Causes for Water in Your Basement or Crawl Space

Even a tiny amount of moisture in unwanted spaces can mean health risks and huge repair bills. Home maintenance is the homeowner’s way of protecting their home so that their home can then protect them in return. The more you stay on top of the various systems in your house the better armed you will be against moisture issues.

This time of year, the ground is soaking up a lot of water and the colder temperatures, lack of sunlight, rains, sleet and snow mean that the ground won’t get a chance to dry out until springtime. Along with regularly cleaning out gutters and downspouts, we all need to keep an eye on our basements and crawl spaces to make sure the moisture in the earth isn’t escaping up into our homes.

Causes of moisture issues in home or business

The water table will rise in the winter, saturating the soil around your foundation and pushing moisture up into your basement or crawl space.
Graphics by Geoff Ruth, via WikiCommons

Moisture can severely ruin the integrity of your home

Standing water, even a tiny amount, in your basement or crawl space, is a concern. And just because you can’t see any water, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Run your hands over the walls, floor and ceiling and make sure these aren’t damp to the touch. If you are storing anything in your basement, make sure boxes aren’t showing signs of water damage or mold. If the air feels damp or humid, and you get that musky smell, chances are there’s moisture lurking somewhere.

Finding moisture issues in your Colorado home or business

A professional home inspector will be able to assess the root of your moisture issues and give you an estimate for repairs.

Getting to the root of the moisture problem

  • Check for obvious signs of damage to your walls and foundation. Cracks are never good and should be repaired as soon as they are spotted.
  • Check the windows in your basement or crawl spaces and make sure they don’t need to be resealed or replaced altogether to prevent moisture from seeping in.
  • Check for proper drainage around your foundation. If the dirt isn’t sloping away from your home, or you notice puddles of standing water around your foundation, the ground isn’t draining properly, and moisture could be building up. When the ground is oversaturated, it will force the excess moisture to flood your basement, and crawl spaces. If this is the case, you need a professional to assess the situation and put in the proper systems to protect your home.
  • Check your sewage. Severe rains and winter moisture can cause the sewage systems to be overwhelmed causing sewage to come back up through the drains.

If the problem is a clogged gutter or downspout, then you can DIY; if it’s more serious, DDIY (Don’t Do It Yourself). Call a professional. Moisture issues are dangerous and expensive. If you have damage to repair, make sure you hire a professional who can fix your home properly so that you won’t have similar problems in the future.