4 Most Common Basement Issues Homeowners Have to Deal With

Owning a house is the dream of many people. After all, it sounds like the natural next step in life after landing a well-paid job and buying a new car. And this certainly has its benefits. You no longer have to worry about paying rent or upsetting the landlord. You are the master of your own domain, and what a lovely domain it is!

But being a homeowner is never an easy task. Not only do you have to handle maintenance tasks, but you also must make sure that everything always runs smoothly. And when issues appear, you are the first line of defense against them. Some of them are indeed possible to fix on your own, while for others you require expert help.

Most Common Basement Issues

The underground part of your living quarters is perhaps the least visited one. This is why problems can appear there without you even noticing it at first. However, it’s crucial to resolving them promptly and effectively, just like you would in any other part of the house. To aid you with that, here are the four most common basement issues homeowners have to deal with and advice on how to overcome them.

1. Unpleasant Odors

Surely some readers out there can’t help but wonder: why does my basement smell like sewage? If this is your current situation, you need to be aware of the pressing problem that might be going on in that area of the house. If you have a floor drain down there, it most likely got clogged over time, which is now propagating that unpleasant odor all throughout.

However, the issue could be as aggravated as a broken sewer line. You can detect it yourself with leak tracing dye, but the repair itself is best performed by a specialized plumber. While unclogging a drain is something you can pull off on your own, more serious fixes require professional assistance.

2. Mold and Mildew

According to the Washington Post, newer homes are actually more susceptible to mold than older models. This pesky little house parasite needs three things to thrive: humidity, ideal temperature, and source of food, which in its case is dust or dirt. All these three conditions are usually met in a building’s basement, and therefore it is most widely encountered there.

A mixture of detergent and bleach is the most suited to eliminate both surface mold and its spores. However, this is not enough. You will also need to remediate the three things that fuel it. This can be especially hard, seeing as how most living spaces provide it with the ideal environment to evolve in.

3. Cracked Walls

Basements get cracks in the walls all the time. This happens due to soil expansion generally caused by a surplus of rainwater. Excessive pressure is thus applied to the room’s foundation, causing it to crack eventually. It’s best to fill these in as soon as they appear. Not doing so leads to leaks, which are the main culprit behind an entire other series of problems.

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Furthermore, unattended cracks evolve in time, causing the walls to finally buckle or even bow. If this happens, you will need to call in a professional for a full-in bowed basement repair. This will be costly and extensive, so it’s best to prevent it early on.

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4. Flooding

The flooding of a basement happens in under various circumstances. Your sump pump might be defective, surface water might be running down the walls of your foundation, or you might even get storm sewer water from the municipal drainage system backed into your house due to a larger technical error. Unkempt gutters are also a possibility in this case, so make sure to check your out when inspecting for the root of the mishap.

Thus, if your basement is filled with water unexpectedly, you first need to identify the source of the problem. Depending on that is, how you proceed next is entirely different. Just remember that just taking out the excess water and drying the area off won’t suffice. Further action needs to be taken.

Either call in a plumber or your local administration for assistance, but do it soon. Leaving this complication unattended leads to extensive damage to your entire property. Not only does it destabilize the entire construction, but it can cause or aggravate any of the aforementioned hiccups as well.


Unfortunately, many people overlook the basement when inspecting their house. Thus, a lot of issues occur in this very same area. Depending on the severity of the specific mishap, you can potentially fix it on your own. However, if the problem is far too serious for your expertise, don’t be afraid to call in an expert for assistance.

For example, unpleasant sewer gas odors permeating the air inside your living quarters might be caused by a clogged drain, which is something you can easily take care of alone. But a faulty sewer line is a far more serious inconvenience, and it implies that a plumber or even local administrator needs to be alerted.

Whatever trouble you might be facing, the essential thing is to solve it as quickly as possible. Avoiding will cause it to aggravate, which can inflict permanent damage on the structural stability of your entire property. Therefore, you need to be a wise homeowner and know when it’s time to step in. And let’s face it, there is always something to add or upgrade to your home, you just have to be aware of all the options out there.

| About the Guest Author:

With an educational background in Engineering Design and a personal interest in all things construction and workforce-related, Vince is behind TheWorkBootCritic. He’s a news geek, especially when it comes to keeping up to date with the industry’s biggest developments.

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