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Basement Maintenance: Helpful Things To Know

by Melanie Peterson

The basement is one of the most utilized parts of the home but is also often not as well-maintained as the more frequently occupied rooms. If your basement is left unkempt and unchecked for a long period, it may pose risks to your home’s condition and your family’s health.

Once you spot maintenance issues that need professional basement repair in Madison, WI, you need to act quickly. For starters, you can learn more about when to get help for your basement by reading this article.

What To Watch Out For

There are many harmful things that may grow or appear in your basement, and addressing them usually needs expert assistance. Some examples are:

Water Leaks

Rainwater seepage or plumbing issues can cause water leakage in your basement. This, if left unchecked, can lead to several problems, such as the growth of mold and mildew (because of the moisture), stained walls and floors, and damaged foundation.

Mold and Mildew

Basements are often damp, which is dangerous and likely leads to mold and mildew growth. Their spores, if inhaled, can cause health issues such as a runny nose, coughs, and itchy skin. Those especially allergic to the fungi may experience severe respiratory problems, like shortness of breath.


Radon is a radioactive gas that can be found in rocks and soil. It leaks into basements through cracks and can become trapped, especially if the space has poor ventilation. This chemical, if inhaled in large amounts, can be fatal. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. 

Sewer Gases

Toxic gases, like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, present in your sewer system may enter your basement through a dried floor drain. If inhaled, they can lead to health problems for the people in your home.


Termites, roaches, rodents, and dust mites are pests that can enter and infest your basement. Their presence is not only bothersome but also detrimental to health—they can trigger asthma and allergies with the bacteria they carry. Rodents and termites, in particular, can also cause structural damage to your home by eating through the foundation.


There are several precautions you can take to keep your basement well-maintained between professional visits. Here are some of them:

Clean Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts can get clogged by fallen leaves and twigs, dirt, and other types of debris. They can also be bent by strong winds. 

Once your provider has checked if the gutters and downspouts are undamaged and working well, you can keep them in top condition by clearing them out periodically and consistently.

Inspect Your Support Beams

Support beams, columns, and girders support your house’s structure. They should be regularly cleaned and constantly checked for gaps, misalignments, pest infestation, or any other damage. Any threats to their structural integrity must be addressed as soon as possible.

Have a Water Leak Detector

Water seepage is unpredictable, so it helps to invest in a water leak detector for your basement. There are smart digital models that can send real-time alerts to your smartphone via Wi-Fi for your convenience.

Check Your Landscaping

Your home and its foundation could be at risk of water leaks if you have flawed landscaping around it. Inspect your landscaping periodically to ensure that water does not accumulate near the foundation or basement’s exterior. Make sure your basement’s surroundings are clear of debris like fallen leaves; if left unattended, these may contribute to water pooling, and eventually, leaks.

Inspect the Pipe Insulation

The cold-water pipes that go through your basement are prone to condensation. As the water or “sweat” on the pipes accumulates, it’ll drip to your basement floor and might form puddles. To help prevent this, inspect your pipes regularly to make sure their insulation is in good condition.

Check Your Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers keep moisture at bay and are especially useful in damp areas like basements. If you have one, make sure it’s clean and working well, as with any other important house system or appliance. If your dehumidifier is old or faulty, it must be replaced. Otherwise, the chances of mold growth in your basement may increase.

Give your basement the same amount of attention you give your living areas. Whatever’s going on down there can eventually affect your home’s overall condition. Exercise maintenance precautions well and call for basement repair in Madison, WI whenever necessary.

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