House Hunting Water Issue Signs to Look For
Are you or someone you know in the market for buying a home? Have you found the perfect property yet? In an ideal world once you find that perfect, move-in ready home. Sadly, that is not the case for the majority out there trying to relocate. Statistics show that over 60% of homes, old or new have some sort of water damage issues that need fixing. Checking over your home’s exterior, as well as the interior crawlspace and basement will save you a lot of stress in the future, you just need to know what to look for. Here are some signs that will tell you if your home has any water issues:
Efflorescence looks like a white powdery substance that is commonly found along the surface of concrete walls, concrete block walls, and brick walls. While efflorescence is non-toxic, its presence should be alarming being that it is usually a sign of water problems. Efflorescence is the formation of mineral deposits (crystalline / salt) that are found within many masonry materials and are pushed to the surface by the force of water.
Condensation in your basement can usually be found on the windows or on any storage material stored in the space. This is a serious sign of water issues because it means that the humidity levels in the basement are higher than normal and the air quality is relatively bad. This eventually leads to a larger issue – mold growth. Mold can be toxic and detrimental to your health and wellbeing.
- Standing Water
Standing water in your basement can be the result of several things: water intrusion, cracks in the floor, or busted/leaking pipes. Water intrusion can happen due to the fact you may have a crack in your basement floor, allowing water that collects when it rains to travel through. If the home has a floor drain or sump pump that is not functioning properly water can start to pool in those areas. The cove joints where the base of the wall meets the floor are a prime area for water intrusion and can cause standing water to form.
- Wet Walls
Wet walls can be the result of several different things within a basement because water has several ways of intruding into the home. There could possibly be an issue with the seams of the walls, particularly where the mortar joint is. Any cracks or plumbing penetration on the walls of the basement are prime areas for water intrusion and moisture collection on walls. Another thing to be aware of is if there is an installed window well in the basement. If that window is not properly sealed water can easily gain entrance to the home and cover the walls with moisture.
- Bowing Walls
If you find a bowing basement wall, it is a big sign of water issues. However, it can be easily explained by hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is the amount of force that water naturally puts on your home, some homes can experience more and some less, but every home experiences it in some way. Bowing basement walls are the result of that hydrostatic pressure being too much for your home to handle, so the foundation wall will start being pushed in, usually visible in the middle portion of the wall.
Efflorescence can start to gather anywhere there is moisture. All it takes is for water to find its way to the walls along the perimeter of the crawlspace and mix with some of the natural salt and crystalline materials they are composed of. Foundation walls are always in contact with soil and since soil naturally holds moisture from groundwater, efflorescence is a possibility. The best thing to do in this situation is to locate the source of moisture and make sure that your exterior gutters and downspouts are functioning properly because any excess water that is not being diverted can aid in the appearance of efflorescence.
- Standing Water
Standing water in your crawlspace is a more obvious sign of water issues within the home. This means that either the soil that your house is sitting on holds too much moisture or that water has made its way under your home typically by entering through a crack on the exterior. With nearly half of the air circulating through your home being the air from your crawlspace, the air in your home can become saturated with moisture and cause an uncomfortable living space.
- Wet Floor Joists
Wet floor joists can happen due to the air being oversaturated with moisture and condensation starts to form and soak through your floor joists. Wood can only hold so much moisture before it starts to weaken. If you have wooden floor joists and oversaturated air in your crawlspace, the overall floor support you have been receiving will be greatly diminished.
Mold attaches itself to anything that has moisture and since wood and brick and all the components of a crawlspace carry some amount of moisture, it is the perfect environment for these spores to grow. White mold is harmless and can usually be eradicated easily, yellow mold is known as the “house eater” and will attach itself to the wooden supports and eat away at it, black mold is known for being toxic and in extreme cases can cause death.
- Clogged Downspouts
When you are inspecting your potential or current home it is important that you not only look for leaks, condensation, and mold but also look for a proper water drainage system. If your downspouts are clogged with debris the water issues you see could be caused by your system not flowing correctly. Clean them regularly throughout the year and you will be better off for it.
- Trees/Plants Too Close to House
One uncommon culprit of water issues in your home can be tied to the trees and plants that surround your property. If there are plants or trees that hug the base of your house water issues can easily arise when underground roots grow too large for a small space. Those roots will make their way into the house and give the natural groundwater an easier path for intrusion. Be sure to have proper spacing between the plants and trees at your home, it could save you a lot of trouble. A good general rule of thumb is to plant good-sized shrubs in a location where their mature foliage will remain at least 5 feet away from the house.
Carolina Basement Solutions offers top-of-the-line waterproofing systems that are backed by warranty. Financing options are available to help any level of repair fit your budget. Any water issues you may face at your home, be sure to give CBS a call at 833-641-0517 or go to bit.ly/CBSConsult to schedule a FREE consultation with us today!