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6 Easy Ways to Spot Basement Problems

Basement problems can be elusive if you don’t know what to look for. Suddenly, you could start dealing with structural damage or increased moisture throughout your home.

Our team has over 20 years of experience repairing and preventing basement damage. In all that time, we’ve seen the most common indicators that point toward a basement at risk. We’ve compiled 6 of the easiest ways to tell if your basement needs to be addressed—and you’ll be an expert by the end. Let’s jump in!

1. Inspect the Home’s Structure

Your basement serves as the foundation of your home. When damage occurs on basement walls (such as wall cracks or bowing walls), it will affect your entire home’s structure. You might also see issues in your living space such as uneven floors or floor gaps. Make sure to call in a professional foundation repair company to determine the source of the problem.

2. Look for Water Damage

Evidence of basement water issues includes puddles of water, mold growth, wet basement walls, and efflorescence (a white chalky powder) on the basement walls. Basement windows can also be sources of leaking water. All that moisture damages everything it touches and further sets up wood rot. 

The best approach for preventing these issues is to install basement waterproofing measures such as an interior drainage system, sump pump, and dehumidifier. Seek out basement waterproofing professionals for insight and repair estimates.

3. Check and Update Insulation

Rising energy costs are a common concern in North Carolina, especially during the summers. That’s why it’s important to have proper levels of insulation throughout a home to keep the heating or air conditioning inside. Review the areas with ready access, including the attic and the basement. Also, inspect the HVAC ductwork.

Replace any damaged attic insulation or add to it to increase its insulation value. In the basement, the best insulation is rigid waterproof panels that seal against water and provide a vapor barrier.

4. Search for Pests

Moisture in the basement indicates cracks and leaks. Those cracks can easily provide ready access to all manner of pests, from ants to termites and rodents to snakes. None of those critters are welcome and all of them can cause serious damage. 

Search for droppings, nests, and entry points, chiefly from cracks and gaps. The next step is calling an exterminator and then sealing the entry points. Sealing cracks and gaps can also help with basement moisture problems.

5. Test Appliances and Utilities

As the water rises in a basement, it encounters mechanical appliances, including washers and dryers, water heaters, and the HVAC system. That excess moisture can also cause rusting throughout the basement. As you can imagine, the replacement costs for these items can be quite high.

Watch for water lines on the walls and even the appliances that announce the high-water level from basement flooding. Call in a technician to test the appliances and electrical systems to make sure everything is working properly, or they can build a comprehensive list of required repairs.

6. Review Your Gutters, Downspouts, and Landscaping

Water in the basement might come from leaky plumbing, and certainly look for that, but it is more likely to come from the outdoors. Along with checking for basement windows that need to be waterproofed, also look at the gutters and downspouts to make sure they are clear of any obstruction and that the water is channeled away from the foundation. That water should also be routed away from the foundation courtesy of correctly graded landscaping.

A gutter and downspout specialist can help correct any issues found. Landscapers can not only help with the grading, but a general cleanup can help significantly with the home’s drive-up appeal.

Contact Tar Heel Basement Systems for a Free Inspection

If you think you’ve identified basement issues, or you’re looking for an experienced team to perform an inspection for you, consider working with Tar Heel. We’ve been helping homeowners in North Carolina since 2003.

We specialize in basement waterproofing, foundation repair, crawl space encapsulation, and concrete lifting. Our commitment is to the safety of our fellow homeowners—contact us today to schedule a free inspection and we’ll create a repair plan tailored to your home’s individual needs!

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Our Locations

Fayetteville Location

3400 Walsh Pky, Suite 220
Fayetteville, NC 28311

Greensboro Location

611 Summit Ave, Suite 5
Greensboro, NC 27405

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208 Millbrook Rd. Suite C
Raleigh, NC 27609

Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill Location

3333 Air Park Road
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526

Wilmington Location

2155 Enterprise Dr. NE
Leland, NC 28451

Winston-salem / High Point Location

2910 Griffith Rd
Winston-Salem, NC 27103