You’ve done the hard work and transformed your basement. Nowadays, it’s the perfect place to watch the big game or use as a play area for the kids.
Unfortunately, your basement can fall victim to damage, just like any other part of your home. Moisture tends to be the primary villain behind a damaged basement, as it can ruin your drywall and carpeting along with your home’s structural supports.
The good news is that you can respond to the water damage in your basement. The professionals serving Raleigh and Winston-Salem, NC, can help get to the root of this damaged drywall and wet carpeting in your home. In turn, they can examine your basement for additional signs of damage that might cause you problems later down the line.
Symptoms of Basement Water Damage
Damp drywall isn’t hard to miss. Neither is damaged carpeting. There’s a chance that you may notice something wrong in your basement before these symptoms start to reveal themselves. Alternatively, there may be signs of damage in your basement that indicate that your drywall and carpeting damage is more than just a temporary thing.
If you want to determine what kind of problems you’re dealing with, keep an eye out for some of the following symptoms:
- Unpleasant smells throughout your basement
- Cracks near the joints, walls, and frames throughout your home
- Standing or pooling water near your carpeting
- Bowing walls
Spotting these symptoms in your basement will indicate that something’s wrong with your home, but that doesn’t always mean you’ll be able to trace your damage to its original source. The symptoms mentioned here can also indicate that something’s gone wrong with your foundation.
That’s where a professional’s experience can really benefit you. If you call a professional out to your property, then they can take a look at your home and let you know what kind of trouble has led to your damaged drywall and carpeting. Professionals can also give you a free quote on the repairs and waterproofing measures that can help prevent comparable damage in the future.
The Forces Behind a Leaking Basement
Your basement doesn’t start taking on water on a whim. Instead, your basement will often have taken on some other kind of damage before your drywall and carpeting end up ruined. There are a few different forces that can stand behind that damage. The most common include:
- Hydrostatic pressure – The most common force to work against your home, hydrostatic pressure forces your home’s structural materials to change size on a molecular level. Rapid changes in size can cause the structures in question to come under a significant degree of stress. That stress can result in cracks and damage that lead to a leaking basement floor.
- Tree roots – Tree roots do not attack your home. Instead, they can grow beneath and around your foundation, creating hollows in the soil as they go. Your basement can then unevenly sink into those hollows. As a result, your basement floor may begin to sink or otherwise become uneven. That unevenness allows moisture into your basement, ruining your drywall and carpeting.
- Oversaturated soil – Certain types of soils are more prone to water absorption than others. If you live on mineral-rich clay, then your soil may expand in the summer and contract in the winter. Expanding soil tends to press up against your home, forcing your walls and floor out of position. Come winter, when those molecules contract, your home can slip out of position, causing your basement floor to leak.
- Damaged structural supports – Certain pests, including termites and carpenter ants, can eat away at the structural supports beneath and within your basement. This damage can cause your floor to begin sinking and sagging, making it more vulnerable to ever-present hydrostatic pressure and localized leaks.
No matter what force works against the stability of your home, moisture tends to have the biggest impact on your drywall and carpeting. Even if the team that originally built your home made a mistake during the construction process, area professionals will still need to address the problems in your home through the lens of hydrostatic pressure. In short, you’ll always need to consider what kind of impact moisture has had on your home when you start exploring repairs for your drywall and carpeting.
Dealing with Wet Drywall and Carpeting
You should not try to remove damaged drywall and carpeting on your own. Instead, if you find your basement’s not drying out, you need to reach out for professional guidance. The contractors serving Raleigh and Winston-Salem, NC, can help you determine why it is that your drywall and carpeting are damaged. In turn, they can walk you through the process of repairing your home.
There’s not often a way to save drywall and carpeting that’s taken on significant water damage. Instead, it’s in your best interest to have other professionals in your area remove the damaged materials from your home and then replace them. Of course, you’re not just replacing an entire wall in your basement. Instead, you’re often replacing a patch.
To successfully replace wet drywall in your basement, the professionals in your area will:
- Measure the hole left in your wall
- Fill the hole with appropriately sized drywall clips
- Secure the clips with drywall screws
- Blend drywall tape and joint compound to smooth out the wall
- Sand the wall until you’re satisfied
Removing your carpeting is a similarly straightforward process. You can work with area professionals to cut away the carpeting that’s been damaged and dispose of it. From there, it’s up to basement waterproofing professionals to determine whether or not the floor underneath your carpeting has taken on any unexpected moisture damage. If it has, you may need to replace the joists beneath your basement. If you don’t, however, you can find a patch of carpeting that you’re fond of and re-lay it throughout your basement.
Other Problems with Your Home
Unfortunately, damage to your drywall and carpeting tends to indicate that there’s something larger wrong in your basement. You’ll need to rely on professionals to determine whether or not this is the case. More often than not, you’ll find yourself contending with some manner of crack, foundation damage, or internal leak. Let professionals determine what’s gone wrong with your home, and you’ll have a better idea of what kinds of additional repairs you may need to invest in.
Some of the most common problems that can damage your carpeting and drywall include:
- Bowing walls
- Cracks near your foundation
- Sinking floors or failing floor joists
In some cases, you may be able to trace the damage you’re dealing with to a problem in your foundation. The good news is that professionals serving Raleigh and Winston-Salem, NC, can help you assess this damage and determine what solutions—piers, wall anchors or other repairs—will eliminate the water that’s damaged your drywall and carpeting.
If you’re concerned about how much repairing your wet drywall and carpeting may cost, you may be reluctant to reach out for professional help. Instead, you may turn to DIY home repair in an attempt to save money. Unfortunately, this method of repair doesn’t always work in your favor. Instead, it can cost you far more than reaching out to area professionals. The mistakes you might make can plague you for years, even if you’re not aware that you’ve made them.
Making Mistakes During DIY Basement Repair
If you don’t have any experience repairing your drywall, you may make mistakes during your DIY work. While it’s never a bad thing to make mistakes while learning new skills, you don’t want to make mistakes when the security of your home is at risk. After all, these mistakes can be costly. You may end up losing some of the materials you’ve bought to restore your home or damaging the tools you need later down the line.
You may also come away from a basement DIY repair job thinking that you’ve repaired the damage to your home when, in fact, you’ve only covered it up. Superficial repairs to your home benefit your basement on an aesthetic level. They also let the damage in your basement fester. The longer that damage goes untreated, the more likely it is to come and bite you later down the line. If you’re concerned with saving money on your repairs, you’ll find that letting your damaged fester costs far more than reaching out to the professionals in Raleigh and Winston-Salem, NC at the first sign of drywall damage.
Budgeting for DIY Home Repair
The cost of DIY home maintenance can also far exceed a homeowner’s repair budget. For starters, repairing your drywall requires you to have special tools, materials, and protective gear on hand. If you don’t already have those materials, purchasing them is going to make it more difficult for you to stay within your budget. Professionals, comparatively, have the professional connections that let them bring in your repair materials without exceeding your budget. These parties also have the tools and safety equipment they need to restore your home on hand, meaning that you won’t have to factor the cost of those tools into your repair budget.
Furthermore, you can never be too sure how extensive the damage you’re contending with really is. If it looks, on a superficial level, as though your drywall and carpeting are damaged, you may be overlooking the source that allowed moisture into your home in the first place. If you replace your drywall and carpeting without attending to this kind of damage, then you’re setting yourself up for additional, more expensive repairs later down the line. If you reach out to area professionals in the first place, however, you can determine just how much damage you have on your hands and how to treat it before it gets worse.
Calling in professionals to help you repair your basement means you can reclaim your home all the faster. Professionals can not only repair the damage your basement’s dealing with, but they can also help you waterproof your basement to prevent future problems with your drywall and carpeting.
Repairing Your Basement’s Damage
The most important thing a team of professionals can do for your home is repair the damage you’re actively contending with. If your drywall and carpeting have started to show signs of moisture damage, then you’re going to need it removed as soon as possible.
This is not the kind of work you want to take on alone. Instead, area professionals can step into your home with the tools and materials they need to address your damaged basement. While professionals won’t replace your drywall or carpeting for you, they can make sure that the supports behind your drywall and floor beneath your carpeting is still in good condition.
Waterproofing Your Basement
Once professionals have determined the source of problems leading to wet drywall or carpeting, they can help you waterproof your home. When you install home waterproofing measures, you can prevent similar kinds of seepage from appearing in your home in the future. Some of the best basement waterproofing measures for protecting your drywall and carpeting include sump pumps and vapor barriers.
That said, no waterproofing measure is infallible. You’ll want to schedule annual home inspections so area professionals can keep an eye on your installations. You may also need to replace or maintain your home waterproofing measures if you want them to continue working effectively.
If the world was a perfect place, the drywall and carpeting in your basement would dry out over time. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. More often than not, the damage that your basement’s contending with worsens over time. If you let that damage sit for an extended period of time, you can lose more than your drywall and carpeting. You can compromise your family’s health as well as the value of your home.
Damaged Drywall, Carpeting, and Your Family’s Health
Damaged drywall and carpeting in your home are more than just temporary inconveniences. They also put the stability of your home at risk. Because these materials can retain moisture for an extended period of time, they can expose sensitive parts of your basement to additional hydrostatic pressure. As a result, your home’s supports may fail more quickly if you don’t get rid of your damaged drywall and carpeting.
Similarly, both of these materials can become incubators for mold spores. While mold spores do not enter your home via the water currents that can damage your drywall or carpeting, they will take advantage of the humidity. If you don’t remove your drywall and carpeting quickly, then the mold growths that have already taken root in your home can spread. There are a few different kinds of molds that can settle in your home, but all of them will put your family’s respiratory health at risk.
Losing Value on Your Home
Nothing’s stopping you from selling a home that’s contending with basement damage. If you try to sell a property with damaged drywall and carpeting, however, you should expect to do so at a loss. For starters, you will have to disclose your unrepaired basement damage in your home’s market listing. This can discourage potential buyers and keep them from coming out to your home.
What’s more, any buyers who do eventually make their way out to your home may need to be encouraged to buy. You risk losing up to 30 percent of your home’s market value by letting moisture damage in your basement go unrepaired. If you haven’t reached out to area professionals because you’re concerned about how much repairs may cost, weigh your potential losses against those costs. Repairing your home may save you money in the long run, even as it makes your home more comfortable to stay in while it’s on the market.
Preventing Wet Drywall and Damaged Carpeting
If you want to get ahead of the kind of basement damage that ruins your drywall and carpeting, you can. The basement waterproofing professionals serving Raleigh and Winston-Salem, NC, can help you waterproof your home either before the initial damage to your home appears or after you’ve invested in repairs. Some of the most effective basement waterproofing measures include:
- Interior Drainage System – If you’re concerned about what kind of impact storms and snowmelt can have on your home, including any drywall and carpeting in your basement, then an interior drainage system is part of the answer. These sub-floor drains that are installed around your basement’s perimeter will catch any leaking water and direct it to a sump pump before it has a chance to damage anything else in your basement.
- Sump pumps – As we just mentioned, an interior drainage system is only part of a basement waterproofing solution. Once the leaking water is collected, it needs somewhere to go. It is then drained into a sump pump system that works to safely and effectively pump this water out of your basement and away from your home, thus making sure your more sensitive belongings and support stay safe.
- Dehumidification – Typical dehumidifiers will not protect your basement in the long term. Professionals, however, can install an energy-efficient dehumidifier in your basement if your humidity is higher than usual. Dehumidifiers, especially non-commercial dehumidifiers, draw moisture out of the air while also keeping your basement healthy. You can pair a dehumidifier with additional home waterproofing measures to better protect your home from leaks in the future.
Note that you should not have any of these waterproofing measures installed in your home before you repair your basement’s damage. Exposing these waterproofing measures to a home that’s actively taking on water will lessen their lifespans substantially. Instead, work with area professionals to repair your home. Only after you’re certain that your basement is watertight should you install one or more of the aforementioned waterproofing measures.
Safeguard Your Home with the Help of Professional Contractors
Getting to the root of damaged drywall and carpeting doesn’t have to be a drag. If you’ve been having trouble with your basement, get in touch with the professionals serving Raleigh and Winston-Salem, NC. A team of experts from Tar Heel Basement Systems can inspect your basement and let you know what kind of damage, outside of your drywall and carpeting, that you’re contending with. They can also equip you with the waterproofing measures you need to prevent future damage.
Want to schedule your free basement inspection and waterproofing estimate? Get in touch with the professionals in your area to schedule a home inspection.