Out of sight, out of mind is one of those sayings that have a latent ominous meaning. When applied to basement maintenance this idea becomes even more troubling if facts on the ground are anything to go by.
The Concrete Foundations Association (CFA) says only less than 43% of homeowners are in total control of their basements. Another study by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says over 76% of homes in the country experience water leakage problems, thus necessitating seepage repair.
Before you claim this space that you rarely use, it is critical to look at some pertinent issues revolving around moisture leakage into this space. Here you go:
Your Basement and Family Health
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) reckons moist indoor spaces increase probability of respiratory infections by over 50%. What’s more, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says toxic mold growth caused by moisture seepage in these spaces can lead to dangerous asthmatic attacks among other fatal health problems. This is the major reason you need to sort water leakage issues down there.
Risk of Basement Seepage to Your Home
Most of the problems in spaces beneath your main floor are due to external moisture. While solutions such as dehumidification might seem to solve the problem, CFA argues that such superficial remedies only exacerbate the problem.
Your contractor will tell you that such moisture seepage is hazardous to the foundation as it ruins supporting beams and utility lines. With time, such damage will compromise the integrity of your home making it a safety hazard. Seepage repair not only makes this space livable but also saves your home.
Every home improvement revolves around making your property more habitable. By repairing water leaks in the basement, you can use such space for storing your tools, books, utility appliance such as the furnace, washers among others. This space can also be useful as a playroom after repairs, which saves you more space upstairs.
Water Seepage Causes
Major causes of leakage in this space include:
- Poor surface drainage especially with gout and downspouts
- Poor grading leading to water stagnation along the walls leading to lateral pressure
- Poor wall construction that causes structural weaknesses along joints and with time leads to cracks.
- Hydrostatic pressure due to expansive soil along basement walls
Effective Seepage Repair
For starters, you need to hire an established, reputable, registered, licensed and insured foundation contractor for the project. Such will have skills, training and exposure to deal with any basement issues. These professionals will propose waterproofing techniques depending on the level of damage on the walls.
Such a project always begins with identification of the water leak source and correcting it. Afterwards, they will waterproof by applying sealants or external wall membranes.
Whatever you do, never underestimate the risk posed by water in your basement.