Damp, Wet Basements And Crawl Spaces Promote Insect Hazards

Waterproofing Helps Maintain Property

No one appreciates discovering water flooding through the lower levels of a residence. Even damp, occasionally leaky basements promote unhealthy living conditions by enabling the growth of mildew and mold. Water seeping into the interior of a home can damage drywall, wood and other building materials. It sometimes triggers power outages, or, in the worst situations, contributes to electrical fires. For all these reasons, most property owners place a high value upon basement and crawl space waterproofing measures.

However, waterproofing holds another benefit which frequently escapes the attention of residents unless wet conditions help precipitate problems. Dry basements, foundations and crawl spaces offer better protection against some insect infestations. Two insects which thrive in damp basement environments cause severe problems for property owners: mosquitoes and termites. Under some circumstances, by ensuring you obtain expert waterproofing you may decrease the chance you’ll need to obtain assistance eliminating these pests.

Mosquitoes

Today, mosquitoes have become a widely recognized public health threat in many parts of the United States. While numerous species of these insects thrive in tropical areas, a number of varieties of mosquitoes inhabit temperate regions, also. All mosquitoes share some features in common: the females feed by biting animals and people. They use a long, pointed proboscis to pierce the skin and consume blood.

In addition to causing unpleasant, itchy bites, mosquitoes threaten public health because they sometimes serve as vectors for transmitting serious diseases. Mosquitos may spread these diseases:

  • Malaria;
  • West Nile Virus;
  • Zika Virus;
  • Chikungunya;
  • Dengue Fever (sometimes called “Breakbone Fever”)

Most of these blood borne ailments produce fevers, headaches, and other influenza-like symptoms. Although healthy people may not suffer long term adverse effects, contracting illnesses from mosquitoes sometimes proves devastating for the elderly, infants and patients with impaired immune systems, such as people with HIV. The Zika Virus has proven especially worrisome recently in some places; it can potentially cause serious birth defects in newborns if mothers contract this illness from mosquitoes during pregnancy.

Why do damp basements frequently attract mosquitoes? Many species of mosquitoes lay their eggs in shallow pools of water. In some locations, a dank, wet basement or crawl space offers a perfect habitat for mosquito populations. If you’ve sprayed your yard and grounds against these insects, you’ll also want to take steps to maintain waterproof conditions indoors.

Termites

Termites pose a completely different type of potential threat to people residing in homes with wet or leaky sites. Although maintaining a dry basement or crawl space won’t ensure your property will never experience a termite problem, allowing the lower levels of the home to become damp on a regular basis may seriously increase the risks of termite infestations.

Termites somewhat resemble ants in appearance. They eat through wood and reside in large, social colonies. In nature, termites perform a useful function by consuming the remains of fallen branches and rotting tree stumps. Their activities following natural disasters such as floods or forest fires help clear away debris.

Unfortunately, when water leaks into basements and crawl spaces, it may cause wood in a residential structure to rot and weaken. Termite colonies do not distinguish between decaying wood on a forest floor and the wood used in doors, window frames, attics and other areas of human dwellings. For instance, if your home includes ground level windows in the basement and the window frames become damp and begin rotting, termites from the nearby area may attack the wet, weakened wood. Property owners can protect their residences more effectively by ensuring basements and crawl spaces remain clean and dry throughout the year.

Some termite species nest in vast underground colonies and scavenge for wood on the surface, while others reside in nests located inside stands of wood (such as tree stumps). Eliminating a termite infestation from a residence usually requires the assistance of a licensed exterminator. Resolve now to waterproof your basement or crawl spaces in order to make these areas less appealing to termites!

Further Assistance

Waterproofing assists property owners in maintaining basements, crawl spaces and foundations in safe, secure condition. Call us to obtain fast, experienced help resolving a variety of waterproofing problems impacting real estate.