Basement Basics What You Should Know
January 6, 2016
Nothing can put a frown on your face like a wet basement. But wet basements can result in much more than just soggy storage boxes and wet carpet smell; it can also cause problems with your foundation especially if there is an foundation cracks. Repairing the foundation can be costly, but leaving it can result in even costlier problems.
Floods can be a particular worry, with the National Flood Insurance Program calling them the number one disaster in America, causing an average of $3 billion in claims annually. Water damage caused over 26% of all insurance claims in America in 2013. In fact, almost all U.S basements (98%) will be damaged by water at some point.
To prevent the need for foundation repairs, ensure that you protect it by ensuring that your plants are low enough in the soil not to send water towards the foundation and that they are planted at least two feet away. Water proofing solutions are also available to protect the basement.
Foundation cracks can spread and should not be ignored especially if they are wider than one fourth of an inch. Stair or step cracks should also be fixed immediately. Fixing basement leaks is also vital to prevent water seepage or access.
If the unthinkable does happen and you end up with a flooded or wet basement, make sure you dry it out within one to two days or mold can start to grow. Linen such as bedding and towels, and upholstery should be dried quickly for the same reasons. If they are not dry in 48 hours, throw them away.
A wet basement does not only happen when there’s a flood. In fact, you can have a wet basement without much in the way of visible signs; damp, mouldy basements are equally problematic and can hide even greater problems. Professional investigations may be needed to identify the cause of the problem, which can include groundwater seepage or surface water running in. Humidity can also cause water damage.