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5 Wet Basement Fixes That Almost Never Work

Home inspectors

A wet or flooded basement is anything but convenient and no homeowner wants to face the serious price tag of repairing one. When it comes to trying to fix a wet basement, many homeowners are not aware that certain “fixes” are actually not addressing the root of the problem. If you’ve tried any of these so-called repairs, you might want to reconsider your approach to the problem.

1. Waterproof Painting

Waterproof painting is like a bandage. It may cover the areas where leaks occur, but it is a temporary solution. In fact, it may actually just trap water inside of the house. You might like the way your basement walls look and feel, but it is not actually resolving the problem. In due time, you are may see your walls begin to peel or bubble.

2. Taping Off Sources of Humidity

Dryer vents and other openings are common sources of humidity, so it is never enough to simply tape around them. Even duct tape will fall off over time. It is necessary to address all sources of humidity, possibly by adding a vent fan or keeping windows closed when the air outside is humid. Installing a dehumidifier is also beneficial.

3. Ignoring Outdoor Problems

When the weather gets rainy or snowy, water often makes its way to the foundation. When water isn’t diverted away from the house, it seeps under the home. The solution here may include installing rain gutters to channel water away from the home. Many homeowners also slope soil toward the home, not realizing its impact. Slope soil away from your house and foundation, filling in depressions where possible.

4. Patching Foundation Cracks

While plugging cracks and holes in your home’s foundation may help reduce some of the moisture in a basement, it does not get to the heart of the real problem. You can use a material like hydraulic cement to patch holes while you address other issues, but do not ignore the root problem, which may be rainwater being channeled toward the home. It is helpful to combine patching cracks with a heartier solution like drainage tubing.

Home inspection

Any basement, even a finished one, has the potential for moisture. Pay close attention to the signs.

5. Using Organic Material to Finish Basements

It may be true that finishing a basement can help to prevent moisture from seeping in, but you have to use the right materials. Basements naturally trap humidity and organic materials like wood, paper, and fiberglass can absorb all this moisture. These materials may begin to decompose quickly if there is any moisture present, whether you have drywall or wooden floors.

The key here is to always find and attack the source of the leak or dampness in your basement. In fact, it can be so hard to waterproof a basement that new home inspectors may overlook these issues. Fortunately, taking classes can create a seasoned home inspector who notices all of these issues before they become problems. Get a demo now to see if home inspector courses are right for you.

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