That dank, musty smell caused by mold spores
Everyone is familiar with the musty moldy smell that hangs in the air of some homes. It is definitely not pleasant and is certainly not healthy. Often when the house has been closed up for several weeks, one gets a whiff of that smell when one first walks back in. The presence of the mold spores that float in the air and give rise to this smell. These can cause numerous respiratory problems if inhaled over a long period of time. So it is essential to keep ones home as free as possible from the dampness that causes the odor.
Temporary or occasional problems may be caused by a leaking pipe or gutter. This could send water percolating down the wall cavity, and it’s quite easy to trace and fix. The obvious signs of dampness in the ceiling or paint peeling from the walls can quickly lead an experienced professional to the source of the problem. Once it has been pinpointed and definitely located, it is then only a question of doing the necessary repairs to solve the problem. Best of all is that it probably won’t return.
The waterproofing issues down in the basement
Down in the basement, however, there are other issues that are not as simple to trace or to fix. The presence of ground water in the soil around the home, which is always going to be around in some measure, needs to be addressed. The level of this subterranean ground water, or the water table, as it is called, can give rise to many of the dampness issues affecting home basements.
Where does the ground water come from?
Natural ground water exists in some measure in all localities. This water results from a great variety of factors. Heavy rain falling from above, as well as increases in the natural water sources from below, can cause ground water to rise high enough to flood the soil around the house foundations. This might not be visible when you walk around in your yard, but if you dig down a few feet, you’ll quickly discover just how much water may be lurking quite near to the surface! As the foundations of most houses are constructed at quite a depth below the topsoil, they are going to be surrounded by damp dirt. The effect of climatic and other geographical changes, which may originate far from the present locality, can cause dramatic increases in the water table. This gives rise to what is termed hydrostatic pressure against the foundations. The result is that damp starts penetrating through and into the actual structure of the home.
Foundation construction and waterproofing
Depending on the type of foundations, the way they were waterproofed when they were originally constructed will make a big difference down the line. The porosity of the concrete or brick used and the nature of the sealant materials that were applied will obviously make a big difference. Like everything in nature, there is a gradual deterioration that creeps in with time. One needs to be able to redress or limit the effects of this when maintaining one’s home.
Can these problems be solved
No matter what the cause, the dampness problems can almost always be alleviated by a good professional waterproofing contractor. Don’t wait, get the advice of a reliable firm and get the mold and damp out of your basement.