Warning signs of water damage

 

Warning signs that water is seeping into a basement or crawlspace often take years to develop and may not be easily visible. Over time, multiple signs of damage will become evident and could lead to structural failure.

Cracks in foundation

  • Cracked walls: Cracks may be horizontal, vertical, diagonal or stair-stepped. Severe pressure or structural damage is evident by widening cracks, flaking or crumbling concrete. Foundation cracks allow water from outside the home to enter and cause damage. Cracks maybe spotted both inside and outside of the home. For finished basements, it may not be possible to detect the crack without removing the drywall but they are easily recognizable on unfinished walls in crawl spaces. Exterior cracks may be visible during warmer months with close inspection of the foundation walls.
  • Buckling walls: Usually caused by hydrostatic pressure. Walls appear to be bowed inward (buckling).
  • Peeling paint: Water seeping through walls may lead to bubbling or peeling paint along basement walls.
  • Floor damage: The excessive moisture behind and underneath cause floors to expand. Floor tiles or baseboards may appear swollen.
  • Efflorscence: White, powdery residue found on basement walls near the floor.
  • Mold: Fungi that usually grow in damp, dark areas and can cause respiratory problems after prolonged exposure. You may not always notice mold with the naked eye, but mold and water damage go together hand in hand. Look out for a peculiar, musty odour.  The air may also feel damp and heavy.
  • Sweating pipes or clogged drains.
  • Standing water near leaky faucets or pipes

Water damage can severely impact the structural integrity of your home, as well as impose health risks. If you have any observed any of the warning signs listed above, it’s time to seek expert advice.

Wet basement leak