6 Important Facts about Basement Waterproofing
“Knowing more about basement waterproofing will help you to avoid common mistakes getting it done.”
By DENIS SMAL
- Detecting Water Damage
Depending on the age of your home water damage may present itself differently and be difficult to detect. While the obvious signs of water damage are immediately visible as leaking and puddling on the floors and in the basement during and after a rainfall, damp walls, spots, stains, peeling paint, warped paneling, and rust; other more inconspicuous signs of water damage can prove to be just as troubling. Such discreet signs of water damage require routine inspections and a sharp eye to notice any cracking, odors, or the appearance of a white chalky substance on walls. If you suspect water damage in your home you may need to remove carpeting or paneling to see if any mold or moisture exists.
- Too Much Pressure?
When building a home, contractors will first excavate the area where they will lay the foundation. This allows the foundation a flat and firm surface upon which to set. As the contractor proceeds to build up the home above ground level the soil naturally settles back against the foundation and applies pressure. However, during and following a heavy rainfall the soil surrounding your home’s foundation becomes saturated with water causing it to become heavy and exude much more pressure on your home’s foundation than normal. Over time this constant influx of pressure on your home’s foundation from the surrounding soil can cause it to weaken, crack, and allow moisture to enter. A weak foundation is the leading cause of basement water damage, thus making basement waterproofing of the utmost importance.
- The Cost of Long-term Water Damage
While many homeowners interpret the term “cost” as referring to financial loss, what many homeowners do not realize is that water damage in their home can have a resounding effect on their family’s health, possessions, and safety. Left undetected, over time water damage invites the possibility for the development of mold and mildew which have the potential to seriously harm the health of loved ones. In finished basements, furniture, possessions, and family relics can be easily destroyed by the presence of moisture, while your home’s carpeting, flooring, and heating can also be ruined by water damage.
- Waterproofing, a Necessity
When you invest in your family home, chances are it will be the most expensive investment you’ll ever make. With so much at stake, why would you risk water damage? Waterproofing your basement protects your family’s health, safety, and possessions while helping to prevent future financial losses as long-term water damage has the potential to diminish the resale value of your home by up to 25%. Not to mention the costs associated with repairing and replacing furnishings damaged by mold, mildew, and termites which are enticed by dampness.
- The Problem with Moisture and Mold
While most individuals understand mold to be an unpleasant substance indicating when food has spoiled, mold inside homes is a much more complicated issue. Mold inside your home represents an infestation of a dangerous fungus that can develop easily with disastrous results. One of the most serious consequences of water damage, mold is not always obvious and can often go undetected over long periods of time either underneath carpeting and flooring or behind paneling and tiling. In order for mold to develop it requires only a small amount of moisture and warmth and can easily remain out of sight for many years. Advanced mold is usually recognizable by an unpleasant musty odor. However, even small amounts of mold within the home have the potential to cause health problems ranging from allergic reactions to chronic coughs and asthma. Thus, waterproofing your basement is essential to the prevention of mold and its associated health risks.
- To Prevent or Repent
The consequences of water damage are often severe and costly to repair. Preventing water damage by correctly waterproofing your basement is the only means by which you can ensure your family and home are protected from water damage. While early detection and treatment of moisture within your home can slow the effects of water damage and in some cases reverse them, the prevention of water damage via basement waterproofing should be a priority for all homeowners, particularly in areas such as Toronto that receive heavy rain and snowfall.
Buying a home is the greatest investment you are ever likely to make. With so much at stake, it stands to reason you would want to protect your family and home from the consequences of water damage. By following and understanding these six important facts about water damage and the importance of basement waterproofing you will be prepared to recognize, treat, and prevent water damage from affecting your home and loved ones.
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