Dampness in Basement Walls
Consider that you’ve had an accident, leakage, or sudden spout of rain. You are yet to complete your basement waterproofing and your walls are wet. You need to get rid of the water before the dampness sets in.
Dampness is an issue not only with wooden or drywalls, even masonry walls can be affected by it. While not entirely dangerous to the structure, it can, over time destroy the stability of the wall. It can also leave the wall vulnerable to attack from insects, mold and other nasty things that you just do not want in your home.
Among the first signs of a damp wall is that it is wet to touch. That seems obvious, but not many people realize this till the other symptoms show up. A wall that is cool to the touch is not the same as a wet wall. So make sure you know exactly what you are looking for.
The next symptom is a damp smell. Wet walls and the moisture soaking through will give you a smell that is unmistakable. Ever had a wet jacket lying in the laundry basket for too long? That is exactly what it would smell like, but on a larger scale.
Slowly, water marks will start to appear along the walls. They are indicators that certain sections have started to dry out and some others are still damp. They will look like cloud shaped splotches on the wall and will be visible even through wallpaper.
Dealing with it
Don’t try and hide the dampness. You might have seen people simply paint over it, hoping it will disappear. It simply does not work that way. You have to find the source of the wetness, block it, then wait for the wall to dry out completely before covering up the water stains.
If your basement walls are wet, get a professional to take a look at it, get a proper course of basement waterproofing done, make sure that the walls do not get unnecessarily wet again. Prevention is the best cure. This includes every part of the house, not just the basement.
So if there are any wet walls, or walls showing any of the above symptoms, make sure you repair them before it rots away. You may end up spending more money on repairs than on basement waterproofing, which you will have to do either way.