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Should You Buy A Home With A Wet Basement?

Since basements are built into or under the ground, there is always the possibility that water can intrude. Discovering moisture in a basement is rarely a cause for celebration, especially when this discovery takes place during the home purchasing process. If you've found your dream home only to discover that it’s in dire need of basement waterproofing service, don't despair. Now that you've identified the problems, you can take steps to better understand whether it's worth proceeding with your offer to purchase.

So, what's a smitten homebuyer to do if they're potential new home has a wet basement?  Is it worth salvaging or is it time to move on?  And how do you spot a wet basement?  Your London Ontario basement waterproofing experts at BEST have all the answers.

A Word of Warning

Whatever you do, don’t rely on seller disclosures if you suspect that a home has basement waterproofing problems. Sometimes even the seller may not know about the issue. Always insist on a home inspection as one of your purchase conditions. The home inspector will be able to identify any problems and provide you with a final recommendation.

How to Recognize the Signs of a Wet Basement

While getting a home inspection of your own is always good practice when considering buying a house, home hunters can often detect a basement waterproofing issue simply by looking for signs of moisture. Here’s what to look for:

  • Water stains along the walls or floor.
  • A musty odour or damp smell.
  • Mold.  This typically presents in a black, brown, yellow, or green colour.  However, you won’t know for certain that it’s mold until you test it.  According to the BEST Plumbing and Drainage basement waterproofing experts, you should always start your search for mold in the northwest corner of a home. This is the “cold corner”, as such, it is the most susceptible to mold.
  • Efflorescence.  If you notice a white or grayish ash on the walls that is sometimes sparkly, don't be fooled: it is not a part of the home décor!  It is a sign of efflorescence and it’s caused by salt deposits that are left behind by evaporating water.
  • Spalling.  If there is concrete, brick, or stone in your basement and the surface is flaking away, peeling, or popping off, you're dealing with a condition called spalling. Again, this is caused by salt deposits from the water.

If you are uncertain about any of these symptoms, it never hurts to have a basement waterproofing service take a look.

What Causes a Wet Basement?

Now that you can recognize a wet basement, it’s time to learn the causes.  Some are beyond your control, some are due to structural flaws within the home, and some will require a basement waterproofing service to fix.

  • Ground water seeping through floors and foundations after a very heavy rainfall, seasonal runoff, or constant water seepage
  • Overflowing of the gutters due to:
    • Excessive rainfall
    • Clogging of gutters
    • Improper installation
    • Sudden thaw from frozen gutters
    • Downspouts that don’t stretch far enough away from the house
  • Improper landscaping that directs water towards the house instead of away from it
  • Sprinklers aimed towards the house
  • Condensation from pipes in high humidity areas
  • Water leaks inside the walls

Solutions from our London Ontario Basement Waterproofing Experts

As you can see, the causes of a wet basement can range from simple to complex.  It’s all well and good to dry out a wet basement, but what about long term prevention? There's no point in purchasing a home with a wet basement if there's no way to fix the issue. Here are some basic things you can do to prevent water from seeping into the basement of your new home:

  • Fix the downspouts
  • Clean out the gutters
  • Regrade the landscaping to slope away from the house
  • Use a dehumidifier in the basement
  • Insulate the walls

However, some things require an experienced basement waterproofing service like BEST Plumbing & Drainage Contractors, such as:

  • Installing French drains
  • Installing drain tile
  • Installing a sump pump

In short, the answer is yes – you can buy a house with a wet basement.  Simply contact BEST Plumbing and Drainage Contractors for assistance. We can help you dry out the basement and keep it from leaking – both now and in the future. For more information, contact our London Ontario basement waterproofing service or contact us for a complimentary onsite assessment.

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At BEST Plumbing and Drainage Contractors, we feel it's important to help homeowners understand the role of the contractor and the various construction solutions available for each unique plumbing, wet basement repair and drainage issue. We are more than happy to consult with you and help navigate the process.

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