About 30% of homes across America have a basement. However, this number does not reflect the stark differences by region.
If you’re from the south-central or Pacific regions of America, it’s very likely that you’ve never lived in a house with a basement. If not, there are some important factors to consider.
Basements are useful and can provide many functions, but they have some drawbacks as well. They require some specific maintenance to keep them in good shape.
To find out more about living in a home with a basement, check out the 7 considerations below.
1. Excess Humidity
One of the most common complaints about having a basement is keeping it dry. Unfortunately, too much humidity can cause serious damage to your home.
To prevent this, make sure that your heating and cooling systems vent outside. Also, seal up any air leaks. Make sure to use your ventilation systems when you shower.
2. Leaky Windows
Another potential cause of humidity is the windows in the basement. These are likely to leak at some point in time.
Don’t forget to check them periodically and seal up any leaks you find.
3. Dangerous Mold
With excess humidity and leaking windows, another problem is likely to follow — dangerous mold.
Mold loves damp, dark places. Of course, a basement is a perfect place for it to grow. Mold can cause a range of health issues, so it’s important to kill it as soon as possible.
To get rid of basement mold, it’s best to hire a professional to make sure the job is thorough and removed safely.
4. Bowing and Buckling
Bowing or buckling of basement walls can be a scary sight. It’s caused by foundational materials swelling and shrinking as they absorb and release water over time.
If you see bowing or buckling in your basement, make sure to call a contractor right away before the foundation is compromised.
5. Sump Pump Issues
If you’ve never had a basement before, you may have no idea what a sump pump is. It removes water from the basement and is often necessary in many cases.
Like any machine, it needs regular maintenance. If not, it can fail and cause you more repairs in the long run.
6. Weird Smells
Weird smells are a common complaint about homes with basements. It’s not the most serious issue, but it can signify larger issues to come.
If you’re experiencing weird smells, make sure to check out the water situation in your basement and get it as dry as possible before mold starts to grow.
7. Cracking or Sinking
Just like bowing or buckling, cracking or sinking is a serious problem. It tells you that your foundation needs immediate work and you need a licensed contractor to inspect it right away.
Buying a House with a Basement
A house with a basement can provide some great advantages. A basement can provide lots of extra storage space, protect your family and friends from storms, and even serve as an extra bedroom.
Despite its advantages, it’s important to keep these factors in mind. This way, you can avoid dealing with a damaged basement.
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