Don’t Underestimate the Price Tag of a Wet Basement
Water on the floor, hidden mold, musty smells—wet basements are inarguably unpleasant. But when a heavy rainstorm hits your neighborhood, the most significant flooding may happen within your own home. If your basement is not properly fitted to handle a sudden influx of precipitation, you could be up to your ankles in water at any time.
Even if you are sure that your home is prepared to handle any natural event, you may be wrong. Major flaws are easily hidden by home sellers, and the impact of flooded basements goes beyond just physical damage. Wet basements also impose major financial, health, and mental costs on a homeowner. This is why it is essential to understand the basic causes, costs, and prevention of wet basements whenever buying a new home.
Why Do Basements Flood?
Water most often enters a basement in two main ways: inadequate or damaged sump pumps, and cracks in your home’s foundation. If a major rainstorm suddenly hits and your house’s line of defence isn’t up to par, all of that water has to end up somewhere. Furnished or unfurnished, basement water damage is not easily reversed. On top of that, most homeowners significantly underestimate foundation repair costs.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix a Wet Basement?
To start, the financial costs of a wet basement get steep. According to a recent survey, 37% of homeowners dealing with basement water damage spend over $5,000 to cover the losses. A quarter of respondents spent between $5,000 and $10,000. To deal with the cleanup process, 31% of respondents had to take time off from work. While total costs will vary depending on the furniture and objects in your basement, as well as the extent of the damage, there is no doubt that a wet basement is a blow to the wallet.
Can’t Put a Price on Your Health
Perhaps less immediate than the financial aspect of a wet basement, though just as significant, are the health costs. Among survey respondents who reported living in a house with a leaky basement, 76% said they are worried about mold, knowing its detrimental impact on health. Even worse, 30% of those respondents had already experienced symptoms from mold in their houses or workplaces. These symptoms include coughing, headaches, watery eyes, fatigue, shortness of breath, and skin problems.
Knowing the threat that mold infestation poses to your health can also cause some serious anxiety. About 76% of survey respondents were worried that mold would cause harm to them or their family. There are other stressors to consider as well, with 62% of homeowners constantly worrying about water entering their homes. Homeowners also reported worrying about furniture damage, taking time away from work, real estate complications, and having to leave their home because of water damage or mold.
Is Basement Flooding A Common Issue?
This happens more than you may think. The survey revealed that 55% of people have lived in a home with a wet basement. Some of these homeowners undoubtedly discovered the flooding after buying and moving into the home. As a home’s foundation damage is easily hidden on a bright and sunny day, these homeowners were likely blindsided when they first found water leaking into their home. Unfortunately, some people choose to ignore these problems until mold or foundation repair becomes a full-blown crisis.
Situations like this are tricky, because sellers may not always have to inform potential buyers of these foundation problems. This is regulated by state laws, according to the online legal resource Nolo. Even though most states do require home sellers to provide detailed information to potential buyers, hiding a home’s faults still happens.
So, What Can I Do To Avoid Having A Wet Basement?
The absolute best way to prevent yourself from swimming in property damage is to hire a professional home inspector before you buy. These professionals are trained to locate any potential problems and shortcomings. Especially when you are considering buying a home, take a walk through the basement with the home inspector. Even if you think this home could be the one, keep an open mind, as your predispositions might be challenged as the inspector points out any issues.
If there are issues, you still have options. Foundation repair and basement waterproofing can effectively solve this problem, preventing future basement flooding and water damage.
As a homeowner, making sure that your home is functioning at its best should be a top priority. If you spot any leaks or water damaged-walls that look suspicious, call a foundation repair company immediately. Even if everything seems to be running well, being proactive about scheduling regular home inspections will save you money and stress in the future.
Austin Werner is the President of Real Seal LLC, abasement waterproofing company based in Schaumburg, IL. Real Seal is committed to personalized and expedited service and, of course, dry basements!
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