Lately, whenever you are in your basement, you may have noticed that the air feels humid, leading you to wonder whether or not you have a water leak somewhere. If so, look for the following signs that there is water seeping in from the outside of your home's foundation and through your basement's concrete walls.
1. Water Stains on the Walls and/or in the Corners
One sign for which to look when trying to determine whether or not you have water seeping through your basement's concrete walls is water stains. These stains can appear on both the surfaces of the walls themselves and in the corners.
While concrete may seem to be a solid material, it is actually porous. When water is allowed to come into contact with the exterior foundation, it will go the path of least resistance and find the pores and tiny cracks in the concrete.
Depending on the severity of the water problem around the foundation, the pressure of the water on the outer surface could cause cracking of the concrete. This would then allow even more water to seep in, increasing the deterioration of the material and causing larger water leaks that could eventually cause flooding in your basement.
2. Presence of Efflorescence on the Surface of the Walls
While looking for stains along the inside of your basement's walls and corners, you should also be on the lookout for a white, powdery substance. At first, you may think that the powder is mildew on the surface of the concrete.
However, after closer examination in the light, you will find that this powder is actually composed of tiny crystals. Known as efflorescence, these crystals are produced when seeping water is pushed through the concrete, carrying the minerals along with it.
Once the moisture dries on the walls, the efflorescence is left behind. While the crystals themselves are not harmful to the concrete, they do indicate that water is seeping into and damaging the material, which will eventually lead to rapid deterioration of the structure.
If you find evidence that water is seeping in through your basement's walls, the foundation could start to crumble and deteriorate if it is allowed to continue, which would make the problem worse. Before this scenario happens, contact a contractor who offers exterior waterproofing services so that they can inspect your home's foundation, find the source of the water seepage, and discuss with you options for stopping it.