Should You Worry About Water Damage In Your Unfinished Basement?


There are many ways that water can reach your home's basement. If your home suffers a flooding event from storms or even a burst pipe, water can trickle down from the upper levels into the lower parts of the house. As a result, most flooding will ultimately allow at least some moisture to reach basements or crawl spaces.

However, flooding in basements is also common, even when the rest of your home remains dry. Concrete is a relatively porous material, and most basements don't have sufficient waterproofing to protect them from water intrusion. These vulnerabilities can allow substantial water to enter your basement after heavy rains, even if the area around your home doesn't flood.

What Makes Basement Floods So Common?

Most home builders design basements with water mitigation, rather than waterproofing, in mind. There are several ways to protect a basement against water damage, even if water can still technically enter the space. Common methods include French drains around the home's exterior or sump pumps within the basement.

These features can often help deal with minor or nuisance flooding, and a good exterior drainage system can provide substantial protection, but heavy or continuous rains can easily overwhelm them. Water will inevitably begin to enter your basement in large quantities once enough water pressure builds against your home's foundation, even with these protective measures.

What Happens When an Unfinished Basement Floods?

While you might think that unfinished concrete walls and floors aren't at much risk of damage from flooding, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about water in your basement. Concrete can retain moisture for quite some time, potentially damaging the concrete but, more importantly, increasing humidity levels in your basement.

Excessive basement moisture can create an opportunity for mold growth on more vulnerable surfaces, including exposed floor joists, beams, and subfloors. In severe cases, this moisture can cause rot in areas that may not even come into direct contact with flood waters. Mold can also easily spread to other parts of your home, especially as it begins to dry.

Secondary basement features may also be at risk. For example, basements often include electrical outlets or circuit breakers for the entire house. While wiring should always be relatively high above the floor, severe flooding can create a risk of electrical damage or even pose an electrocution hazard for anyone who tries to step into the water.

What Should You Do About a Flooded Basement?

Minor flooding that leaves part of your basement floor damp usually isn't a critical issue, although you may want to consider future waterproofing or water protection for your basement. On the other hand, any amount of standing water in your basement is a cause for concern. A substantial amount of water can lead to all the abovementioned problems and may create severe long-term issues.

If you discover a few inches of water on your basement floor, you should contact a professional water damage restoration company. Experts will have the tools and experience to dry your basement floors fully, restore any damage, and prevent lingering moisture from causing more harm to your home.

Reach out to a water damage restoration contractor near you to learn more.


31 January 2023

Recovering From Disaster

When I flipped on the news last winter, the last thing I thought that I would see was my own neighborhood. Unfortunately, I discovered that our entire area was directly in the path of a dangerous mudslide. Instead of relaxing and enjoying my normal morning cup of coffee, I found myself scrambling to gather together family heirlooms and emergency clothing. After the mudslide passed through, my home was in shambles. Fortunately, damage contractors helped us to make things right. If you are faced with a dire situation, don't fret. Damage recovery experts can help you to get back to normal sooner than you might think.