Moisture and dampness in basements are obvious signs that there's a problem that needs to be corrected with waterproofing techniques. However, sometimes the signs aren't so obvious. It all comes down to science and how water causes various things to happen when it penetrates through the concrete of your foundation walls. Here are a few not-so-obvious signs that your basement needs waterproofing.
Two Not-So-Obvious Signs
Here are two signs that you need to take measures to waterproof your basement.
- White Powdery Substance On the Walls. Run your fingers along the concrete walls in your foundation. If your fingertips pick up a white powdery substance, there is water penetrating your foundation. This substance is called efflorescence. It's salt that has leached out of the concrete when water seeped into the walls. The moisture evaporated and left behind the salt. You can safely remove the powdery substance from the walls, but it will continue to return unless you waterproof your foundation.
- Termites In the Wooden Structure of Your Home. Another sign of water coming through your foundation walls is a termite infestation in the wooden structure of your home. The reason this happens is the capillary action that occurs when water gets into the concrete and whisks upwards into the wooden structures above the foundation walls. The moisture in the wood attracts termites. Therefore, if your home has termites, there's a good chance there is water coming through your basement walls.
There are a number of ways to waterproof your home. The best options for your particular home depend on many factors, including the slope of the land and the level of the water table in the ground. For these particular problems, however, the best measure to take is to apply a waterproofing membrane around the exterior of the foundation, which means excavating the ground in order to do so.
Another option is to install an exterior drain tile system, which also means that the ground surrounding the home needs to be excavated. An exterior drain tile system replaces the soil with gravel and includes a perforated pipe that is placed around the bottom of the foundation to collect water. Ideally, both of these measures can be done to prevent water from penetrating into the concrete foundation and causing the not-so-obvious problems that you've experienced. Additionally, waterproofing your basement with a membrane and an exterior drain tile will help drastically reduce the risks of a flooded basement in the future.
For more information, contact a basement waterproofing contractor services provider.