4 early signs you need basement waterproofing

Allowing your basement to become damp, musty, or downright flooded can weaken your foundation and threaten the entire structure of your home. Keeping your basement dry is necessary for maintaining a healthy and safe home. Not sure if you need basement waterproofing or not? Watch out for these four early warning signs of moisture problems.

Unpleasant odors

Clean basements don’t smell like much, even after they become a little stale due to the lack of air flow. Any kind of musty, moldy, earthy, or pungent smell is a definite sign that moisture is hiding somewhere, even if you can’t see it yet. Don’t just cover up the smell with air fresheners because it won’t go away on its own.

Wall flaking

In basements with smooth concrete walls or block finished with a skim coat, one of the earliest signs of water intrusion is flaking of the surface. This often appears long before cracks, damp spots, and outright mold growth develop. While flaking, also called spalling, can happen naturally as concrete ages, it needs investigating any time it suddenly begins happening.

Color changes

The low light conditions and monochrome color palettes of unfinished basements often disguise subtle water stains and damp spots until an obvious puddle or mold patch becomes visible. Bringing a bright work light or lantern into your basement, or turning on as many lights as possible if it’s partially finished, can help you spot color changes and other very subtle visual indicators of moisture.

Salt crust

While it’s natural for concrete of any kind to release salts as it ages, this requires moisture pushing through the tiny capillaries of the concrete to reach the surface. Salt that appears as a white powdery residue on the wall surface is a sign that water is pushing through the material. Prompt waterproofing at this point can prevent serious damp problems from developing. Salt crusts are often mistaken for mold, but they don’t have any kind of smell and crumble away when touched. Have powdery substances on your basement walls tested by the professionals instead of trying to determine whether they are salt or mold on your own.

When it’s time to call in the professionals, contact us at South Jersey Waterproofing today.


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