Unwanted Basement Water
Unwanted basement water is usually triggered by a water leak from a broken pipe, drain backup or sump pump failure. It is among one of the most common water related problems in residential and commercial properties. Although water damage in the basement can be worrisome when it manifest it is safe to say when basements are dry they can be a great space for storage or additional living if one decides to finish it off.
When water in a basement occurs it is usually not in a vacuum, but has several factors which are instrumental in causing the event. One factor is sudden and heavy rainfall which can over burden the working sewer system allowing water to backup through an open drain in the floor. In finished basements it can be difficult to know the water came from the drain if it has been covered by carpet or tile floor. In these instances it will require an exploration expedition to locate the hidden drain and can take a while.
Another basement water creator is a sump pump that fails to engage allowing ground water from a rising water table to come in through an open floor drain. Here again it can take a bit of time to locate each floor drain if the basement has wet carpet or tile shielding the drain from view. Additional causes of basement water can be plumbing related issues, human mistakes such as overflowing sinks or even a water using appliance malfunction.
Basement Materials Water Damages
Basement water brought about by anyone one of the causes highlighted above can bring about minor and major damage that will require attention to prevent from becoming bigger. Basement flooring is the first material to blunt the assault of moving water in a basement when drains backup. If the water rises in abundance the moving water will migrate to other areas of the basement space as well. If there are walls with decorative base moldings these typically are next in the damage domino affect brought about by unwanted water.
The materials that the walls are constructed from will be next in the hit-list and unfortunately almost every material used for making partitions and walls is a cellulose and absorbent building material. Both are a favorite food source for mold to inhabit, grow and spread, so never leave a basement to dry by itself.
Many basements have cabinetry either consisting of wood or laminate which is still wood, only covered with a plastic decorative finish. Water has no conscious and will follow which ever direction the lowest place and gravity send it. So don’t expect water to stop at your custom expensive kitchen and bath room cabinetry, as it won’t.
These commonly found structural materials are in almost every finished basement and basement water if present in great supply will eventually come into contact with these and cause a measurable amount of damage. We have not even mentioned the personnel possessions, contents and furniture and appliances, which are not immune to water damage.
Invisible Damage from Basement water
If the physical destruction brought about by flooding does not catch your attention for a day or two the smells will. For many property owners basement water will languish for days and will not be discovered by a descent to the basement to locate a stored pot or pan, but will be brought to their attention by a pungent foreign smell.
These smells vary in their strength and can be an indication to danger. The smells caused by mold, mildew and other hazardous organisms are not to taken lightly and can make surviving comfortably in the home challenging. These growing ecosystems caused by mold and mildew as well as other germs can be especially offending to people with allergies. It has actually been documented that at the very least 98% of all basements will certainly leak eventually as a home ages and run the risk of microorganism amplification that can jeopardize the health of those with allergies.
Property Inspectors Often Overlook Flood Damage
Water damage in a basement is one of the most overlooked flaws a paid inspector can miss. This is incredibly troublesome to us at Action Extraction of Macomb Michigan as we have readily seen water stains, separated base moldings and rotted wood in basements which were never noticed by another respected professional.
What occurs regularly as well are sellers who are not as honest as one would hope, keeping valuable information from prospective buyers. In hope of a quick sale, not disclosing reoccurring basement water issues of the past. We at Action Extraction recommend you contact a water damage restoration company to evaluate the property prior to making an offer on it.
Basement Issues From Outside
Basements can have water intrusion sometimes related to things from without the home such as poorly laid exterior grading. If the grade is lowest at the surrounding base of the home water from rain and sprinklers can pool and often settle against walls allowing water in through floor joints, rod holes and wall cracks.
Other times surface structures such as driveways and outside patios can over time develop cracks making a convenient avenue for water to seep into your basement. There is also the possibility of water manifesting from improper gutter connections and placement. Downspouts are notorious for not being connected securely or even missing allowing pooling water at the base of exterior walls to have a way into the basement.
Water in a basement can end up being a significant annoyance for many homeowners. Some even who aspire to one day finish their basement to allow for additional living space and an extra area for the children to play, refrain from beginning construction for fear of flooding. As well they can believe the cost to cleanup a finished basement to be more than if it is left as merely a storage area.
Repairing Basement Issues Can be Simple.
Preventing the threat of basement water can be as easy and simple as lifting the exterior grading around the house. To do this will require a delivery of several yards of dirt, a shovel, wheel barrel and a afternoon committed to shoveling, hauling and dumping soil.
If the home that you possess or are considering to acquire has a basement, you need to recognize the signs of water seepage so you can determine if the fix is simple and affordable or difficult and expensive. If there are sure signs of repeated basement water issues attempt to see where it originated from. If it is a crack in the wall or a rod hole, these are easily fixed. If however the water staining indicates a floor drain issue that has the potential to be an expensive repair. If all that is required is a service call from a plumbing professional to snake the sewer drain to rid it of tree roots each year, your fortunate. If the drain system is old it may be decomposing and incapable of being cleared with a plumbers snake, than the repair could cost in the thousands.
Finding a Basement Full of Water
If your basement has been a faithful dry habitation for storage or a beautifully finished living quarters, the last thing you want to think about is finding unwanted water on the floor. This can happen however to the finest of properties over time because home foundations shift and certain changes may occur.
If one day you suddenly place your foot in a puddle of basement water and think the worst, you may only have a minor issue to grapple with. The first thing to do is locate the source through investigation and the process of elimination. Do you hear water running? Is there a trail of water from an exterior wall? Is a drain filled to the top and water pooling around it.
Once you have established the source of the basement water the next step will be essentially self-evident. If it is a wall crack, rod hole or water at the base of a wall there is a chance it is an easy fix. Contact a local highly rated basement waterproofing company to evaluate and get an estimate for the repair. If the water is from a ground water drain that leads to a sump well, make sure the water is low in the well. If it is high and the pump below is not channeling the water away from the house, you may need a new pump.
Basement Water Comes in 3 Types
Ground water is the water that surrounds your properties exterior basement walls and needs to be beneath the concrete slab at all times. To do this your home was built to carry out this function mechanically through the use of a gravity fed draining system or the use of a sump pump to automatically channel the ground water away from the property each time the pump is engaged.
These 2 systems are many years old and have proven to be highly capable, but like most things in life can fail. When they do disappoint basement water from the outside water table around the home can easily intrude into the home. Sump pump failures may create as much damage as a drain backup of ground water, but the repair is usually as simple as a new pump.
The next water damage type can really spell trouble and bring a particular degree of water damage to a basement. I am speaking about sewer water commonly known also as black water due to the level of gross contamination that resides in it. It is highly dangerous to human health and can create tremendous damage to building materials that must be discarded from the home and not restored. Sewer backup cleaning cost are higher than any other type of basement flooding. You will need to contact your insurance company to find out if you are covered for sewer backup cleaning.
The last type of basement water to affect a home or commercial property is fresh water or municipal water from plumbing fixtures, pipes and appliances. Of all types of basement water issues to stem from within the home this is the least dangerous to property. At least initially speaking, as in several days stagnant basement water will become contaminated with the same harmful living organisms as sewer water.
Questions to Help Solve Unwanted Basement Water
To resolve any basement seepage or water problem, and prior to you beginning repairs, cogitate on whether the basement water turns up after a heavy rain or every single time it rains. Is the leak generally constrained to one small area, and if so, can you link an exterior resource with this area? Sometimes it is a window well, or an inadequately sloped driveway or related present defect.
Once you have isolated your basement water issue and determined to repair it, basement renovation will end up being simpler. Basement waterproofing is essential, since water in a basement and the damages that it can produce to your property is nothing that a homeowner wishes to suffer from.
For additional information or resources on basement water please contact us at 800-713-4333.