Know the Signs of Basement Flooding – Before it’s Too Late
Flooded basements are never fun. If you’re looking to sell your home, this can be challenging. The good news is that ample warning signs exist and will often reveal themselves well before the floodgates open. To better acquaint you with some common signs, AquaGuard Foundation Solutions – Atlanta’s largest and most proven waterproofing and foundation repair contractor – provided a checklist to help you determine whether or not your basement may soon flood.
Checklist: Signs that Your Basement May Leak or Flood
Your nose will likely provide the first indicator of water penetration in your home. Does your basement smell damp or musty? If water is trapped in your foundation walls, it’s like putting a “damp lid on top of a sealed Tupperware container.” The moisture inside has nowhere to evaporate, gets hot, and, if you wait a couple of days or a week, you’re in for a smelly surprise! Basement walls operate similarly; water gets trapped, heats up, and can only escape as musty vapor.
If you own and run a dehumidifier that churns out a constant, steady hum, you may have too much condensation in your basement. As was mentioned above, excess condensation stems from water seeping into your basement walls and may lead to future damage.
Looking for problems might seem obvious, but often the most noticeable signs are also the most neglected. Examine your basement walls for discoloration, mold, efflorescence, or vertical cracks.
Whether your basement walls are brick, cinderblock, or poured, foundation walls will usually show signs of moisture. Like a sweaty shirt, basement walls take on a darker hue in affected areas, and mold growth (usually dark and spotty or splotchy) and efflorescence (white, chalky, crystalline deposits that form on the surface of concrete or masonry walls) are also surefire signs that moisture is entering your walls.
Also, be on the lookout for cracks. If you notice discolored cracks running vertically up a poured wall, the soil outside your home is likely serving as a sponge to excess groundwater that has nowhere to drain. During heavy rains, drainage problems outside will cause water to penetrate and fill the dirt beneath it. All that water flow then pushes down and the weight of it and your spongy soil forces itself against your foundation walls. Since water will always enter the point of least resistance, eventually, that force will cause your foundation walls to crack, leaving the perfect access point for the water to enter your home.
Preventative Measures to Protect Your Home
If you’ve never experienced the above issues, that is great news! However, there is always still a chance for flooding. Be proactive in maintaining the drainage areas outside your home, as the preventative work you do today could save you both time and money later.
To keep rainwater flowing away from your home, clean and check your gutters every few weeks.
Don’t forget to clean out your downspouts. Heavy rain can push silt from Georgia clay into them, causing them to clog. If water is accumulating or pooling around your downspouts, install downspout extensions, which are inexpensive and will channel rainwater further away from your home.
Walk around the perimeter of your home after a light rain or a few days after a heavy downpour. If water is forming into small pools in any specific areas, your home is on a negative slope, which means, rather than receding away, water is advancing back towards your foundation walls.
To create a positive slope, remove plants, dig up the soil, and clear mulch adjacent to your home, as plant roots and soil retain excess water for extended periods of time. If water is still flowing towards your home after completing this work, call a contractor.
Complete this checklist on a consistent basis. Keep your external drainage channels clean and well-maintained, and you’ll be able to relax in your basement… without the stress of flooding. Every home will speak to you; you just have to listen.
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Mark Spain Real Estate is grateful to serve all of Metro Atlanta and Athens in Georgia, Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville in Florida, and Nashville in Tennessee!
AquaGuard Foundation Solutions is the nation’s ONLY waterproofing and foundation repair contractor that fields a dedicated Real Estate Division committed to preserving the purchase or sale of your home. If you’ve noticed any of the above signs, you may have a serious foundation problem. Don’t wait for catastrophe to strike; call Catherine at 770-419-9111, ext. 111 or visit www.aquaguardforrealtors.net to schedule a free inspection and preserve the transaction of your home.