Basement Water Control Part 1: What are wet alerts?

Wet Leaking Basement

It is always best to be proactive when it comes to basement water control. Keeping your basement dry can increase your home’s value and allow for remodeling. A dry basement will also give you more storage space without the worry of items getting wet and destroyed. So, what are some signs you should be looking for?

Wet alerts:

Wet alerts are warning signs that indicate a moisture problem exists in a basement or crawl space. Wet alerts include: 

  • Humidity over 60%, which may indicate moisture exists but the source may be hidden. For example: water lying against the exterior walls, a leaking pipe, or water entering cracks in walls.
  • Condensation on structural components or other components within the space, indicating that warm moist air is entering the cooled area.
  • Peeling paint, which may indicate water is seeping under the paint and causing it to bubble. 
  • Cracked walls, which may indicate that severe pressure is occurring under the floor or behind the wall. This could lead to severe structural damage. Cracked walls can also indicate that the concrete was not allowed to cure properly or that pockets of air were not properly removed during the initial installation of the foundation. Water will then force its way through the wall. 
  • A coating of efflorescence on the wall, meaning moisture may be seeping through the wall. Efflorescence is the salt and chemical residue from either the soil or concrete wall. 
  • Buckling or bowed-in walls indicates severe pressure behind the wall. It may have originally been hydrostatic pressure or water pressure, but over time it could transition to the pressure coming from the weight of the soil pressing against the foundation walls. 
  • Mold, which may indicate high-humidity events or moisture events.
  • Puddles, which may indicate that the footings are too narrow or not laid deep enough, causing them to be susceptible to movement caused by soil erosion. 

Although multiple signs seem to become evident all at once, quite often the problems were gradual and unnoticed. Water problems can also originate from one event such as local dynamiting, a storm that saturates the ground, or recent changes to landscaping. All of these events can also change the composition of the ground around the basement or crawl space creating new water entry paths. 

What to do about Wet Alerts

If you are noticing any of these signs in your basement or crawl space – the wisest move is to have a full assessment of your basement or crawl space. In performing a full assessment, all sources of water will be identified, whether they are coming from landscaping issues, issues with the exterior systems of the building, or issues with the interior systems of the building. Contact Baxter Environmental Group, Inc. today for a full assessment of your basement or crawl space.  

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