard to predict. One minute it could be sunny and hot, the next it could be pouring. When the weather is that hard to stay on top of, you never know what kind of state you’re going to find your home in when you come home from work. It could be fine, or there could be pools of water in your basement.
Standing water makes an unpleasant addition to any basement. It’s a sign of leaks in houses new and old. If you’re going to keep your belongings and your foundation safe, you need to act quickly to plug those leaks – or at least prevent them from getting worse.
What’s the rush about? If you continue to let water gather in your basement, you’ll soon have to deal with more than just an unwanted indoor pool. Standing water or even general dampness can lead to mold growths, pest invasions and foundational damage. This will make your home much more difficult to live in, let alone sell in the future.
How can you tell, though, whether your basement will be okay with a temporary waterproofing solution or if it needs a long-term one? It’s all in the symptoms. Let’s explore the different types of leaks you may be facing so you can determine which solution will help you reclaim your space.
Signs to Look Out For
It’s worth noting that dampness in your basement isn’t a reason to immediately start panicking. Sometimes, extreme weather conditions can cause your home to start leaking where it hadn’t before. There’s a difference, though, between situational leaks and consistent standing water.
If you think your basement may be a victim of consistent leaks, keep an eye out for the following leak symptoms:
- Cooler temperatures as a result of increased moisture in the air
- Increased humidity
- Curling papers or damaged materials
- Fogged windows
- Warping door frames
If you notice any of the above signs in your basement regularly, not just after heavy rains, then you likely have a leak that needs plugged. Reach out to a professional to see if you can track the leak and establish a waterproofing plan.
The Waterproofing Process
There are several different ways you can waterproof your basement. Some homeowners prefer to waterproof their homes from the outside, while others will find success when only waterproofing from the inside. In general, though, the process consists of the following steps:
- Finding the Leak – How is water making its way into your basement? Do a little digging on your own, or reach out to a contractor. You’ll both be able to follow the flow of water or dampness back to its source, which should reveal the leak to you. Once you’ve found the leak, you’ll be able to plug it.
- Removing Excess Water – With the leak handled, you need to start clearing the water out of your basement. You can use a dehumidifier to reduce the dampness in the air while installing a French drain and sump pump to pump the water out of your home.
- Treating Mold Growths – With the excess water gone, give your basement a once-over to see if there are any mold growths. If there are, you’re going to need to treat them as soon as possible. Mold growths that go untreated can put your health at risk. Be sure to check all of your porous belongings – wooden door frames, tables, unprotected fabrics and more – for any signs of dampness and mold.
- Checking for Exterior Leak Sources – Are your gutters releasing water right over your foundation? Is your home without a grade? These exterior sources may be exposing your foundation to more water than is healthy. The sooner you can redirect water away from your home, the safer it’s going to be.
- Taking Preventive Measures – Finally, work with a local contractor to choose the best waterproofing solution for your home. Temporary solutions include dehumidifiers, drainage mats, interior sealants and French drains. If you experience more severe flooding, an external waterproofing solution may suit you best.
Get a Move On
If you’ve explored your basement and found signs of a leak, don’t procrastinate. You need to get in touch with a contractor ASAP to preserve the integrity of your basement.
What’s the rush? If you leave leaks unplugged in your basement, you do more than put your stored belongings at risk. The foundation of your home could begin to sink if exposed to precipitation for too long. Likewise, mold growths could compromise the health of your family if they’re allowed to grow.
Think your basement is leaking? Reach out to a Missouri contractor to see if you can figure out what’s going on. With luck, you’ll be able to reclaim your home in little to no time at all.