How Water Damage Can Affect Your Home

Posted on: Jan 08, 2021


A flooded basement with extensive water damage and floating boxes in the water

A leaky or flood-prone basement is a homeowner’s nightmare. If you’re concerned about this happening to your property, you might be wondering what to do if the power goes out, thereby disabling the electric sump pump? Also, if a basement flood happens, how much will it cost to repair the water damage? In this case, the average cost of a basement flood in Canada can amount to $43,000. In most cases, this cost can be broken up into:

  • The cost of water removal, ventilation, cleanup, and decontamination;
  • The cost of replacing or repairing belongings; and
  • The cost of property repairs.

Two out of three of the cost factors listed above are related to water damage – proving the extent of its destructive potential. However, the worst kind of water damage isn’t always as obvious. Visible effects of water damage such as mould formation, peeling paint, and warped wood are just some of the “superficial” concerns of leaking pipes, flooding, and burst pipes.

What should be of the highest concern for property owners is water damage that is gnawing at the home’s foundation – if left unremedied, it can negatively impact the entire house.

In this comprehensive article, we will show you the effects of water damage from a leaky or flood-prone basement and how that damage can affect the rest of the house. We’ll also show you the steps you can take to avoid basement water damage and have peace of mind once and for all.

Let’s get started!

Staining and peeled paint on a water-damaged wall

1. Water Damage Causing Electrical Issues

The circuit breaker panel and the electrical wiring that navigates through the basement can easily be damaged by water – it doesn’t take too much of a flood for damage to occur. In fact, all it takes is for the leak to be in the right place. This is not only destructive to the electrical system of your home, but it can also be hazardous to the residents.

Caution: Until electricity is disconnected, NEVER walk through a wet or flooded basement. Even if the water pooling on the floor is in small amounts – as long as there are any risks of electrical issues – walking through the water could cause electrocution.

2. Potential for Mould Growth

An environment that is dark, humid, and damp is conducive for mould formation. Therefore, a leaky or flood-prone basement is an ideal environment for mould. Mould can be harmful to both the property and to the residents living there.

As mould grows, its filaments extend into the concrete to try and absorb any moisture. Additionally, mould also releases acidic compounds, which over time, can weaken the cement. The presence and proliferation of mould can also cause various health issues. Some of the symptoms you might get upon exposure to mould fragments or spores include the following:

  • Runny nose
  • Sinusitis
  • Wheezing
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Red and watery eyes
  • Skin rashes

3. Water Damage Causing Peeling Paint

Peeling paint is another one of the most commonly observed effects of water damage. If your leaky or flood-prone basement’s walls have paint, you may notice signs of it peeling or flaking off. This is because moisture is seeping through the wall, right under the paint. This then weakens the adhesive of the paint, causing it to peel.

4. Damaged Wood on Doors and Windows

Whether excess water is inside a leaky basement or in other parts of your home, wood is a material that is highly vulnerable to water damage. This is because wood is organic, and is therefore more susceptible to absorbing moisture. With too much moisture, the wood will warp, swell, crack, and ultimately, rot.

Though long-standing puddles and floods are often the most harmful sources of water damage for wood, even excess moisture in the air (commonly found in leaky basements) can cause wooden components to absorb moisture and gradually sustain damage.

5. Ruined Furniture, Appliances, and Storage

Furniture, appliances, or other storage you have tucked away in your basement is most likely made from materials such as wood, metal, or both. This means the wooden components of your furniture are susceptible to absorbing excess moisture in the air or from puddles and floods, causing it to warp, swell, or rot.

As for anything made of metal, the effects of water damage will also take its toll. Metal corrodes at a faster rate in damp and humid conditions which are typically found in a leaky basement. The water vapour in the surrounding air oxidizes the metal, causing it to corrode.

Close-up of cracked foundation in a basement

6. Cracks in the Foundation and Walls

Hydrostatic pressure is caused by the presence of excess water which can push against concrete. If your basement is partially or completely built below the water table, hydrostatic pressure can be a major source of water damage.

This pressure can cause cracks to form on the basement’s walls or floors as it pushes against the concrete slabs. It can also force water through existing cracks, which not only allows water to get into your basement but can also erode the existing cracks further.

7. Weakened Walls Due to Prolonged Water Exposure

During times of heavy precipitation or any instance that allows water to accumulate around your basement’s walls, water can possibly seep through the mortar joints between cinder blocks or bricks.

Through time, the original cracks or gaps in the mortar joints can also widen due to the water’s erosion. The result is a weakening of the wall’s overall structure and this can cause the walls to bow inward.

8. Vertical Instability for the Entire House

After prolonged and extensive water damage is sustained by the basement or foundation of the home, the effects will soon be seen in the entire house. The house will begin to shift under its own weight. You may observe uneven floors, cracks in the house’s walls and floors, spaces between walls and ceilings, gaps between walls and floors, and so on.

How Basement Waterproofing Can Help You Avoid Water Damage

The only long-term solution to help you avoid water damage is through waterproofing your basement. There are two main modes of basement waterproofing: exterior and interior.

With exterior basement waterproofing, you can be sure that no water will get into your basement at all, allowing you to properly use your basement as an extension of your living space. In some cases, however, exterior basement waterproofing cannot be done due to constraints in the property’s layout and proximity to surrounding properties.

This is where interior basement waterproofing comes in. This method helps to control the water table level under your property while also expelling water from the basement before it does any damage.

Top-Notch Waterproofing Service in Toronto

At PRO Waterproofers, we are committed to providing innovative and effective waterproofing solutions that will give you peace of mind for decades to come. We know that each home has its own unique needs – so in addition to assessing the state of your basement, we’ll also assess your rainwater management, your property’s water table, the topography of your land, and so on. We will then give your property a customized waterproofing solution that lasts.

We have such confidence in our work and in the materials we use that we even give up to 30 years warranty on complete foundation waterproofing systems. For our customers who need urgent solutions, we offer flexible payment options so that they can avoid basement water damage now – and pay later.

Contact us today to start with a FREE in-home consultation!

If You Have Any Emergency Waterproofing Need, Simply Call Our 24 Hour Emergency Service Team

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Call-Pro waterproofers Ontario Call Us Now : (905) 963-3333