Ways to Prevent Basement Water Damage

The basement is an important part of the house and contributes to the overall value. Basements tends to be most often used for storage and housing basic components that keep the house functional, such as electrical wires, water and sewage pipes, water heater, furnace, and other systems.

Unfortunately, basements also tend to be damper areas of the, due in part to the higher humidity levels since warm air rises. Since it is not possible to make concrete basement walls totally waterproof and keep basements completely free of dampness, outside drainage is a crucial play to pay attention to. Here are some others ways to prevent water damage in your basement and keep the lowest level of your home in good condition:

  • Watch for signs of mold: The dark and damp areas of basements contribute to the growth of mildew—which is a big cause of water damage. Mold tends to grow all over the place, such as on items like paper, wood, fabric, drywall, and carpet, as well as ceilings and walls. Mold sometimes has a musty smell and resembles furry speckles of black, brown, or white spots.  Some mold is also invisible and hard to smell. Even if your basement is spotless and clean, mold can still grow due to the damp air, so controlling moisture is crucial. Try things like circulating the air with a dehumidifier, keeping air temperatures cool, and using cleaning products that kill mold. Natural cleaning products can also be made to prevent of mold, such as using distilled white vinegar, baking soda, and bleach.
  • Inspect heating and air conditioning systems. If these systems are in your basement, take a look at them from time to time to see if there are moisture issues. Replacing filters, making sure sealing has been done properly and keeping debris from clogging these systems is important for reducing moisture and preventing water damage in basements.
  • Insulate pipes. Keeping pipe condensation in basements at a minimum is also important. Otherwise, pipes can have mold corrosion and rot overtime. Pipes drip or “sweat” out water due to condensation and temperature differences between the pipes and the air. Proper insulation will seal water leaks and can also cool down the basement and prevent moisture from accumulating.
  • Use waterproofing paint. This type of paint or coating is designed specifically to reduce moisture damage on interior walls and concreate and is helpful especially in older homes. Basement waterproofing paint cannot prevent flooding, but it is a preventative effort to keep moisture at bay. Areas such as cracks in walls can be waterproofed. Remember, however, that waterproofing paint cannot prevent water damage inside concrete walls or due to outside elements that continue producing moisture. 
  • Fix outside elements. If water problems in basements persist, outside elements should be carefully examined. If there is visible water dampness on the floor, on walls near the floor, or on cracks in the walls, there may be water damage in the basement due to improper drainage outside. This might include lack or gutters, downspouts, or high amounts of water that are draining against the basement walls. Inspect the outside of your house regularly, especially after a good rainfall, to see where the problem might start. Chances are fixing outside elements will prevent many of these basement problems.

Keeping the basement of your house in good condition increases the overall value and keeps costly repairs down. You’ll also extend the living space and be able to use the basement as a storage area without the worry of ruining objects and dealing with excess mold. With efforts to prevent water damage in basements and outside a home, consider getting professional help or consulting a home improvement specialist or basement specialist.