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Signs You Have A Moisture Problem In Your Finished Basement

Thursday, June 17th by Shannon Brelsford


Beautiful Finished Basement

Moisture in a finished basement could quickly result in disaster. Know how to spot, repair, and avoid issues in the future!

A finished basement is a wonderful addition to any home, providing extra space for the whole family to gather and spend quality time, or simply extending the available living space of the home. However, finished basements often fall prey to their own nature--being underground can often lead to water problems within the finished basement. 

With a finished basement, this can be a potentially more pressing issue than having water issues in an unfinished basement. In a finished space, there’s typically drywall or sheetrock, flooring and furniture, keepsakes and technology that can be damaged or destroyed. Mold can also more quickly grow in a finished space, as there’s usually more natural material to feast upon than in a bare concrete space. 

But how can you tell when you’ve got a water problem quickly enough to step in? Here are a few of the most common warning signs of a moisture problem in your finished basement. 

Signs of Basement Moisture Issues

Mold Behind Wallpaper

Avoid a serious moisture problem in the basement by watching out for the common signs.

Damp Or Humid Air:

Often the first warning sign will be a slight mustiness or dank odor to the air in the basement. You may find that you feel sticky or as though the air itself is damp, this is a strong indicator that you have a water problem in the basement. 

Staining, Blistering Or Peeling Paint/Wallpaper:

If there is an increased level of humidity and moisture in the air or seeping through the walls, this is a clear sign of the issue within the basement. 

Rotting, Soft or Crumbling Wood, Sheetrock or Plaster:

Softening wall material in a finished basement is a bad sign. If things have progressed to the walls, door and window frames, and potentially even the support beams becoming compromised, the problem is likely to be costly. Rot weakening the structure of the home could lead to a serious safety risk, so be aware of the condition of your materials as much as possible.

Mold & Mildew Stains:

Mold and mildew grow quickly when there is a surplus of natural material to feed upon. It won’t just stop at the walls or flooring, either, it will steadily consume photographs, furniture, books, keepsakes and anything else in its path. Mold can spread up through the home with alarming speed, and cause a massive indoor health issue if not addressed quickly. 

Condensation On Walls And Floors:

Another very clear sign of a moisture problem in your finished basement, is condensation, much like the wet walls and mirrors after a shower, showing up on the walls and floors of your basement. You may also notice beads and streaks of water on electronics, photographs. This can quickly damage and destroy personal belongings and facilitate mold and mildew growth. 

Damp Or Musty Odors In The Basement:

When there’s a water issue in the basement, one of the easiest ways, and fastest way to tell is the smell of the air. As mentioned above, you may notice that the air in the finished basement is humid and damp, usually coming along with that feeling, is the smell of stagnant water, or the slight musk of rot and mildew as water soaks into the walls, floors and furniture in the basement. 

Standing Water:

This is obvious, of course, but standing water in a finished basement is a large problem. While it is possible for water to accumulate very quickly during a storm or with snowmelt in the spring, an accumulation of standing water from rainfall and other precipitation could be indicative of a long-term moisture issue in the basement, which will need  wet basement repair.

How To Fix and Prevent Moisture Issues In A Finished Basement

Waterproofing Install

Ensuring that the basement is fully waterproofed before finishing/re-finishing the space is the key to having a beautiful basement space for years to come!

When moisture issues occur, it’s important to first identify the cause or problem area. In a finished basement, the task of locating the source of a leak is  more difficult  than in an unfinished basement. There may be wall material, flooring, or heavy furniture blocking access to the area that needs to be addressed. To quickly and easily locate the origin of a leak, as well as properly repair the damage, a basement waterproofing contractor should be called. 

  1. Call your local basement waterproofing contractor: A waterproofing contractor will be able to locate the origin of the leak, as well as inspect the whole basement to find any additional moisture related threats, like seepage, hidden mold growth, or secondary leaks. A licensed basement waterproofer will also be able to install a permanent solution to the issue, whether it be a sump pump , dehumidifier, or other drainage system.The contractors in the Basement Systems Network, Total Basement Finishing’s sister company, specialize in wet basement repair
    • Basement Systems offers a wide range of waterproofing products such as sump pumps, crawl space liners, dehumidifier, floor drainage systems,  and more! A Basement Systems specialist will go out to your home to conduct a free, no-obligation estimate and walk you through, step-by-step, each part of the process and all the costs, down to the penny. 
  2. Utilize waterproofed finishing materials for a lasting, beautiful space: The downfall of many finished basements is their lack of waterproofed, non-natural materials which more often than not, leads to the necessity of a wet basement repair and re-finishing. With a typical finished basement, walled with sheetrock or plaster and typically carpeted--when water finds its way in, these materials will be the first to go. Rot, mold and mildew will quickly set in, destroying much of the finishing materials that you may have had in place, calling for immediate wet basement repair. 
    • Total Basement Finishing only uses mold-resistant, waterproof finishing materials for your basement space. From the ceilings to the floors, we promise that our materials won’t become moisture-damaged if a leak ever occurs. Even if you find standing water in your basement, the materials can be cleaned off, removed and the problem can be treated properly. Your finishing specialist may recommend one of our basement dehumidifiers as a safety and comfort measure, to keep down the moisture content in the air. Once the wet basement repair has been completed, the materials can be replaced with ease and you can get back to enjoying your finished basement! 

Finding a Basement Finishing Contractor Near You

Basement Finishing Panels

With our Total Basement Finishing product line, your basement will be an enjoyable area for the whole family!

Total Basement Finishing is proud to have a network of highly skilled, highly trained basement finishing specialists across the United States and Canada. Our local, family owned businesses under the Total Basement Finishing Network are here for you and all your basement finishing needs! 

If you’ve been considering finishing your basement, but are nervous of the potential water issues that you could experience in the future, Total Basement Finishing has the solution for you. Reach out today for your free, no obligation estimate!

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