If you are like a good number of Australian homeowners, chances are your basement is one of the rooms in your home that is infrequently used. You probably use this space as extra storage, or maybe you have delegated it to laundry. This neglect of this area is what makes it most prone to undetected water ingress, which could end up severely impacting the stability of your entire home. What homeowners rarely consider is that the basement is their first line of defence against moisture damage since the damp proof course is installed between this space and the foundation. Therefore, if the damp proof course has started to deteriorate, the initial signs would manifest at the basement. Luckily, catching these symptoms at early onset gives you a great chance of remediating the damage and preventing extensive structural issues in your home. So how do you know that it is time to hire waterproofing contractors because your damp proof course requires replacement?
Spalling of the basement walls
One of the initial warning signs of water ingress in the basement is when spalling occurs. This spalling typically manifests as flaking of the paint, which would leave patches on the walls as well as particles of debris on the floor. If the spalling is not addressed, your basement walls will eventually crumble, and they will become less capable of withstanding the weight of your structure.
Mineral deposits on the walls
Another sign of moisture in your basement is when you notice mineral deposits accumulating on the wall. The process of this deposition is known as efflorescence, and it causes a whitish or greyish shimmer to form on the surface. The source of these minerals is from the water itself, as the moisture breaching the basement will typically stem from underground water. Efflorescence would be especially prevalent if your basement was constructed with materials such as natural stone or concrete.
Mould in the basement
Mould is one of the signs of a compromised damp proof course that should never go ignored. The reason for this is that mould poses more than just a structural risk to the home. If the mould is left to grow, your entire residence becomes a health hazard as the spores will be airborne and circulate out of the basement and to the rest of the residence. Moreover, mould significantly decreases your property value, as no potential homebuyers would put their money down on mould-infested premises.