Trying to figure out whether or not your basement is suffering from a crack or leak can be stressful. After all, the untrained eye has a difficult enough time determining what the symptoms of basement problems are. Trying to tell the difference between a crack and a leak, not to mention a basement crack and a foundation crack, is nearly impossible without help.
When in doubt, you’ll want to call an inspector to look over your home. What, though, are some of the things they’ll want to look over?
Immediate Cracks or Joint Problems
The first thing an inspector will look for when touring your home is an obvious crack near your basement’s joints. The most common types of cracks to appear in your basement and foundation include:
- Horizontal Cracks – Horizontal cracks are the result of excessive hydrostatic pressure building outside of your home.
- Vertical Cracks – If your walls are supported by green wood or other inappropriate building materials, you may see vertical cracks start to appear throughout your basement, as those materials aren’t meant to stand up to long-term moisture.
- Diagonal Cracks – Hydrostatic pressure can also cause diagonal cracks to form across your foundation. These cracks indicate that one side of your home is settling or sinking faster than the other, though, whereas horizontal cracks form in homes that are uniformly sinking.
- Stair-Step Cracks – If your foundation is made out of brick and mortar, cracks caused by hydrostatic pressure will form along the mortar lines.
Whether or not an inspector notices a crack in your basement, they’ll want to dig deeper if your basement shows signs of a leak. Some of the most common symptoms associated with an unseen leak include:
- Dropping basement temperatures
- Fogged-up windows
- Sticking doors
- Warped or damaged belongings
- Unpleasant smells
Damage to Your Sump Pump
If you have a sump pump protecting your house, an inspector will need to assess its health. A healthy sump pump will continue to protect your home from the worst rains in Rush City, MN. A sump pump that’s cracked due to stress or otherwise been blocked, however, can send water and debris back into your home at a rapid pace.
Damage to Your Plumbing
Excess dampness is more than just a symptom of a leak in your foundation or basement. That dampness can actually compound on itself and cause damage to your pipes. Inspectors looking over the state of your basement are going to want to look closely at your pipes to see a) where any excessive dampness is coming from, or b) if dampness from a leak may have caused them to fracture.
Unfortunately, a leak in your basement can cause your pipes to start leaking as well. The good news is that most inspectors will be able to tell the difference between a pipe that’s leaked due to internal stress and a pipe that’s burst due to external forces. Either way, these leaks can make it much more difficult for you to manage the internal temperature of your home – not to mention your water bills. By identifying them before the damage can get too severe, inspectors can help you better protect your home and your pocketbook.
Damage to Your Insulation
Are you using your insulation to waterproof your home? Even if you’re not, basement and foundation inspectors are going to need to look over your insulation if you think you have a leak on your hands. Why? There is a multitude of reasons.
If your insulation does serve as a hydrophobic barrier between your basement and the soil outside, then it can become damaged after long-term exposure to moisture. If your insulation is a thermal barrier instead, exposure to moisture can make it the perfect home for mold particles or even critters that have managed to invade your home. If an inspector tells you it’s time to replace your insulation, you’re going to want to do so as soon as you can.
Waterproofing Solutions in Need of Updating
Last but not least, inspectors will look over any waterproofing solutions you have in play to ensure they’re still working as they should be. It’s best, in these circumstances, to try and work with an inspector who’s either been in your home before or helped install your waterproofing solutions of choice. The familiarity will help these inspectors better understand the kind of environment your solutions are working in.
There’s no need to panic over a basement and foundation inspection. If you think you may have a leak on your hands, reach out to a professional in Rush City, MN, for guidance. After a free inspection, they’ll be able to give you a quote on potential repairs and advice on how to move forward.