How to spot a wet basement

The Basement, simply because they are built into the ground has a greater possibility of being flooded, turning a once dry basement into a wet one. If the soil surrounding the basement is ‘water-heavy’, this then puts constant pressure on basement walls. Water also does follow the path of least resistance inside a home and over a period, does manage to get into the basement.
One of the most common physical problems encountered in a house are wet foundations and basements. Therefore, when buying a house, the basement is the first place you must check for dampness. Do not rely on seller disclosures, because the sellers might not even know about it or might even choose not to disclose water problems in the basement. If they do so, it is difficult to prove in a court of law. The process of suing the seller could prove to be very expensive as is the process to dry out the basement. Ensure a qualified and accredited home inspector checks the house.

The signs
Water stains along the walls or floor are a sure sign of a wet basement. These could be caused from something as simple as an overflowing of a laundry tub or water seeping through basements windows, walls or the floor.
Musty odour / damp smell – if there is excess moisture in the basement, you cannot miss that unmistakable smell.
Mould – it could be any colour from black, brown, yellow or green – make sure you get it tested to be certain it is mould.
Efflorescence – this causes a whitish-greyish ash on the walls that sometimes sparkles. It is cause by salt deposits left behind by evaporating water.
Spalling – when water seeps into the surface of concrete, brick or stone – salt deposits from the water cause the surface to peel away.

Potential Causes
– Ground water
– Overflowing gutters
– Insufficient gutters
– Downspouts
– Improper landscaping or grading
– Sprinklers
– Condensation from pipes
– Water leaks inside the walls