You don’t need to live in Venice to suffer the impact of a wet basement or foundation. After all, Canada’s extreme temperatures can cause issues for even the most solidly laid foundation. Ultimately, water is the biggest contributor to residential foundation movement. In turn, concrete foundation damage deteriorates property value. Most foundations are repairable, but expensive. Therefore, it’s important to learn about wet basements and foundations, and the warning signs when buying or selling a home.

Wet basements and foundations: 5 things every realtor and homebuyer should know

Why do basements leak?

The soil surrounding foundations is loose post-excavation. Consequently, it’s easier for water to percolate through the soil and accumulate. This loose soil is packed against basement and foundation walls when constructed. As water accumulates in the soil, it seeps into walls and causes damage.

How can I spot wet basement and foundation damage?

Structural concerns include cracks, bowing, and honeycombing or flaking. Most poured concrete foundations have typical shrinkage cracks of less than 1/8 of an inch.  These cracks  are caused by concrete curing/drying. Par for the course, they’re still basement openings and require sealing from water leakage. Any crack, large or small, requires attention.

Sideways forces being exerted on a foundation causes bowing. When there’s excess moisture in the soil, the leaning of foundation walls can occur. Honeycombing or flaking occurs when the aggregate in concrete is not sufficiently compacted. Therefore, it’s more susceptible to water damage.

Why is there basement mold?

Ultimately, mold grows in damp, wet, and poorly ventilated spaces. Most basements suffer moisture problems during their lifetime. Welfare Canada found that 38% of Canadian homes had indications of excessive dampness or mold. Damp basement walls and basement mold suggest a leaky foundation.

How can I fix a wet basement and foundation?

Wet basement solutions include waterproofing methods like sealers, weeping tiles and membranes. Sealants and coatings provide a line of defence against water penetration. Whereas, tiles prevent basement flooding.

Other Moisture fixes include:

  • adding gutter extensions
  • reshaping the landscape
  • repairing footing drains
  • installing a curtain drain
  • pumping water

Can AmeriSpec provide basement Moisture inspections?

Our qualified inspectors can help identify the source of moisture in basements.  They can also recommend simple, low-cost solutions to address the problem. Though, while conditions may be pointed out during a home inspection, it’s virtually impossible for inspectors to give a conclusive opinion on the worsening of conditions over time.

Visit the home inspection experts at AmeriSpec of Canada for more tips and valuable home improvement information.

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