Damp basement walls are a result of the water seeping through them. Water damages the structure of the basement walls, as well as the whole building. Damp basements cause various respiratory problems due to mold growth. It is important to repair the damp basements by detecting the leaks in the basement walls. Follow the directions below to find the leaks in your damp basement walls.
Step 1 - Detecting Mold
Examine the walls of your basement to detect mold. If you find mold or mildew growing on any part of the wall, there is a leak in that part from excess water seeping into the wall and feeding the molds. Mold is easy to find, as it is colored. Black mold is the most dangerous of them all. If your walls have fungus on them, it also shows presence of a leak.
Step 2 - Smelling Air in the Basement
Another way to find out if your basement walls are leaking is by the smell in the basement. If there is a musty smell or odor in the air and the walls smell stronger, you probably have a leak. The odors come from the bacteria, fungus, mildew, and mold grown on the damp walls. As the water rots things, you can also smell the odor of decay.
Step 3 - Finding Efflorescence and Examining the Wall Color
Another indicator of leaks in a damp basement wall is the efflorescence. Examine your walls to find efflorescence, which is identified as a white, chalky residue. It is produced by heavy moisture due to water penetrating the walls. If you find it on your damp walls, there is certainly a leak in the walls.
Another way for finding leaks in the basement walls is looking for discoloration of the walls. When there is a leak in the walls, the seeping water leaves stains on the walls and discolors them. These stains are usually big and brown in color, spreading across your basement walls.
Step 4 - Inspecting Metal and Wood Items
If your damp walls are leaking, they are likely to damage the metal fixtures and wood items in the basement by producing excess moisture in the air. Rusting metal items, such as nails, as well as rotting wood, and peeling paint are all indicators that your basement walls are suffering from some kind of leak.
Step 5 - Seepage or Condensation
Once you have determined that your damp walls have possible leak, you must confirm whether the water on the walls is because of condensation or seepage. Tape a small piece of aluminum foil to your basement wall and leave it there for a few days. When you remove it, examine the surface of the foil. If you find moisture on the surface that touched the wall, there is a leak in the wall; however, if the outside surface of the foil has moisture, then you are dealing with condensation.