For the Procrastinators: Long Term Consequences of Not Fixing a Leaky Basement

Oftentimes, fixing a basement leak is not a top priority for frugal homeowners:

  • “My basement isn’t even finished.”
  • “I used a wet-vac to clean up the water.”
  • “The water will evaporate.”

While these are acceptable when it comes to cleaning up the aftermath of a basement leak, they are merely bandaids when it comes to fixing the true problem.

The longer you ignore a basement leak, the more likely you will face serious long term consequences of not fixing the issue – a big mistake for homeowners.

What Causes Basement Leaks?

Basement leaks occur when water, either from outside or within the home, enters the basement. A basement leak can be a mere nuisance or it can cause significant damage.

There are 4 main causes of basement leakage:

  • Rain and water pooling around the foundation. If your home is not properly waterproofed, or lacks proper drainage, water can seep through your foundation into the basement.
  • Cracks in or around windows and doors. Any cracks, holes or improper sealing related to windows and doors can allow water to enter your basement.
  • Plumbing issues. Leaky pipes are a common cause of basement leaks.
  • Sump pump malfunction. A sump pump is a piece of equipment designed to deal with the collection and drainage of groundwater under your house. If it stops working, the water in the soil can find its way into your walls and floors.

Whatever the cause of your basement leak, it is important that you deal with the issue as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may be facing serious long term consequences.

5 Serious Long Term Consequences of Not Fixing a Basement Leak

1. Increased Humidity

Although the moisture following a leak will eventually evaporate, doing so causes higher humidity levels in your home.

If your HVAC system has to work harder to remove the moisture from the air, you’ll see an increase on your hydro bill.

2. Mold

Mold needs three things to thrive: food, air and moisture. It can derive its food from any organic matter. Once you add in moisture to the mix, mold is capable of growing and spreading.

Mold is dangerous to the health of your family and pets. Even if it’s located in the basement, mold spores can spread to the rest of your home.

3. Flooding

An unfixed leak in your basement can lead to a serious flooding issue. Flooding in your basement can cause significant and expensive damage.

4. Damage to Structure and Foundation

If your leak is occurring through a crack in your foundation, you want to have that remedied quickly. Otherwise, cracks in the cement can lead to more leaks which can lead to flooding and damage to the foundation and structure.

5. Depreciated Value of Home

Unrepaired damage to your home can significantly reduce its value, making it difficult to sell your home. Also, it may be hard to qualify for flood insurance.

What To Do If Your Basement is Leaking

The first thing you need to do if you find a leak in your basement is to determine where the leak is coming from. If you can complete the repairs yourself, do so as soon as possible to avoid damage to your home and basement.

However, if diagnosing the issue and completing repairs proves to be challenging, you can always contact a professional contractor or plumber.

They can help you pinpoint the cause of the issue and remedy it quickly before significant damage occurs.

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