Due to their distinct location (below the ground level and water table), all residential basements encounter issues like water leakage, flooding and even condensation. If not corrected in time this can give rise to serious structural integrity challenges to any house. It is therefore, extremely critical for all homeowners to pay the greatest attention to this region of their property.
The following are some of the common interior waterproofing problems that routinely hit virtually all households with a basement.
- Cracks on basement walls & floor
This happens to be one of the most prevalent challenges all homeowners have to deal with at one time or the other. The weakest link of any foundation is the place where the walls and floor join. The walls are usually installed at what is termed as a footer, prior to the floor been poured. This process can lead to cold seams where the concrete may have voids. Floor curing can also trigger gaps between the wall and the floor.
Over time groundwater can seep through the foundation, and exert hydrostatic pressure to the walls and floor, which causes cracks. This is especially true during winter when the water contracts and expands as it freezes or thaws, which can widen these cracks.
Humidity is another common interior waterproofing problem, which though might not be as serious as cracks, can still be a major nuisance. Humidity can trigger mold or mildew growth, rotting, and can attract dust mites. Apart from being unsightly and foul smelling, such a state of affairs can also pose health risks to you and your family like allergenic reactions or even asthma.
- Defaced basement walls & Floors
Water infiltration of your basement can also significantly mar the appearance of its walls and floors. This includes the formation of efflorescence, a mineral salt that looks like whitish powder.
The paint on your walls can also get chipped or manifest red or orange stains, which attests to the fact that the groundwater beneath your home has high levels of iron.
What are the signs to look for these problems?
Naturally, there are plenty of warning indicators that can make you aware of interior waterproofing problems on your property.
- This includes mold and mildew growth on dry wall, clothing, fiberglass and even paper products stored in your basements, which are all excellent breeding grounds for these organisms.
- Cracks on the walls are also strong indicators that your foundations have been breached. As well as the above-mentioned discolored or chipped walls.
How to prevent interior waterproofing problems
- Have a professional walk over your property to make sure the problem cannot be better fixed from the outside.
- If that is not a problem than you can consider adding moisture barriers, or a waterproof paint.
- You may need to strengthen your floor/wall joints. As they age they begin to flex and that allows a crack to form that may allow water to enter.
All in all, to effectually deal with interior waterproofing problems it is advisable to carry out regular checks on your home’s drainage system, including, plumbing, roofing gutters and downspouts to make sure the water is not being directed into the house from outside.