How Leaks in Your Basement Affect Your Health

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Water Damage and Your Health

Over 98% of homes with basements will experience some type of water damage in their lifetime. Whether that water damage comes from a flash flood, leaky pipe, or leaving a window open in the rain, water damage can pose some serious health concerns. These health concerns come in the form of mold. The EPA has stated that 100% of all types of mold have the potential to cause some health effects – some minor, and in some rare cases, mold can cause death. If you suspect you have mold in your basement or in a wet crawl space somewhere, call to have mold removal done ASAP.

So how do you ensure you keep a dry basement? Great question. Dry basements can be kept through a number of techniques. First, you can keep a waterproof basement by installing a moisture barrier. Typical moisture barriers are made of polyurethane sheeting, and act as a barrier on the outside of traditional insulation from the home. Beyond just keeping a dry basement, moisture barriers have the added bonus of providing extra insulation to your home, which means you get to save money on your electric bill.

Exterior Plants and a Dry Basement

Exterior plants should be placed at least two or there feet out from the foundation of the home, and should be planted deep enough in the soil so that they do not cause water runoff to go towards the foundation of your home. Additionally, for trees with large branches, be careful that the branches aren’t drooping onto the home in a way that will cause extra water runoff to seep into the foundation of the home. It is a good idea to trim the tree branches back away from the home, both to protect from water damage, and from potential limbs falling onto the roof and damaging the home.

Other Basement Waterproofing Techniques

There are a few other dry basement techniques you can employ depending on the type of basement you have. Some basements are built over crawl spaces. Crawl spaces are used to elevate the foundation of the home off the ground, keeping it away from extra wet areas or termite prone areas. Additionally, crawl space foundations are usually much less expensive compared to slab foundations. If you have a crawl space foundation, it is important to waterproof the crawl space by installing a crawl space moisture vaporizer or adding some waterproof insulation. Wet crawl spaces are one of the most common reasons for damaged and rotting wood and mold infestation in a home.

If you have a slab foundation, you don’t need to worry about a waterproof crawl space. Instead, you might look for a sump pump installation. Sump pumps are good for both slab and crawl space foundations. To keep a dry basement, sump pumps are installed in water gathering areas at the lowest point in a basement (where water runs towards. As water runs towards the sump pump, it acts as moisture removal and pumps the water out of the basement, keeping your basement dry.

The last thing you might consider is purchasing a basement or crawl space dehumidifier. Crawl space dehumidifiers do just what the name suggests: pull water moisture out of the air and help you keep a dry basement.

Keeping a dry basement is important for both your health and to protect your hard earned cash. Some of the most expensive repairs come as a result of rotting wood and excessive mold growth in the home. Both rotting wood and mold growth can be completely prevented if you have a dry basement, which can be done by employing these techniques.