Basement Water Damage: 7 Signs to Look For

Search by keyword or browse all posts

You know water in your basement’s probably not a good sign. But for first-time homeowners, it can be difficult to gauge the severity of possible warning signs. We’ve got a handy list of seven signs of basement water damage and what they may mean.

Over 98% of homes with basements will experience some kind of water damage at some point. To avoid long-term damage, you can hire a basement waterproofing company. But to find out if your basement is experiencing water damage in the first place, look out for the following indicators.


Standing water or sewage inside your basement is the most obvious sign that you probably have water damage in your basement. This doesn’t have to be the result of a flood or sewage backup — water damage can also be caused by a slow plumbing leak or sub-par drainage. Because of the implications of this, it’s advisable that you inspect your basement for water damage at least once a month.


Mold depends on water to grow, and it’s usually a sign of water damage when it’s discovered in your basement. If you find mold growing in your basement, there has to be a consistent source of water or moisture that’s causing it. This could be anything from slow plumbing leaks to simple condensation from HVAC systems. But it could also be a sign of a much larger problem.

While water and bleach will clean up surface mold, the problem may come back if the source of the moisture isn’t addressed. You should usually call a mold remediation specialist, who can fix the source of the moisture. They will make sure the mold is permanently eliminated. Your basement waterproofing company would be able to recommend someone or perhaps even deal with the problem themselves.


If you find cracks in the walls, floor, or window seals of your basement, there’s a definite possibility that water is seeping in through those cracks. That can cause significant problems down the road. These cracks are generally caused by extreme temperatures or water putting pressure on your basement’s structure. Hairline cracks don’t typically pose a threat. Cracks wider than one-sixteenth of an inch must be repaired as soon as possible.


Between leaking pipes in the ceiling and cracks in the foundation, yellow-brown stains are a common sight in basements, and that’s not a good thing. These are a sign of water damage, which can result in mold or permanent damage down the road. These stains can be found on walls, ceiling tiles, carpeting, paneling, and more. Stains themselves are fortunately fairly easy to hide or remove. To be safe, you should still call a specialist or your basement waterproofing company for help.


It’s a fact of life that basements are prone to having peculiar smells. But if a particular scent is abnormal, persistent, and especially unpleasant, you should take note. Clean and inspect your entire basement thoroughly. Look for additional signs of water damage, such as mold, deterioration, and stains. If you aren’t able to locate the source of moisture but the strange odor persists, you should again call a basement waterproofing company or restoration specialist.


Similar to stains, crumbling or deteriorating walls and other materials are typically a sign of water damage. Drywall, wood, and plaster all break down over time if they see repeated exposure to too much moisture or excessive standing water. Flaking and peeling paint may only be a sign of old age, but it might be caused by water damage as well.


Efflorescence is the white, sparkling, powdery coating on some foundation walls and other surfaces. This always shows up as a result of consistent moisture presence. While efflorescence is often mistaken for mold, it has a distinct shimmering appearance to it, as if it’s made up of millions of small crystals. It’s often an indicator of poor waterproofing, and it’s another sign of water damage.


For basement waterproofing services and other foundation repairs, reach out to Guardian Foundation Repair. Don’t wait, especially if you see any of the above signs of water damage in your basement. We’re ready to address your needs quickly and effectively.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.