Even small leaks in the basement can bring heavy damages and costly repairs.  Quick action is the key to mitigating future damages and expenses.  Homeowners with basements should know what signs to look out for on a regular basis so they can protect their homes from water damage.


  • Wet or damp areas are a breeding ground for mold. Moisture in basements may come from leaking pipes or windows.  Condensation and high humidity can also cause mold growth.
  • Mold can form on almost any surface including wood, paint, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, upholstery, and other materials. Once a surface becomes wet or damp, mold can begin to grow there if it is not dried properly.  It can hide in areas like ceiling tiles, behind walls, or under flooring.  Pay attention for any signs of dampness, softness of material, discoloration, bubbling, or wrinkling.
  • Mold growth can spread very quickly if not taken care of properly. If the water damaged area is larger than 10 feet, then you may need to consult a professional.  You can also use recommendations from the EPA guide.

Musty Odors

  • You may smell mold before you see it. If you notice an uncommon smell in your basement and cleaning, humidifying, and ventilation don’t eliminate the odor, then mold is most likely the culprit.  It will give off a musty or damp odor.  If the smell is stronger in one particular area or room, then that may be the source of the water damage.
  • If smells worsen with heating or A/C on then that could mean a mold problem in the HVAC, A/C, or heater.
  • If you have cleaned up an area of mold but musty odors remain, then you may have growth beneath the surface of your wall, floor, or ceiling. Materials may need to be ripped out to properly locate the source.

Stains & Discoloration

  • Yellow or brown spots on painted walls and wallpaper is a good sign that there is water damage.
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper can indicate that your foundation is deteriorating. This event known as spalling is when cement under paint or wallpaper begins to flake.
  • If you notice a white powdery substance on a cement foundation, then it is most likely white salt deposits referred to as efflorescence.
  • Stains and discoloration of these types often occur when water is present and may indicate early signs of structural damage and lead to possible failure. An assessment from a trained professional is recommended in these cases.


  • Cracks are commonly caused by water putting pressure on a home’s structure. Excessive water exposure or inadequate draining can also be causes.  Hairline cracks are not worrisome, but cracks wider than one-sixteenth of an inch will need assessment by a professional.
  • Any walls that are displaced or shifting should also be addressed by a professional immediately.
  • Cracks found along window seals and door panes should not go ignored. These areas need to be properly sealed to keep out moisture and thus prevent possible water damage.

Sinking Floors

  • A sunken floor may be an indicator of a damaged foundation or soil erosion beneath the foundation.  It’s not always easy to spot, but if it is noticed then it should be addressed immediately.  An expert will be able to determine if your foundation has structural damage and what can be done to take care of the problem before it becomes worse.
  • Water stains, swollen baseboards, or lifted tiles are other signs that there may be water damage in your flooring. Spongy carpets also indicate that the underpadding or subfloor may be damaged.


  • Water exposure over time will begin to weaken and break down building materials like drywall, insulation, and wood. Pay attention for any signs of wetness, peeling, or softness which may indicate there is water damage.

Recognizing the signs of water damage in your basement will be the best way to spot problems early and take action quickly to avoid heavy costs and losses.  If you do find yourself dealing with water damage, you need a service you can trust.  At Pro Response Restoration our trained professionals are waiting to take your call and handle your water damage problems with care and skill.  We will be there with you all along the way to answer any questions or concerns you may have.  Give our team a call!  469-858-1811


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Effects of Water Damage on Materials in your Home

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How Much Does Restoration Cost After Water Damage?

How Long Does it Take to Fix Water Damage?

5 Reasons to Call a Professional for Water Damage

How Often Does Water Damage Really Happen?


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