Basement flooding is common in areas with poor drainage, or where water tables are high. Water can also enter your basement from cracks in your foundation, improperly installed downspouts, improper grading, window leaks and a long list of other things.
The important thing to understand is that a wet basement is a serious and multi-faceted problem. Repeated flooding will cause the basement sub floor to deteriorate and also damage the foundation.
In finished basements with leaking problems drywall can be damaged, insulation contaminated with mold, and structural problems that can result in very expensive repairs.
A prolonged exposure to water in your basement also increases the chances of termites, carpenter ants and other insects taking up residence, and entering the living area.
But possibly the most serious issue with a wet basement is that it allows toxic mold and mildew to grow. Once this occurs all occupants of the house including pets are at risk of a long list of health issues, because the mold will not just stay in the basement, but quickly enter other areas of the home through the normal movement of air currents, heating or air conditioning systems, etc.
What are the stains on my basement wall?
Most stains are caused by moisture. The white chalky stains are efflorescence, which is a deterioration of the cement as the water passes throughout the block. The brown stains could be mold or they could be acid stains from water passing thru a highly acid soil. The black stains could be mold and mildew. Mold will grow on painted surfaces more so than it will on a bare block because most paints have organic properties which gives the mold something to feed on. Any of the stains indicate the presents of water.
What is the white chalky substance on my walls?
Efflorescence. Efflorescence is a sign that water or moisture was absorbed into the masonry, cement or concrete at one time. Concrete is made of three materials: stone, lime cement, and sand. Efflorescence is the chemical breakdown of the lime cement, the bonding agent that holds your walls together. The water inside of your foundation walls is slowly bleeding the lime cement out of the wall, leaving the white, chalky substance. Over time, there will be nothing to hold the wall together, resulting in cracks and foundation deterioration.
What are the rust colored stains on my wall?
Rust colored stains, especially on block or poured concrete walls, are a sign of acid damage. The soil outside your home is very acidic, and when the water leaks into your basement, it draws that acidity with it. Your wall acts as a filter, holding this acid back and allowing the filtered water into your basement. Acid damage can lead to lower wall deterioration. With an average of 50 tons resting on your foundation walls, the integrity of your walls must be maintained.
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