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Water Infiltrations: Signs to Watch Out For

Last modified: 2022-01-25 | Approximate reading time 5 mins

Léa Plourde-Archer

Water infiltrations (also known as water ingress) mostly happen in basements. However, this type of problem can also occur in other parts of the house, such as the roof or the walls, especially around door and window frames.  

No matter the source of the water ingress, repairs must be done quickly to fix the problem and most of all, to avoid having to deal with severe consequences. Here are a few signs you need to watch out for to identify potential water infiltration spots.

There are a few tell-tale signs that indicate that something is wrong. If you notice any of these inside your home, contact an expert without further delay. Neglecting to do so may engender grave consequences, including important damage that could affect both the house and the health of its occupants.

Here are the main signs of water infiltrations in a home

  • High humidity levels, especially in the basement;
  • A lot of condensation on window panes and pipes;
  • Mould (small black traces), especially on the bottom part of the walls (floors can also be affected by mould);
  • A significant amount of water on the ground (in general, this sign doesn’t lie!)
  • Rank odours that are musty and that reak of mould, among other smells;
  • Foundation and building structure that show wear and tear: the concrete is chipping off, the plaster on the walls is soft;
  • Doors and windows that let the water seep in;
  • A french drain that is blocked;
  • Gutters that are blocked;
  • A concrete slab that is damaged;
  • Brick joints that are worn out;
  • Problems with the roof.

Different factors may cause water ingress. However, when in doubt whether there is a problem or not, don’t wait: find out if something is wrong and if needed, take the appropriate measures to fix it. As mentioned above, damage caused by water infiltration can be extremely detrimental to the health of a building’s occupants, causing various ailments such as respiratory problems.

Dommages causés par l'eau_damage caused by water in a home

Photo: Wikimedia commons

Water infiltration: what should you do to solve the problem

Depending on the cause, you may have to contact a roof specialist, if the problem is located on or around the roof, whereas if the water ingress is happening at the foundation level, you’ll have to call a foundation specialist. This is especially the case if the water is flowing through a crack that is wide (more than 2 mm).

To ensure a successful renovation, it is important to hire a specialist for these types of tasks, rather than a handyman who has general renovation skills. Another way to prevent or to notice damage caused by water infiltrations is to use an infrared camera. This method is a nearly surefire way to determine the point of origin of water infiltration, without having to resort to an excavation process.

Pièce endommagée par l'eau_room damaged by water

Other causes and materials that can cause water infiltrations

Lastly, concerning the factors that tend to cause water infiltrations, the building’s structure, as well as the quality of the materials (concrete) both have an impact in the long run.

Concrete tends to deteriorate over time, thus making it more prone to leaks. Gutters (eavestroughs) that are broken or blocked could also lead to water ingress. In the Spring, the Fall (especially in the event of strong rains) or the Winter, you can always do various inspections around your home, especially around the foundation walls to see if you notice any unusual condensation or frost gathering up in certain areas. By proceeding this way, chances are that you will notice any potentially problematic areas.

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What happens if you don't solve a water infiltration project?

Water infiltration problems are among those that need to be addressed as quickly as possible. If not blocked and removed, water will continue to accumulate. During this time, it can also cause damage to the building materials of the house, even attacking the structure. The longer we wait, the more the costs for repair will be high. Also, the air quality in the house could be affected, causing harm to the health of the occupants. It should also be noted that if you do not apply a long-term solution, the problem will quickly return.

Preventing and fixing water infiltrations

The causes and consequences of water infiltrations are so varied that it is impossible to propose a one-size-fits-all solution. Only an expert can look at the situation and suggest ways to solve the problem. It is always possible to apply a "plaster" to prevent the situation from getting too serious but it will be necessary to move quickly towards a permanent solution.

Are you looking for more advice to solve a water infiltration problem? Check out What to do in case of a water infiltration problem.

Preventing water infiltration is another important aspect to think about, especially in these times when news often talks about floods and widespread water damage. Try to find ways to make sure that your house is well protected.

Get 3 renovation quotes for your water infiltration problem can help you get quotes for your water infiltration problem. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with the most suitable contractors for you. Fill in the form on our homepage (only a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from trusted professionals. 

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