The Cure for Wet Basements in Southern Maryland

Kimberly Bean
Published on December 10, 2018

The Cure for Wet Basements in Southern Maryland

Close your eyes and pretend, for just a moment, that it’s spring in Southern Maryland. (Yes, it will come!) The snow may still be on the ground, but the temperatures are rising.

What happens?

The snow melts, sometimes rapidly, creating lots and lots of flowing water. Add a spring rainstorm to the scenario, and you may be facing a serious problem in your Southern Maryland home.

Where will all this water go? Since the ground is still frozen, it won’t go down. It will follow the path of least resistance, according to Waters Basement Services in Buffalo, NY — where they know a thing or two about winter.

That path typically leads to your Southern Maryland home’s foundation and, eventually, to the basement.

Rainwater isn’t the only type of moisture that seeps into basements, however; something as simple as condensation can build into puddles.

Just as condensation forms when cold outside temperatures meets warm window glass, that same warm air hitting cold pipes or a concrete foundation can also create condensation.

Think you’re safe because your Southern Maryland home is relatively new?

Think again. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) claims that most new homes experience basement leaks within 10 to 15 years of being built.

Worse, excess moisture leads to the development of mold. ASHI experts claim that 60 percent of homes in the U.S. have moisture in the basement and nearly 40 percent of these basements will develop mold.

Let that statistic sink in: More than 60 percent of basements in existing homes have basement moisture.

The key to fixing the problem is to figure out where the moisture is coming from.

Searching for the source

First, you’ll need to figure out if the moisture is seeping into the basement from the outside or if it’s a result of condensation.

Thankfully, this is easy. When you find moisture on a wall, tape a piece of foil to the location. Leave it on the wall for 24 hours and then check the foil for signs of dampness.

If it’s wet on the outside, then the source of moisture is coming from inside the basement (condensation, most likely). If the underside is wet, suspect moisture intrusion from outside the home, says John D. Wagner at ThisOldHouse.com.

Next, you’ll need to pinpoint exactly where the moisture is coming from. Wagner suggests that the most likely area is where the floor joins the walls. Then, check the ceiling for signs of water intrusion (flaking paint, discoloration, etc.).

Other areas to check for leaks include:

  • Beneath buckled floor boards or lifted tiles
  • Rotten wood
  • Near rusty metal surfaces, such as nails and screws
  • Powdery-looking deposits on concrete, stone, and stucco surfaces

 Fixing the Problem

The fix for your wet basement depends on the cause. If it’s condensation, airing out the basement may be the cure.

If the source of the moisture is coming from outside your home, the solution may range from filling foundation and wall cracks with epoxy to more expensive tasks, such as:

  • Re-grading the yard to direct water away from the home
  • Installing drains
  • Installing a sump pump
  • Replacing downspouts and gutters

Kevin Brasler of Washington Consumer’s Checkbook and HouseLogic.com offers DIY solutions to try before calling in a Southern Maryland professional.

If that doesn’t work, don’t give up. Moisture can damage the home’s structure and cause mold. If the DIY suggestions don’t cure the problem, call in a pro.

Waldorf MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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