Does your basement seem a little more damp than it should? The fact is, if there is any damp in your basement then there is more moisture seeping in than there should be, and this could be causing expensive damage to your home. Sometimes it isn't obvious that moisture is making its way inside, though. Knowing the following signs can help you pinpoint any issues.

Sign #1: Powdery residue

If you have unfinished concrete anywhere in your basement, inspect it closely. Is there a white powdery substance anywhere on the surface? This substance is called efflorescence. Minerals in water, like calcium and lime, leach through the concrete when moisture seeps in. After the moisture dries, the minerals are left behind as the white powdery efflorescence. If you spot the residue, then know that moisture is making its way through the walls.

Sign #2: Musty odors

Often, moisture seeps in slowly so you never see anything wet, but the damp will penetrate papers, cardboard, or fabrics that are in the basement. Instead of sorting through everything to see if you can find any mildew or mold, use your nose. The tell-tale musty odor of mildew and mold is only present if there is damp, so if you smell it, it's time to consider basement waterproofing.

Sign #3: Cracks and crumbling

There is never a good reason for concrete to crumble, and often the reason is moisture is seeping through and weakening the structure. Cracks can sometimes be a harmless byproduct of the house settling, but you still need them checked to ensure they don't come from a foundation issue and that they aren't allowing moisture in. If the basement is finishes, cracks in wall board, or crumbling or bubbling paint can indicate moisture is collecting between the concrete walls and the wallboard.

Sign #4: Warping

Many basement have some wood trim. This could be fitted around windows, it could be the stairs, or it could be doors and frames that divide up the space. Wood is often one of the first things to warp when exposed to moisture, so if you notice that doors are sticking or wood is warping, it's time for a professional moisture inspection. Some times the moisture even leaches upstairs. In this case, you will likely notice warping first on floorboards, baseboards, or the bottoms of door frames.

Contact a waterproofing company, such as State Wide Waterproofing, in your area for more help.

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