Technical Papers

Why Should I Waterproof My Basement?

Friday, September 2nd, 2016 by Katherine Baylis

Why Should I Waterproof My Basement - Image 1Your basement is more than just a space for you to store stuff, it’s also your foundation. Often basement waterproofing problems go hand in hand with foundation problems. By waterproofing your basement, you can often avoid costly structural problems.

In addition to keeping your home structurally sound you’ll protect your family’s health and even end up saving money on a properly waterproofed basement. Some of the problems you may experience include:

Increased Allergy and Asthma Problems

If you have a basement water problem then that water has to go somewhere. As the water evaporates it rises through the rest of your home, increasing the indoor humidity.

Dust mites thrive in high humidity living spaces with soft surfaces, like your living room couch or bed. And as you probably already know, dust mites are one of the leading causes of allergies and asthma problems.

The increased moisture in your basement also creates the ideal environment for mold to grow. Mold is another cause of health problems. It can cause throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, eye irritation and even skin irritation.

If you are having problems with allergies or asthma, raise your hand and say “I need to waterproof my basement!”

Higher Energy Costs

The high humidity caused by your waterproofing problem doesn’t just affect your health, it can increase your electric bill.

As you’ve experienced in the humid summer months, it costs more to cool humid air. The same goes for heating humid air. That basement humidity could be costing you as much as 15-18% more on your electric bill (U.S Department of Energy).

Structural Problems

Do you see any cracks, spalling or acid damage in addition to the water damage. This could be a sign that you also have a foundation repair problem on your hands.

Spalling is when the concrete starts to chip. This can be caused by high pressure and water damage. While sometimes this is nothing more than an easy cosmetic fix, it can be a sign that you have a serious waterproofing issue that will lead to a foundation problem.

Acid Damage

Acid damage is typically seen as a brown or rust colored stain on basement wall or floor. The stain is caused by water being pushed through the concrete foundation. The concrete acts like a filter and cleans the water as it passes through. This leaves behind those brown stains which are the minerals found in the ground water. Over time acid damage can weaken your basement foundation.

The increased humidity can also lead to wood rot on floor joists and any other exposed wood. As the wood rots it looses its strength and you may end up with sagging floors or even a collapsed basement ceiling.

If those aren’t reason enough to waterproof your basement then restoring your property value should be. Basement waterproofing and foundation problems can decrease your property value up to 20%!

A properly waterproofed basement can be finished, which can increase your property value and maximize your comfortable living space. It’s even cheaper to finish your basement then to add an addition to your home.

There’s no reason to live with a damp basement – which can cause health and safety problems – when you can have a dry space to use for storage or even convert into another living area. Are you still wondering, “Should I waterproof my basement?”

(Content credited to JES)

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