Subtle Signs Of Water Damage In Your Home's Basement
If your basement often floods during a severe storm, you may have gotten into the habit of cleaning up the water and mud right away, believing that you have taken care of the problem before any damage was done. However, there may be water damage that you cannot easily detect. Look for the subtle signs below that you may have hidden water damage in your basement.
Walls Start to Bow Inward
One sign that there is hidden structural damage to your basement can be detected by looking for changes in your walls. When you look down each wall with your head against the surface, you may notice bulges, especially towards the centers of the walls.
If the insides of the walls have started to crumble and break apart, they can no longer support the full weight of the dirt on the exterior surface. Also, since the walls form the foundation of your home, the weight and pressure from the structures above will become too much for the walls. Eventually, you will start seeing cracks in the surface as the damage worsens.
Windows and Doors Are Misaligned
Another sign to keep an eye out for is a misalignment of your windows and doors. As the walls of your basement break down from the water damage, they will start to shift.
When the walls shift, the sections surrounding your windows and doors will also move. You may start seeing gaps form on one side of a window, while the wall adjacent to the other side pushes in on the frame. Eventually, you may have trouble opening your windows and doors because the walls shift severely and create a greater misalignment.
Powdery Substance Forms on the Walls
While you are examining your walls for signs of bulging and shifting, pay attention to anything unusual on their surfaces. If you see a powdery substance forming, this is yet another sign of hidden water damage.
When water leaks into the concrete and pushes into the material, it carries with it salt and other mineral deposits. When these particulates reach the surface, they form a powdery residue on the walls called efflorescence. While this residue is not harmful by itself, it is an indicator that water has penetrated the walls and may be weakening the structures.
When you see any or all of the above signs, your basement may have water damage that you cannot easily see. Contact a water damage restoration service as soon as possible to have them inspect your basement and make any necessary repairs before the damage becomes too severe.