Monday, July 23rd, 2012 by Tom Henderson
High temperatures, moiture evaporation, and lack of rain has caused the soil to dry up and crack. The dry soil has shriveled, withered up in most of Iowa included the Central Iowa area. But what does this mean? Is this worse than a wet basement? Let's take a look and compair.
Everyone either has a story or friend who has a story regarding a wet basement. The story, like all stories has a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning many times starts with, "I should have called to get this fixed several years ago, and with all of the distractions and places we have to spend our money the repair of the basement never got done." Or it can have a beginning that has an I thought it was repaired when the guy put in a new sump pump, but you didn't know that unless you put in lines to feed the sump pump it will only help the area closest to the sump and not the rest of the basement. All the while you have spent thousands of dollars finishing the basement only to have it flood and ruin your finished basement.
The middle is usually the clean up story. All of the ruined dry wall, carpet and pad, furniture, electronics, memories, valuables, and the list goes on and on. Wet-vaccing during the middle of the night, hauling the water up the stairs to dump it and back down again to fill the wet vac another time. It is a horrible experience!
The end of the story is the expense of replacing the everything that was damaged. I just did this in my own home, but it wasn't from mother nature raining on us and flooding the basement. It was from a plumbing leak. Did you know that unattended, a broken water pipe can deliver more that 600 gallons of water an hour into your home? Anyway, many times the end of the story has moments of humor, the pain of the event, and it seems like it all ends well. Except, the basement is still not waterproofed and is waiting for the entire event to repeat itself.
The point of all of this all of us humans do not adapt to water quickly. However, water in the basement most of the time damages the basement and tends to be contained into the basement. A wet basement does not tend to effect the upper levels of the home.
Let's take a look at the foundation. In dry times, the wet basement repair idea gets put even further back on the burner. Out of sight, out of mind. But, what's going on with the house. During dry times the basement and foundation is shifting and settling. The settling is subtle and many times goes unnoticed. We as humans can adapt to subtle changes, and adapt to things that are unseen.
Go take a look at you basement. Look for cracks, and bowing walls, stair step cracks in the corners, and cracks in the basement floor. The basement floor is an important part of the foundation and its stablity. If your basement is finished, go around the upper levels and open and close doors, and open and close windows. Sticky doors, and sticky windows are indicators of foundation settlement. But, the important place to look is the attic. What kind of stress is happening in the rafters of your home.
The point of all of this is the wet basement, and although never fun, the damage is generally contained in the basement. However, in this blog you can read that the damage of a broken foundation stretches and reaches to all of the levels of the house. The damage is tremendous.
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