How To Spot A Foundation Leak In A Finished Basement

The foundation of your home is supposed to be strong and durable because its job is to support the home. However, many issues can arise that cause leaks. In unfinished basements, leaks can be easy to spot, but determining if you have a leak in a finished basement can be tricky. If you believe you may have a foundation leak, check out these three tips.

Look for Cracks Outside the House

Start by walking around the perimeter of your home while inspecting the foundation for cracks or signs of damage. In some cases, you may need to remove some soil to see enough of the exterior basement wall. Small hairline cracks are normal and may have been created right after the foundation was poured. However, larger cracks may be able to fully penetrate the entire foundation wall.

In rare cases, you may need to have your foundation lifted or adjusted because the foundation is sinking, which is causing the cracks. However, if there is no underlying issue, a good foundation technician can properly seal dangerous cracks to prevent leaking.

Check for Water Damage

The easiest way to spot a leak is by seeing leaking water, but in a finished basement, that's not likely. Instead, you'll need to look for the tell-tale signs of water damage. One of the leading signs of water damage is discoloration on the drywall. The paint may also start to crack or bubble.

If the water damage is left untreated, it may promote mold growth. Mold may grow on the outside of the drywall, making it easy to spot by its green, black, or brown coloring. However, in many cases, the mold is hidden. You can still spot the mold, however, because of the musty, damp odor it creates.

Inspect the Tack Strip

If your basement has carpet, you can spot small or big leaks by checking the tack strip. The tack strip sits along the wall of the basement, and it holds down your carpet. You can easily lift the carpet off the tack strip and replace it.

When exposed to water, these little metal tacks quickly start to rust. Therefore, if you notice rusty tacks and/or little round rust stains on the underside of the carpet, you may have a leak.

A leaking basement can cause lots of issues, especially if the basement is finished. Water can damage nearly any type of material, including carpet, drywall, wood, etc. If you would like to know more about foundation issues, contact a foundation repair contractor in your area today.