I just bought a house. How do I know if basement needs waterproofing?

If you’re moving into a new house, odds are your to-do list is extensive. From hiring moving companies to getting the carpets cleaned to empty all of those boxes, you’ve got plenty of things to get done. But there are some items you may not yet be thinking about, or some you’re wondering if you need to do them at all. One of those questions may be:

Do I need to waterproof my basement?

If this is your first time owning a house with a basement, or even if you’ve had a basement before, you may not know much about the care and upkeep of a basement. Your house may have a well-tended and prepared basement, or it may be hiding hidden dangers. So follow these three steps to know if your new basement needs waterproofing.

1.Assess the basement as it is now.
Walk carefully through the basement, observing the walls, ceilings and floors. Are there any stains? Is any paint peeling? Do some areas just feel damp, or do some areas have a cooler temperature? Is there any space/separation between the walls and floor? Do you see any bugs or signs that insects or animals have been inside?

This review can help you understand if the basement currently has any water problems. If you see any issues with dampness, leaks or water, you need to bring an expert right away to assess water damage, fix any problems, and waterproof the basement so the problem doesn’t return.

2. Observe the outside of your home, especially where the foundation meets the lawn.
Walk around the house, making careful observations of where the ground and house meet. Are there soggy or boggy areas near the house? Has groundwater accumulated near the house? Are there chips, holes, breaks or cracks in the foundation near the ground? Are there doors, air conditioning vents or windows that open into the basement? Are there signs that animals have lived in or near the foundation?

This review can help you understand if your basement is under threat from anything outside. Pests, rodents and water can all cause significant damage to basements. Water pooling around the foundation of your house often indicates that issues are already happening to your walls, foundation or basement. And just time and the changing of temperature can cause distress to bricks and stone over time. If you suspect any issues, you need a professional to assess the threat of water and waterproof your basement to ensure further damage is avoided.

3. Walk around the house during and right after a snow, ice or rain storm.
Water is the biggest threat to the health of your basement. Tiny leaks, lingering dampness or occasionally puddling can lead to water damage, mold growth and structural failure. Water is most likely to seep into your basement during and after a snow or rain storm, so use the first storm in your new house to get an idea of how your basement handles the rain. Outside the house, do you see puddles forming around the foundation? Is ice freezing and collecting on the walls? Is water streaming away from your house, or towards it? Inside the basement, do you see any leaks coming down walls or puddles where the wall and floor meet? Put your hands on the walls and floors in several places – do you feel any dampness?

If you see any water, dribbles or leaks, or if you feel any dampness, then you need to get your basement waterproofed. Waiting will only worsen the damage and make the issues more expensive.

New home ownership can be daunting, but it’s important to address problems before they become catastrophes. Basement waterproofing can be an easy step to ensure your house will be dry, healthy and safe for years to come.

Contact Thompson Brothers to schedule an assessment of your basement or crawlspace to see if waterproofing services can benefit your home

Family-owned in the Carolinas since 1957

Thompson Brothers helps businesses and families with a wide array of services, from basement leaks, to invasive bugs, to termite services for new home sales.

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Thompson Brothers Exterminating and Waterproofing has been serving families and businesses in North Carolina and South Carolina for over 60 years, and we look forward to serving you. We are happy to provide free estimates with absolutely no obligation to you.

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What Our Customers Say

Sharon P, Waterproofing & Repair

We had extensive water intrusion that our inspector did not see. Thompson Brothers had to engage in grading, extensive digging, reinstallation of French drains, and install a new drainage field. The work was excellent. All personnel is polite, on time, and very professional. Highly recommend.

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Jordan H, Pest Control

Thompson Brothers does an excellent job spraying my home throughout each season to keep unwanted pests out. They are locally owned and customer service is a top priority.

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