Recognizing Warning Signs of Damage to Your Basement
November 22, 2016
November 22, 2016
- Cracks in Walls or Basement Foundations. Cracks in basement walls and foundations may appear slowly, over time. Hairline cracks may indicate normal settling or shrinkage. Larger cracks, especially those exceeding a quarter inch in diameter or accompanied by noticeable shifting or displacement of the wall, are signs of potentially serious problems. If you notice significant cracks or settling in your basement, contact a professional for an evaluation right away.
- Basements flood for many reasons, some more serious than others. However, flooding may lead to additional problems, like mold or bacteria growth, unpleasant smells, and even foundation problems. Flooding may also be a sign of other issues with a home, like faulty pipes, poor grading, or cracked foundations. Serious or regular flooding merits a professional inspection (and repairs).
- Musty or Unpleasant Odors.Basements often develop a musty smell from lack of ventilation. Many musty odors can be fixed with proper cleaning or the addition of dehumidifiers and other moisture removal aids. However, smells that don’t go away after cleaning, or that carry the scent of sewage, often indicate serious problems like mold or sewer leaks.
- Mold Growth. Mold thrives in damp, unventilated environments, and basements often offer exactly the conditions mold requires to thrive. Inspect your basement regularly, and arrange for immediate removal of any growth. Mold spreads by releasing spores into the air, and spores from the basement can easily infiltrate other parts of the house through your heating and ventilation system. Don’t risk your family’s health – inspect the basement for mold on a regular basis.
- Sinking Floors.Sinking or settling in the basement floor is a potentially serious sign of problems with the home’s foundation or the earth beneath the house. Settling, either across the entire basement floor or in localized areas, can be a sign of soil erosion beneath the home, a damaged foundation, or issues with the house’s footing pads—all of which, if left untreated, will result in extensive damage and costly repairs.