Finding leaks in basement walls
If there are leaks in the walls, the water will seep into the basement and it can cause major problems. For your own health and the structure of your house, you need to fix all the leaks immediately. The following steps will offer you sufficient information for a well done job.
Finding the mold
You can start by examining carefully all the basement walls. If there is mold or mildew somewhere, then surely behind it is a leak that feeds them continuously with water. Mold can be spotted immediately because of its color. There is no need to touch it but be careful because black mold is very dangerous.
A leaking brings also a strong smell that fills the entire basement and can tell you if there are problems or not. This odor can come from different sources like bacteria, fungus, mildew or mold. Things can also rot from all the water coming in from outside and the odor of decay can be felt in the same time.
By examining the walls, you can tell if there is a leak or not. Efflorescence, a white and chalky residue is produced by heavy moisture and can be a clear indicator of water seepage. If there is no sign of efflorescence, maybe you can see discoloration of the walls which is another good indicator of leaks. When there is a crack, the water coming in will leave stains on the wall and this eventually discolors it. They have brown color and untreated will spread all over the basement.
Metal and wood items
Metal and wood items stored in the basement will be damaged because of the excess moisture produced by the leakages. A rusty metal, a rotten wood or even a peeling paint will show you clearly that your basement has leaking problems.
Seepage or condensation
Once you have detected some signs of leakages, there may be the possibility of condensation or seepage. To test this, you can take a piece of aluminum foil and put it in the basement wall and leave it there. After a few days, you will remove it and see if you have moisture on the part that was on the wall or the other one. The first problem is caused by a leak and the other one by condensation.