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How to Recognize Signs of Damage to Your Basement

Water Damage
Author: ServiceMaster Restore

If left undetected, basement leaks can cause serious and even irreversible damage to your property. While the first signs of trouble are often extremely subtle, checking for these indicators regularly can save you thousands of dollars in repairs. Learn the top 5 signs of basement water damage with help from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore to protect your home.

1. Cracks in the wall, floor or foundation

Cracks in a basement's walls, floors or foundation could mean that water is putting pressure on your home’s structure. Hairline cracks are often harmless, but if those cracks grow larger than one-sixteenth of an inch across, then it's time to contact a professional to assess the situation. If you notice your walls shifting or becoming displaced, call in the experts immediately.

2. Peeling paint

If you see peeling paint in your basement, don't assume it's a normal part of your paint's aging process. Peeling paint could be the first sign of water deteriorating the foundation. If you notice this symptom, watch out for the cement under the paint beginning to flake, also known as spalling, and white salt deposits accumulating on the foundation, also known as efflorescence. Both spalling and efflorescence occur when water is present, so if you see any signs of damage, you may be looking at early symptoms of structural failure. Call the experts right away to assess your basement.

3. Sinking floors

A sinking floor may be one of the most noticeable signs of basement water damage. However, its cause isn't always immediately apparent. If your floor begins to sink, your home could be experiencing foundation damage or soil erosion under its foundation. Either way, the floor should be assessed immediately before its underlying condition worsens and leads to costly repair bills.

4. Musty smells

If your basement develops a musty odor that cleaning, dehumidifiers and additional ventilation can't remedy, it could indicate a serious problem. Musty odors may be caused by mold, which grows near a water source. Smelling musty odors in your basement could indicate that you have a leak nearby.

5. Mold growth

Mold thrives in wet, damp environments, making it a major sign that you have water damage. If you notice mold growing in your basement, you may have a leak. Look for any signs of dripping water or excess humidity and call the experts right away to stop the leak and safely remove the mold from your property.

To keep your basement safe from water damage, check your basement regularly for these symptoms. During times of high moisture, like melting snow or spring floods, inspect your basements more frequently to ensure your home is safe.

In the event that you do notice any signs of water damage, call the professionals at ServiceMaster Restore. Our residential basement and leaking pipes clean-up services can restore your home back to normal as quickly as possible. With the ability to be at your home within 2 to 4 hours of your call, our emergency water damage technicians can take the stress off your shoulders and move you from crisis to resolution fast. After your basement leaks are repaired by the appropriate service, we'll work with your insurance company to get your restoration claims processed quickly. Our caring professionals are at your side every step of the way to make your house feel like home once again.

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