If your finished basement smells damp and musty, dry the room temporarily now. Water leaking in or around the concrete foundation of your basement can create numerous problems, including mold growth and cracked cement. If you don't repair the damage, your home's foundation may be at risk for failure. A waterproof specialist can repair the leak and reinforce your basement's foundation by sealing in the cracks or replacing the damaged concrete. But until a waterproofing contractor arrives to repair your basement's leak, you can temporarily dry and secure the room yourself to minimize the musty scent. Here's what you do.

Locate Damp And Soggy Flooring

Water leaks in the basement often develop from stress cracks in the wall or floor. The cracks develop when damage occurs around the outside of the basement, such as from poorly-draining soil or blocked gutters. Water can seep through the cracks and create damp spots in different areas of the room, including any carpeting you have placed in it. It's critical that you remove the carpeting and dry the bare flooring beneath it. Wet carpets can attract mold spores, especially if the room environment is warm and humid. 

To find the damp spots, pat the palms of your hands along the surfaces of the carpeting. If there's water present, the palms of your hands will feel damp or wet. Place a small piece of paper over the damp locations to help you identify them later.

After you find all of the wet spots, you can begin drying up the room.

Dry Up The Room And Floor

You'll need to obtain at least three large, circulating fans and thick mop for this job. Now, follow the steps below:

  1. Lift the carpeting to check it and the bare foundation beneath it. The back of the carpeting may have dark water marks and spots of black mold on it. The cement foundation beneath the carpeting may also appear wet or saturated with water. 
  2. Remove the wet carpeting, if possible, and allow it to dry outside the home, such as on a carport or enclosed porch. 
  3. Use a mop to dry up the water on the cement. 
  4. Place all three fans in the room to dry the up the moisture in the air. Be sure to place the fans on spin to help circulate the air in the basement. 
  5. Open up the basement's windows to allow fresh air into the room.

After 30 minutes pass, place a fan on each side of the basement to help the floor dry. Once the entire room feels drier and smells better, close the basement's windows. A waterproofing contractor can locate and repair the main source of the leak when they arrive. 

A waterproof basement is important to the stability and value of your home. For more information on how to handle a problem, contact a professional in your area.

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