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Basement Warning Signs

Moisture and Leakage Warning Signs in Ontario Basements

Take a look at common warning signs and problem that might cause or be causing flooding in your basement. Before water in your basement causes expensive repairs have our experts at Omni Basement System find a waterproofing solution that fits your basements need.

Damp Spots on Walls

An unpainted block will turn a darker grey when it's wet. A painted wall will show discoloration, or a darkening of the paint. A poured wall might show discoloration. In any case, there might be white or dark outlines surrounding the area, which means that either its leaked before, or substantial moisture has come through in that area. Outlines on the foundation are evidence of previous water leakage in the basement.


Mold or Mildew

Mold and mildew are living, breathing organisms that grow and multiply anywhere there is excessive moisture. Both mold and mildew can grow in the walls, carpeting, furniture, or anywhere else it can find an organic food source such as wood, insulation, paint, paper.

Microscopic spores are the reproductive mechanism by which mold spreads and these spores can remain dormant. That means that even if you don't smell or see  mold or mildew in your basement or crawl space, it may still be there.

  Mold / Mildew

Peeling Paint

If you have a painted room in your basement or even crawl space and you notice that the paint no longer stays on the walls or floor there is too much moisture in those rooms. Flaking paint can be caused from dampness in the air, incorrect types of paint being used or the type of surface is incorrect. Another problem you may notice is bubbles in your paint. This can indicate that water is seeping through walls and collecting behind the paint. A big sign that your basement walls require repair or waterproofing.

  Peeling Paint

Rust on Appliances or Jack Posts

Metal is susceptible to rusting when there is excessive moisture in the environment. The rust may begin on fuse boxes, water heaters, jack posts or appliances due to excessive dampness and humidity.

Once rust occurs, you have to completely remove the rust and repaint as soon as possible, and then look for the cause of the moisture. If not, the rust will reappear again and again.

  Rust on Appliances or Jack Posts

Musty Odor

Musty "old basement" odors are merely the result of the decay process associated with mold, mildew and dry rot. It is the odor given off by the decaying material.

Once you smell a musty, mildew odor, look for the source, and try cleaning any item that has the smell. If it returns, you'll need to replace any items that smell of mildew.

  Musty Odor

Dry Rot

Basement dry rot is a brownish-black fungus growth on walls, clothing and other surfaces; it typically grows on wood surfaces.

Keep in mind that dry rot is a byproduct of the decaying process - you'll need to not only replace whatever is damaged, but also find and cure the cause of the dry rot forming in the first place.

  Dry Rot

White Chalky Substance on Basement or Crawl Space Walls

Another sign that water is entering your basement is when the process known as Efflorescence occurs. This is when the salt is mixed with water and when the water evaporates you are left with a dusty white coating on your walls or floors. This can indicate that water at some point entered in to your basement through your walls or through a crack.
  White Chalky Substance on Basement or Crawl Space Walls



Do's   Dont's
Always get sound professional advice - ask the company giving advice what they specialize in before you tell them you have a basement problem. If they don't say 'Basements' in their first response consider finding another company.   Do not rely on the advice of any individual or company that is not a true dedicated basement waterproofing specialist.
Wherever possible include drainage to alleviate basement or crawl space water pressure as part of your solution.   Never rely solely on 'bonded' waterproofing such as render or asphalt to hold back water pressure. Over time it will fail.
Choose the systems you need based on its technical merits and your performance criteria.   Do not choose the wrong system just because it is cheaper - it will almost always cost you more for a superior basement waterproofing system. Many people have paid for the wrong system and installed the right one some months or years later.
Always choose a system that comes with good quality sales service.   Never choose a system that does not include sales service.
Always assume that water pressure could increase in the future - this might be due to high rain fall or a burst water-main.   Do not rely on the past history of a basement to predict its future likelihood of flooding.


If you have any of the problems listed and would like more information, please contact Omni Basement Systems for basement waterproofing in Oakville or the surrounding areas. We service Hamilton, Burlington, Kitchener, St Catharines, Guelph, Cambridge, Brantford, Niagara Falls, Milton, Waterloo, Welland, Stoney Creek, Georgetown, Dundas, Grimsby, Ancaster, and the surrounding areas in Ontario for basement waterproofing.

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