If you're like many homeowners, you probably don't venture down to your basement every single day. That can make it easy to miss the most obvious signs of water seeping into your basement, such as standing or dripping water. However, even if you miss the puddles, there are usually some tell-tale signs that you have a water issue . . . if you know where to look.
Signs that water is entering your basement
1. That musty, moldy smell. One of the most obvious signs that water has been present in your basement is that moldy, mildewy smell that assaults your nose the second you descend the basement stairs. Even a little bit of mold or mildew can compromise the quality of your indoor air, as your heating and cooling systems (usually located in the basement) can circulate these particles via your duct system.
2. Mineral deposits on the walls. Another sign that water has been present in your basement is white, chalky markings on your walls or floor. These marks are mineral deposits that are left when the water that was in your basement evaporates. Look in the corners and around the bottom of your basement windows.
3. Condensation. Condensation is another sign that there is a water issue in your basement. When the water evaporates from the walls or floor, it doesn't have anywhere to go in a closed basement. It often reappears as condensation on metal pipes, duct work and HVAC equipment.
4. Walls that are bowed or warped. If you basement walls are less than plumb, this, too, can be a sign of water having been present in your basement. Over time, water seeping in from the outside can compromise your basement walls, causing them to bow out or become warped.
5. Rust marks. Water causes many metals to oxidize and create rust. If you see rust streaks around your basement window frames, where your exterior plumbing comes inside the house and/or near the ductwork that leads to your furnace and cooling system, you likely have a water problem.
Water entering your basement can sometimes be difficult to detect, especially if you don't visit your basement every day. However, if you keep your eyes (and other senses) on the lookout for things like a musty smell, mineral deposits on the walls, bowing walls and rust stains, you can call in professionals from a company like Paul's Basement Waterproofing before the situation causes serious and expensive damage.