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If you live in an older home, you may wonder if your concrete basement is leaking even though you cannot see water on the floor or walls. If so, look for the following three subtle signs that your old basement has a hidden leak.
Air Feels Damp
One sign that you may have a hidden leak is feeling a dampness in the air whenever you go into your basement. As the water slowly leaks through the walls and evaporates, the humidity of the room rises. You may feel an increase in the dampness on rainy days when there is more water pouring in around the outside of the basement walls.
Stains On The Walls
Another way to tell if you have a hidden leak is the presence of stains on the walls. When you have a slow leak, the water can evaporate fairly quickly on the inside of the structures. As it does so, it leaves behind the minerals in the water, staining the walls.
Another type of discoloration you may see is efflorescence. This crystalline powder forms on basement walls as water is pushed through the cracks and pores. Along with the water, dirt, and minerals from the concrete are carried along with it. When the water dries, these are left behind, forming the white powder.
Musty Odor Permeates The Air
Either by itself or when combined with one or both of the other signs discussed, a musty odor that permeates the air in your basement is another indicator that you have a hidden leak inside your basement walls. The odor could be caused by old, stale air, but it is typically caused by mold or mildew growth when water is present.
Because your basement is dark and remains moist when there is a leak, it creates the perfect environment for mildew and mold spores to thrive. These fungal growths, especially mold, can be dangerous to you and your household's health, especially if someone in your home already suffers from respiratory problems.
Along with the odor, if you find that you also experience allergy symptoms and throat irritation whenever you are in the basement, you may have mold growing inside your basement walls. In this case, you need to see about stopping the leak as soon as possible to keep the spores from growing and traveling to other areas of your home.
If you notice one or more of the following signs, your basement may have a leak. If so, you may want to contact a contractor who specializes in basement waterproofing to discuss your options for sealing the walls and stopping the leak. You can also check out sites like http://www.centralpennwaterproofing.com for more information.