Why You Should Waterproof Your Basement

Posted Dec 20th 2018

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Why You Should Waterproof Your Basement

Water damage in the basement is one of the most common and destructive types of disasters you can experience as a homeowner. It comes without warning and can cause costly damage. If you worry about your home being prone to water damage, consider getting your basement waterproofed. It's a process that can help protect your family's health and your home's safety in the event of water damage. Here are some reasons why you should waterproof your basement, brought to you by our foundation specialist professionals.

Strengthen Your Home's Structural Integrity

Even without water, the structural integrity of your basement is already being pushed. They're under constant pressure from the walls and the weight of the rest of your home, and most basement floors aren't the strongest due to being constructed with thin layers of concrete. When moisture gets into the basement, the floors and walls that are already under pressure will crack and bow, which allows even more water to seep in. Having a waterproofed basement strengthens your home's structural integrity by preventing water from getting into the home and helping the ground around your foundation to not shift, leading to fewer foundation problems.

Reduce Risk of Flooding

The weather is unpredictable and can cause a lot of problems for your home. If you live in an area prone to heavy rains, flooding, or hurricanes, it's important to take precautions against possible water damage even if you've never experienced any water problems in the past. It only takes one strong storm to cause costly harm to your home. By waterproofing your basement, you drastically reduce the risk of flooding by directing water away from the home. It's always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the security of your home.

Preventing Mold Growth

Damp environments are the ideal breeding ground for mold and bacteria growth. When moisture seeps into the basement, mold can begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours if the water is left untouched. This means the beginning of a major health hazard: if it gets to the point of black mold growth, toxic compounds called mycotoxins are released into the air and cause health complications such as chronic coughing, difficulty breathing, rashes, and more to anyone who has prolonged exposure to it. Waterproofing your basement will prevent the moisture from getting into the house in the first place, saving you time and money on both mold remediation and flood cleanup.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

At first glance, a correlation between basement flooding and indoor air quality may seem like an unlucky coincidence, but a waterlogged basement has detrimental effects on the air inside your home. As said above, moisture leads to mold growth, releasing toxic compounds into the air that are harmful to breathe in and can cause allergies and/or asthma complications. Air quality also decreases as the water evaporates, rising up to the rest of the home and increasing humidity.

Preventing Mold Growth

Damp environments are the ideal breeding ground for mold and bacteria growth. When moisture seeps into the basement, mold can begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours if the water is left untouched. This means the beginning of a major health hazard: if it gets to the point of black mold growth, toxic compounds called mycotoxins are released into the air and cause health complications such as chronic coughing, difficulty breathing, rashes, and more to anyone who has prolonged exposure to it. Waterproofing your basement will prevent the moisture from getting into the house in the first place, saving you time and money on both mold remediation and flood cleanup.

Reduce Heating and Cooling Bills

A damp basement means damp air, and air that has a lot of humidity costs more money to both heat and cool. Having a waterproofed basement reduces these bills dramatically. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, having a wet basement can cost you a 10% to 15% increase, or around $250, on your annual bills. Waterproofing your basement to keep it dry year round will save you a good chunk of cash in the long run to put towards other important things.

Guarantee Access to Dry Storage Space

The biggest advantage of having a basement is the extra storage and recreational space it provides. Most commonly, people use their basements to either store valuables and items that don't fit upstairs, or they convert it into additional living space. If the basement isn't properly waterproofed, anything from a flood to a leak could cause irreparable damage to your belongings. Foundation waterproofing reduces and diverts the amount of water that can seep into your home. Knowing that you don't need to worry about floods or harmful moisture making its way into the basement allows you to use the space however you want to, guaranteeing that you have access to dry and usable storage space.

The frustrating reality is that many homeowners will experience water damage at some point in their lives. Nearly one-fifth of home insurance claims result from some from of water damage. Whether it's from wet weather, a leaking pipe, or cracks in your foundation, you can never predict what could hit your house next. Water damage is a devastating disaster and a long, costly cleanup. Waterproofing your basement can mitigate or prevent water damage, making it a smart investment in the long term. Do you have any questions about foundation repair? Contact Interwest's expert foundation contractors today, we're happy to help!