During our recent stay-at-home quarantines, space was at an all-time premium. Many families sought to make use of their basements for home offices, workout rooms, playrooms, and much more.
Given that background, we conducted a survey asking, “How often do you go down to your basement?” Of the 569 respondents, 48% said frequently and 38% said occasionally.
We also asked, “How often do you inspect your basement for water damage or foundation problems?” The top response was occasionally at 44% and frequently at 31%. Here’s the complete response breakdown.
We imagine that one of these fits you and your basement usage, as well as inspection frequency. So, what did they find during their inspection?
What Did Your Inspection Reveal?
Our survey respondents’ homes cover a wide range of ages, with 52% at 11 years or older, so the older the home is, the more you can reasonably expect to encounter problems. Even so, a fortunate 83, or 15%, of survey respondents reported none of the problems on our list.
What To Do About Basement Problems
Our hunch is that you might be experiencing some of these problems with your own basement. Let’s look at what you can do about those problems.
Bowing Basement Walls
Bowing or tilting basement walls are caused by expansive soil and hydrostatic pressure. That pressure is caused by poor drainage and heavy rain or snowmelt. Installing an interior drainage system around the basement perimeter can prevent this pressure buildup. But significant basement wall bowing or tilting will require repairs ranging from wall anchors and braces to carbon fiber wall reinforcements and piers used to stabilize and lift the foundation.
Basement Wall or Floor Cracks
Cracks in the wall or floor of a basement are also caused by hydrostatic pressure from heavy rains and inadequate drainage. Sealing the cracks along with waterproofing the basement with an interior drainage system and a sump pump system are the best ways to prevent continued water damage.
Settling or sinking concrete is caused by excess water along with unstable soil conditions. There are quite a few options to repair this type of damage, including the PolyRenewal™ concrete lifting system. It’s best to consult foundation repair professionals to find the optimum approach to this type of challenge.
These are similar to the interior cracks noted above, but they certainly appear more ominous. They are caused by foundation settling, which is often due to poor drainage and excess water. But they could also be caused by improper compaction of the soil when the foundation was built. Horizontal cracks give a clear indication of uneven foundation settlement. If the cracks are wider than a quarter of an inch, you should seek out a professional assessment at once.
Doors or Windows Not Shutting Properly
Sticking doors and windows along with uneven floors or cabinet doors that swing open on their own are sure signs of uneven foundation settlement. This is caused by the same things noted above, excess water and poor drainage often coupled with expansive soil conditions. Here again, it’s best to call in the professionals for a full assessment of the underlying conditions.
Water in the basement is no fun at all. It damages everything it touches, from carpeting to drywall and appliances to electrical outlets. The best prevention is to ensure that exterior drainage systems are working, from gutters and downspouts to landscape grading. Basement waterproofing is the real key to eliminating moisture problems.
Mold and mildew are a natural outcome of excess moisture in the basement. They not only cause odors and unhealthy air, but due to the stack effect, the rest of the home sees that air moving up from the basement and out through the attic. The best approach is to do all you can to eliminate water entry, typically with basement waterproofing.
We Can Help
Our survey also revealed that 58% had their homes professionally assessed for foundation problems and another 10% were interested. We can certainly help there.
Our partners across the country can complete a thorough evaluation of your foundation and recommend customized repair solutions. Contact us today for a free inspection and estimate.