Pretty much everyone living in Toronto has a basement. But many of us rarely use it except as a place to stash old pop records, denim jackets or bowling trophies. Taking time to make sure our basements are properly maintained? Even less likely.
But neglecting your basement is one of the worst things you can do to your home. A perpetually damp or flooded basement in particular can cause long-lasting damage affecting your quality of life as well as the value of your home. Consider the following risks:
When a Leaky Basement Rears its Ugly Head
- Flooding – A basement with a porous exterior will allow water to pool in your basement over time. The longer you ignore the problem the worse it will get, and you risk serious damage to the floors, carpets, wallpaper and furniture. Worst of all, your prized vinyl records could be ruined!
- Ruined Wood and Drywall – When a leaky basement turns into a flooded basement, the results could be worse than damage to the above mentioned materials. You could suffer damage to more permanent aspects of your home; wood paneling and drywall, for example. Standing water does nasty work on these materials, and they are costlier and more complicated to replace than a simple carpet. That’s a set of problems we feel safe in assuming you don’t want to deal with.
- Mold – Prolonged dampness due to a lack of waterproofing will allow mold and mildew to grow in your basement. Not only is the smell terrible, if left untreated it can spread to every nook and cranny, potentially causing health problems as well. This is especially risky if you or any of your children are asthmatic; mold is a common trigger.
- Odour – A leaky basement stinks both literally and metaphorically. Even if you spend all of your time upstairs in your comfortable, dry living room or bedroom, eventually the smell will work its way upstairs and put a damper on things above ground.
- Costly Water Removal – If external flooding gets bad enough you will have a serious mess on your hands. Not only will your belongings surely be damaged; you’ll have to commit the time and money to removing the water. If mild enough this may be solved by using a dehumidifier. If more serious, you’ll need to have a drain company pump out the water, a service which isn’t cheap these days.
- Cracks in the Foundation – A serious external water problem caused by poor drainage or a high water table will put pressure on your basement if it hasn’t undergone proper waterproofing, i.e. installing a protective external membrane.This will do more than damage the interior of your home, it risks cracking the concrete foundation itself. Once the first cracks emerge more will appear, creating a snowball effect that will wreak havoc on your home.
- Depreciated Home Value – Prolonged or repeated flooding will severely damage your home in multiple ways. Many of these problems cannot be easily fixed and can result in permanently depreciating the value of your home.
So, What to Do About it?
If you suffer from a leaky basement, the first thing you should do is hire a reputable plumbing contractor or drain company to take an look and find out the root of the problem. If you’re having recurring issues, most likely you will need external waterproofing.
Taking care of a leaky basement is not easy, but it sure beats dealing with a water damaged one. You’ll save yourself money and endless headaches by dealing with problems promptly. Visit us on Google+