Having even a basement is a great asset for any homeowner. It gives you extra storage space, added room for additional appliances, and of course, if it is fully finished, it can be made into an entertainment space to suit any taste. However, the nature of a basement makes it especially susceptible to a wide array of types of damage that can build up over time. Damage to your basement tends to come on silently and slowly over long periods of time and they tend to be difficult to detect.
Here, we will discuss common sources of basement damage and how the Basement Finishing Contractors at Advanced Pro Contractors can prevent that damage.
Common Basement Problems that Can Damage Your Home
You’ll notice there is a common theme for all of the things that can threaten the integrity of your home by attacking the basement. That common theme is water. Here, we will discuss the various different ways water can mount an attack on your home via the basement. This is because these different problems all present in different ways, therefore you’ll need to know what signs to look for in order to spot them.
Mold can form just about any place in your home. Most of the time it will develop in areas that are out of sight such as inside walls, ducts, vent registers, behind kitchen cabinetry and the like. Most homes have mold, but some strains of mold can be dangerous to your health, releasing toxic spores creating a cancer risk. Some forms of mold can stay hidden inside basement walls and actually eat away at the structure of your home, or it can attract termites or other pests that will also damage your home. Proper, complete finishing for your basement will help prevent mold damage. Also, mold test kits by Basement Finishing Contractors are highly recommended for every homeowner.
An unusual color patch is a sign that something bad is developing behind the wall, ceiling, or floor. It can indicate that water, mold, or some other form of exposure to the elements is taking place. If you notice color patches, you should investigate immediately. Opening up the wall and removing the source of the damage will almost always be necessary.
In an unfinished basement, you tend to expect to see moisture. It’s inevitable in most climates. However, it’s important to understand that an unfinished basement is essentially a giant hole in the foundation of your home. The only way to remedy this is to have the basement properly and fully finished. The inevitable alternative is severe water damage.
If you notice water or other liquids leaking from your home into your basement or from outside, that tells you that you have some work to do. You can plug up the specific source of the leak. However, taking on leaks one at a time will never solve the overarching problem of an unfinished basement. You may find that the problem is with a specific crack or crevice and resolve to fix it, but in time more will develop. Thus, it calls for Basement Finishing Contractors’ help ASAP.
Cracks in Walls or the Floor
Most often you’ll see the signs of cracks before you see the crack, except in a basement floor. Cracks in the floor can lead to a deadly radon hazard. You should have your home tested for radon. If detected, your basement should be fully and professionally sealed and regular radon testing will be necessary from then on. Homes that have had a positive radon test must also be properly ventilated in order to be safe to live in.
Strange or Bad Smells
Your sense of smell is a gift. Your sense of smell can save your life – or your savings account in the case of potentially destructive threats to your home investment. A bad smell means one of two things almost without exception; the presence of something rotting, or the presence of a poisonous substance. In the first case, you probably have a hidden mold bloom or some invasive pest has died inside of your walls, beneath the floor, or in the ducts. In the second case, you may have a gas leak or some other dangerous substance coming into your basement. Either way, the problem must be dealt with sooner than later and some remodeling is likely going to be necessary.
If you notice a section of floor that’s becoming soft or depressed, it can mean a number of things- none of them good. It could mean animals have burrowed under the floor, removing the natural support of the earth below. It could mean you have a compromised foundation, or that your floorboards are rotting away. Whatever the case may be, it needs to be remedied by repairing your flooring or foundation with the help of Basement Finishing Contractors. Ideally, sealing and finishing the basement will be your next best move after repairing the underlying problem.
If the meaning behind the phrase “the walls are closing in” holds any meaning, then bowing walls should tell you trouble is brewing in the basement. Misshapen walls can mean a number of things- all of them bad and potentially dangerous. The worst-case scenario is that the structural integrity of your home has been compromised. In the best-case scenario, you may have water seeping into the earth that is up against a basement wall turning it to mud which is pressing against the wall. Whatever the case may be, we strongly recommend a professional inspection at this point to make sure your home is still safe for people to live in.
At the end of the day, your basement is the foundation of your home, at least in part. As such, it should be properly constructed, maintained, and sealed against the environment just as the rest of your home is. To learn more, get in touch with credible Basement Finishing Contractors today.