A Wet Basement Carpet Can Foreshadow Serious Issues in Your Home
Is your basement carpet saturated with water? Does it have wet patches that cannot be readily explained? If so, you should immediately investigate for leaks and other potential sources of water to ensure that no further damage is done to your home before you begin repairs. Better yet, you should contact a Groundworks waterproofing expert for an inspection. After all, you cannot always be certain you have found every source of water by yourself.
Why Is My Basement Carpet Wet?
There are plenty of reasons why you might find yourself dealing with a consistently wet basement carpet. In fact, you can tell a lot about the potential causes of a wet basement carpet by the ways in which the dampness shows itself. A fully saturated carpet, for example, hints at a different cause than a carpet that has sporadic damp spots or wet edges. The most common causes of wet basement carpets are as follows.
- Burst Pipes and Leaks
Leaks that originate inside your home are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to dampness in your basement. If you find that parts of your basement carpet are damp, or even saturated with water, you should investigate the walls closest to these wet patches, especially if the dampness spreads outward from the wall.
- Leaking Windows and Vents
If the carpet under your basement windows is wet, the most likely cause is a leak in that area. A leaking window well, for example, can do a lot of damage to your carpet and is most often caused by poor drainage in the window well or general wear and tear.
Seepage occurs in the joint between the basement floor and wall when there are cracks in this area. Water has a habit of getting through even the smallest of cracks and will eventually start pooling in the basement coves.
- Cracks in the Basement Floor or Walls
Cracks in your basement floor or walls are the most likely cause of wet basement carpet if the dampness is widespread or sporadic. Cracks in your basement floor or walls can be caused by a number of problems including an excess of hydrostatic pressure and settlement as a result of foundational instability following a drought.
Each of these issues can cause wet patches on your basement carpet, but if your carpet is overwhelmingly wet, it may have been caused by a combination of these issues. This is why it’s so important to have a professional assess your basement.
The Problems That a Wet Basement Carpet Can Cause
A wet basement carpet may be a problem all of its own, but if you leave it unattended, there are plenty of other issues that will soon follow. These issues include but are not limited to the following.
- Increased Humidity
Even if the water in your basement carpet was caused by a singular or temporary event, any real level of dampness in your basement carpet will raise the humidity in your basement. In fact, it could raise the humidity in your home as a whole. This will not only make you uncomfortable, but it can actually add to your energy bill by up to 15%.
If you do not properly dry out your wet basement carpet, the dampness can cause the organic fibers in the carpet to rot. This will not only cause a strong and unpleasant smell, but it will cause all sorts of other problems within your basement.
- Warped Floorboards
If you do not address your wet basement carpet quickly, the water will seep into any floorboards beneath. This dampness can cause your floorboards to warp, sag or become soft. In fact, it can even cause them to rot.
Mold and mildew are sure to take root wherever organic material becomes wet. This can be a nuisance or actively dangerous to your home and health. It really depends on what kind of mold begins to grow.
- Pest infestation
If mold or rot take root in a wet basement carpet, this inevitably leads to an infestation of some kind. Termites, mold mites, cockroaches, and mice can all be drawn to these kinds of conditions. Once these infestations take root, they can do huge amounts of damage to your home and are hard to get rid of.
- Musty Smell
This dampness and wetness, along with the side effects they can cause, often lead to a musty, unpleasant smell. This smell will take root in your basement, but it could also begin to spread into the rest of your home if you do not take care of the issue as quickly as possible.
How to Deal with a Wet Basement Carpet
There are some things you can do to deal with a wet basement carpet yourself, but the solution really depends on the cause of the dampness. If, for example, you know your basement carpet was wet because you left the window open during a storm, then what you need to do is dehumidify the room and dry out the carpet. If you do this quickly, you should not suffer any other side effects or issues because of it. If, however, you’re not sure about what caused the dampness to take root in the first place, you should contact a Groundworks basement waterproofing professional to assess the situation.
Once they have identified the cause of the dampness, whether it be an internal leak or seepage from the basement walls and floor, they will be able to address the root cause of the problem. Once they have done this, they will also be able to assess the extent of the damage this dampness has caused so that it can be repaired. This may seem like overkill for a wet basement carpet, but dampness is an insidious problem that can cause problems that reach all the way down to the foundation of your home.
Why You Should Let the Experts Deal with Your Wet Basement Carpet
It can be tempting to try to deal with the problem yourself, especially when it seems as simple as drying out your carpet. Nonetheless, it is best that you let an expert assess your basement unless you are entirely certain that you know what is causing the dampness and you are capable of fixing it. Furthermore, if you try to fix the problem yourself you run the risk of either fixing only part of the issue or of making the problem worse. If you do this, you could end up causing damage that goes far beyond the initial issue of a wet carpet and potential leak.
So, if you have any doubts whatsoever about the cause of the dampness or the wetness reoccurs after you attempt to fix the issue, please call a Groundworks basement waterproofing professional immediately. If you do not, it could cost you far more in terms of time, damage, and money than you would initially pay to have an expert deal with it to begin with.