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Five Symptoms of Basement Trouble

Five Symptoms of Basement Trouble

The basement of your home is the foundation for the structure, and without the integrity of a solid foundation, the rest of the home can be at significant risk. It isn’t necessary to have standing water in your basement to know there is a water problem. Even if you only have a little condensation on the floors or walls, you have a situation that needs attention. The condensation may show up as moisture on the wall, or puddles and droplets of water on the floor of your basement.  

If there is consistently a musty odor when you open the door to your basement, you have a water problem. Condensation eventually leads to wood rot and can also cause buckling on plywood. Sometimes even on the floor above the basement.

No need to stress and worry though. At Basement Repair Specialists we have your wet basement solution. Click here to find out how we can help because we specialize in complete basement systems to solve your problem.

Here are Five Symptoms of Basement Trouble:

1. Chalky white lines on the walls

contractor looking at wall analizing

Referred to as efflorescent remnants – these white lines are a sure sign that there has been flooding in the past. They show up after the water has receded and the room is no longer wet.  Although they don’t create a health problem, they do indicate that a close inspection needs to be done to determine whether the problem is solved.

2. Cracks in the Walls

cracked cement wall

If you see cracks in the walls, it is likely that the ground is shifting around or underneath the basement. When the soil around your home is not settled, it can create voids underneath the structure, causing the wall to crack. These cracks are typically vertical.

When we see moisture is coming through the walls, we know this situation requires a specific wet basement solution because the water is below the surface of the ground. Foundation cracks can occur when a sump pump is inadequate or missing, or because of a deficient water drainage system. It may take a specialist to determine the extent of the cracking.   

3. Buckled Walls


horizontal wall crack

If the cracks run horizontally, known as lateral cracks, it’s because there is a lack of external support for the wall. If rainwater is saturating the ground, it can erode the soil away from the foundation leaving parts of the basement unsupported. Excessive water in the ground can cause the soil to swell and generate enough pressure to make your basement walls bow. The walls of your home crack and lose strength. Since your basement walls are an integral part of the support system, we see serious problems occurring all the way to the roof.

4. Mold

mold and water damage from basement leak

Any mold growth is a sign that you need a wet basement solution. Mold creates health risks due to poor air quality, and even the smallest amount will continue to grow spores and spread. And since many basements have little sunlight or fresh air, the problem can easily go unchecked. If the humidity is higher in the basement, due to hanging wet clothes, an improperly vented dryer, or condensation build up on older, uninsulated cold water pipes, mold is sure to follow. And after any significant water flooding, mold is a potential risk. The most obvious way to recognize mold is the smell.  

5. Pest Problems

Dead mouse near trap in basement

Insects and other pests cannot survive if they don’t have moisture, so a wet basement is a perfect location for them to thrive. Some are nocturnal, such as silverfish and earwigs, so you won’t see evidence of them unless you disturb them at night. The only way to prevent these critters from permanently moving in is to remove the source of the moisture they need to thrive.  Our approach to complete basement systems will eliminate the environment they prefer.

What Can I Do About my Wet Basement?

Wet basement

There are many things that homeowners can do to minimize or eliminate some basement water problems. Moisture in your basement can come from the water runoff in springtime’s melting ice and snow, but if your sump pump can’t keep up, you might need to replace or upgrade.  

Or perhaps it only happens during a rainstorm. If this is the case, check your downspouts and gutters. Downspouts need to be at least four feet from the house, and should always have a backsplash. Make sure they are forcing the water away from the foundation.

People with minimal water issues can keep things under control using a good dehumidifier. If the problem is minor, a dehumidifier might be sufficient.  



condensation on window seal

Diagnosing the cause of the problem is critical. According to our friends at This Old House, there’s an easy way to tell if your issue is from condensation or water runoff. Take a piece of foil and cover one of the damp spots on the basement floor. After 24 hours, check it. If there is moisture on the top of the foil, then your problem is condensation. If the moisture is under the foil, then you have a subsurface water problem.

If you’ve been struggling with moisture in the basement and you see any of the above symptoms, it’s time to check out our website, Basement Repair Specialists. You’ll gain confidence in our approach. We will discuss a complete basement system with you – and come up with a wet basement solution. Our approach to the best solution for you will vary depending on the diagnosis of the problem. Be assured we adhere to the highest of engineering standards should we need to excavate and install drain tile as part of the wet basement solution.   

The corporate motto at Basement Repair Specialists is  “A Great Job at a Great Price®.” We want you to schedule your free evaluation and estimate because we are confident that you will be satisfied with our approach, in our diagnosis – as treating people fairly is part of our corporate culture.  And we can help you find the perfect wet basement solution. Call today. 855-554-7246.

For more information about your basement repair needs, visit our Basement Repair Blog.